While the groundhog might have been wrong about when winter ended, there is no escaping the fact that (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) the cold weather will eventually make way for springtime. It's time for the yearly ritual of spring cleaning. Search marketers should consider this type of cleaning for themselves as well, taking this opportunity to look at their account structures, keywords, ad creative and media mix models -- but that’s not the cleanup I’m here to talk about today. It’s time to look at all the ad technology solutions you have assembled over the winter and do some serious straightening up.
Just last week, Aaron Goldman wrote a great piece discussing digital marketing technology choices marketers have, separating the options into deep or shallow buckets. I agree with Aaron that the best solutions are client-specific, and it isn’t necessarily an either/or situation. That said, for most sophisticated marketers, I come out in strong support of the “fewer buckets, the better,” while also pointing out that wide does not necessarily mean shallow.
Take a good look at all the technology your organization uses to manage and optimize your marketing. What do you use to manage your paid search? How about your display? What about attribution? Do these systems play well together? Do you feel like you have a clear picture of the full user experience? Do your systems optimize based on shared data, or is manual intervention required? Is your attribution system tied in real-time to your media optimization platforms? If these questions make you consider heading back to the cave to hibernate some more, don’t worry: there is plenty of opportunity to improve your situation.
The benefits of an integrated technology stack are sizeable, including the following:
Centralized data - A single source of data leads to consistency throughout efforts and eliminates “data translation” between systems and departments. A single dashboard can create workflow efficiencies, as marketers only need to log into and understand in detail how to use one platform.
Cross-channel attribution - Integrating technology can also mean that the data that lives within a given channel is already de-duped and attributed without going through a maze of technology.
Teamwork, not silos – Properly aligned technology results in a single, consistent source for training, technical support and best practices. This removal of tech silos can also help drive channel-focused teams to work together.
Automated optimization - By integrating marketing technology, budgets can be more intelligently -- even automatically -- managed.
Finally, integrating your marketing technologies into ”fewer buckets” should not come with a tradeoff of not having best-of-breed point solutions. By integrating, you gain the tools needed to more effectively manage campaigns cohesively, cut down on waste and ensure that all teams are working together. So get out that mop and start cleaning up your marketing technology. It’s time.