As a company, your business model is being put under pressure and disrupted with the ongoing global shifts taking place, something that you or I have control over.
What we do have control on is our ability to remain relevant and in the face of the customer and this is achieved through one of many — multiple teams, dozens of tools and thousands of customer touch points.
Through it all, your customers have much higher expectations than they did last week, last month or a year ago.
Customer experience is now the main factor driving referrals, sales and lifetime value.
Because of that, your customer needs to be at the centre of your entire business. Regardless of where your customer interacts with you, they need to have a delightful experience.
One tool can’t do it all for you.
Keeping your marketing strategy customer-focused requires using more than software to build your business. You can integrate your software with apps and use service providers (typically an external business who is an expert in the help you need) to tackle business needs alongside with you. Trying to manage the experience across the entire customer journey can involve juggling a lot of different channels and tools.
Let me hasten to say simply launching more tools does not guarantee the results needed especially if they are not integrated which then impacts tracking leads or calculates ROI, you end up spending much time manually entering data to ensure the information is accurate which can all be avoided by integration.
To create the customer experience you want, these tools need to be supported by a backbone.
Bringing all these tools together (along with experienced partners) creates an ecosystem that supports your business. Without this ecosystem, it’s impossible to manage every touch point effectively.
This is why it’s so important to use more than software to build your business, integrate your software with apps and use service providers to tackle business needs alongside with you.
Using a software ecosystem to help you grow
It’s hard for one company with one software subscription to deliver the experience that customers are looking for today. Instead, businesses need to surround themselves with connected tools that keep the customer front and centre.
Three tools can help you keep your customer at the centre of your flywheel and drive growth:
Access to an app marketplace
Creating a single system of record
Marketing technology spend is now higher than the advertising spend for companies.
Hiring an external service provider to work with you and your team can be a great resource. They can help with tool expertise, training, management, implementation, ongoing support, and more.
Service providers can help marketers optimise their investment by providing hands-on assistance, training, and knowledge.
Businesses who work with service providers stand to benefit say it has benefited their business.
People have cited the following and more as benefits of working with service providers:
Extra help to achieve your business goals faster
Achieve highly specialised projects and tasks
Ability to achieve a broader scope of projects
Ability to do more with the technology that you’re using
Faster growth for your company
When you hire folks who are extremely familiar with the software than runs your business, you get more value out of your technology.
Service providers are an extension of your business, and they allow you to get more work done with fewer full-time staff.
Marketers need a lot of tools to make magic happen.
But these tools shouldn’t exist separately. Integrating them can make it easier to work across different channels and automate customer experience.
An app market place makes it easy to bring all the tools you use into one place (and it can help you discover new tools, too!).
Software with a strong ecosystem includes access to a wide range of apps that make your platform even more powerful.
When you can pull all social media apps together, you could co-ordinate campaigns and report across channels.
This kind of coordination is only possible when you’re supported by an ecosystem.
Single system of record
Most marketers are familiar with using a CRM to store customer data.
But not every team is taking advantage of all the customer data their entire company has available.
From customer satisfaction data, to survey responses about preferences, to past purchases — combining all this information into one single system of record opens new doors for your marketing team.
Using all of the data at your disposal to curate a personalised and targeted customer experience turns your marketing pipeline into a growth engine.
Not only that but bringing all your data together into one system means that your teams collaborate better.
Sales and marketing are working from the same context, which helps generate more conversations that can go deeper into the customer’s needs.
No marketing team is an island
Why should your software be one?
Instead of thinking of software as individual tools, it’s critical to consider the overall ecosystem your tools exist in.
A service provider can help you grow in ways that you’ve never thought of
before, from discovering a new integration to developing a new automated leads pipeline.
When you lean on a strong ecosystem, you’re more equipped to meet your goals.
Using all these pieces together empowers you to provide excellent customer experience across all touch-points.
Whether it’s strategies, services, or software, an ecosystem has everything you need — so you don’t have to grow it