The very nature of marketing today demands it be more collaborative than ever. Increasingly, it also means working with other departments or teams outside of marketing. If you’re deploying Account Based Marketing (ABM) methodologies then the interconnectivity of your marketing technologies is critical. In choosing a suite of MarTech (Marketing Technology) tools, there are some things to keep in mind.
The Flexibility of the API: Whatever vendor tool your selecting, you’ll want to get a good understanding of who strong, secure and adaptable the APIs they offer are. You’ll want to balance this against your needs and their capabilities and your overall strategy for the technologies you’ll be deploying. The best work within a RESTful framework. If you have a DevOps team within marketing, you’re good to go, if not, get some help.
Infrastructure Impact: Many a MarTech service or app today loves to bypass the I.T. department, whom they see as enemies who might block the sale of their tool. We’ve seen many an I.T. department squash a tool and we’ve seen many a marketing department bypass I.T. only to find it’s not so simple later. The primary concerns of the I.T. department are first and foremost the security of the corporate network, and rightly so. Secondly is the impact on the internal infrastructure and outgoing network to the internet. You may think that cool web-based photo asset management and editing app is perfect and sign-up. Next thing you know corporate networks are chugging down and emails aren’t moving. The service you signed on for turns out to be a bandwidth hog. Understand how a cloud or SaaS based tool might impact infrastructure.
Data Ownership and Exporting: We’ve mentioned this before because it’s important. You’ll want to know how you can export all the data you pile into that service if you’re switching services later or decide to cancel your agreement. Know how you can get your data out and what the costs associated are. Plan for it in your budget.
Data Sharing For Insights: Many apps today offer some form of insights from the tool. This may be data on usage, bandwidth, likes, actions and so on. If you’re planning on using a mixture of apps and services, you’ll want to be able to export some insight data to provide to your business analysts to make sense of.
Level of Effort to Connect: A sales rep might tell you it’s easy peasy to connect their app with almost any other out there. Ask to speak with a sales engineer or another company who’s used the tool and get assurances. There can be big hidden costs or disappointments down the road.
These are a few of the considerations when looking at how well apps are designed to work with other apps. Playing nicely in the digital sandbox of marketing today is critical. Planning ahead to reduce costs and problems is key. If you’re planning an enterprise implementation, consider a full-on demo by selected vendors and their technical people, not the sales reps.

About the Author Giles Crouch

Giles is managing partner of Ekspansiv, a global digital business advisory firm to news media companies . A polymath with over 20 years experience in the digital world, Giles brings together marketing communications, digital anthropology and digital behavioural economics for client projects. He has extensive experience with news media and publishing. Giles is also regularly interviewed by media regarding technology and industry trends. He has completed over 300 digital research projects for clients around the world. Giles co-founded the Ice Awards, an advertising creative awards program in 2001. His clients have included, newspaper, magazine and book publishers as well as pure-play digital media companies. He occasionally works as interim CIO or CDO and senior marketing guidance.

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