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Investing in Customer-Centricity

Digital Technology Investment

Marketing technology investment has skyrocketed over the last several years. Scott Brinker’s 2017 MarTech Landscape boasts approximately 5,200 different technologies and solutions for marketers across several different categories. In 2011, there were only 150 solutions – that’s a 3200% increase in just six short years.

The meteoric rise of technology has played a role in this growth, but money has to come from somewhere! Venture capitalists have spurred the growth of MarTech by pouring money into promising investments. But other than the actual function the technology performs, what makes it stand out to investors as a profit? Here are some thoughts:

  • Implementation. A solution with a quick and cheap implementation is appealing to potential clients, but also to investors who want to get the products into as many tech stacks as possible.
  • Self-service. By making the solution very user-friendly, companies can keep services and support to a minimum.
  • Selling factor. The solution needs to be sold as a one-stop shop for marketers that solves all their problems. Bonus points for fancy dashboards and displays that make marketers eyes light up.

The Rise of Point Solutions

That’s the way digital technology has evolved and how it’s created and funded in the first place. Point solutions that are easy to implement and understand are becoming more and more common. And there are success stories, for sure. But as the customer journey has grown more complicated, fueled by these disparate systems, the need for a more comprehensive view has also grown.

As new technologies are created, so are new solutions. There are ESPs, DSPs, DMPs, POS, CRM, and so many more. Each solution probably has great data about customers through that individual channel, but there is no way to see the full customer journey. It’s inferred how the channels are related, but you can’t really see proof of your assumptions. And in today’s marketing era, proving your investments is more necessary than ever.

Connecting the Dots

The biggest success for marketers will come from connecting all touch points in your MarTech stack to the Customer Data Platform with the Customer in the Center Architecture. Pull customer data and activity data from each touch point into the center to create the Single View of the Customer (SVC) and then share the SVC back to all touch points for improved personalization and specific treatments. Use test and control to measure the impact on lift conversion, revenue and profit. A better customer experience will produce better business results that you cannot achieve with a MarTech stack comprised of siloed, disparate touch point applications.

The biggest success for marketing technology investment? Looking at the customer journey and trying to connect all these disparate solutions. Find a CDP that integrates with various solutions in a MarTech stack to collect customer data in one location  and create a single customer profile. By connecting all these solutions, venture capitalists can help marketing move from disparate customer data to a rich marketing database that puts the customer in the center.