Delivering personalised customer journeys across offline and online channels is a challenging prospect for marketers. But the challenge is often compounded by the ageing technology at their disposal, according to Dotmailer founder and president, Tink Taylor.
“Rapid technological growth has made it increasingly difficult for businesses to separate their marketing strategy from technology,” Taylor told Which-50.
“Given the ageing nature of some martech business models — with some created in the ’90s — many legacy systems are simply ineffective in meeting the modern demands of the ecommerce industry.”
Major refreshes in marketing technology architecture are a “rarity” because the prospect of large scale data migration from legacy systems is daunting for many organisations. It means technology often lags marketing strategy, according to Taylor.
Dotmailer refreshed its platform a few years ago to accommodate the demands of increasingly innovative marketers, Taylor said. The platform is now “based on modules” aimed at helping marketers deliver personalised marketing experiences.
This approach means the Dotmailer platform can offer “industry leading omnichannel capabilities”, in addition to its well-known email automation, Taylor said. That includes messaging channels like SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp and WeChat.
The modular approach extends to partners. Dotmailer has announced the integration of open source ecommerce platform Magento.
“The value of an open source digital commerce platform cannot be understated as it enables marketers to keep up with the rapid rate of change in the market,” Taylor said.
This flexible approach keeps the Dotmailer platform customisable and adaptable, unlike the larger marketing suites, Taylor said.
“Large marketing suites like Oracle offer pre-packaged marketing tools that it determines to be the best fit for businesses. While this can be a good fit generally, the reality is that every business is unique.”
Ultimately it is about recognising customers as individuals and delivering contextualised messages in a holistic way, Taylor said. The benefits of which are quickly being realised throughout the industry.
“We are at a stage where the majority of marketers acknowledge personalisation as important to driving a successful ecommerce business,” Taylor said.
However, Taylor says many marketers are still unwilling to invest in personalisation. “Numerous businesses are still using batch-and-blast methods instead of initiating intelligent and personalised communications with customers.”
Delivering personalisation can be made easier through machine learning and automation, Taylor said. Machine learning can do the heavy lifting of data analysis and segmentation which ultimately “streamlines the sales cycle”.
“One of the biggest challenges with marketing automation is that it’s difficult to account for individual customer journeys and buying patterns,” Taylor said.
“However, with machine learning, customer data can be segmented in a meaningful way that enables for predictive analytics and message frequency optimisation.”