Reliance on marketing campaign management tools remains high among companies across industries. (Especially those that are reluctant to update their tech stacks.)
And it’s fairly easy to see why. Why fix what’s (seemingly) not broken at all, right?
The problem is campaign management tools — and the marketing campaign management approach in general — are, in fact, failing large-scale businesses today.
Many don’t realize their multi-channel and cross-channel initiatives to target audiences (existing and potential customers) could be far more potent with more advanced tech.
In particular, tech that enables individualized marketing in the much more effective form of cross-channel customer lifecycle orchestration: the next frontier of marketing.
Why campaign management tools are falling out of favor with companies
A 2020 MarTech Today poll of marketing technologists found 70% work most often in campaign management software and drag-and-drop marketing automation tools in their day-to-day to develop brand awareness and lead generation campaign plans.
From launching ad campaigns to automating email drip campaigns, campaign management software clearly plays a big role in marketers’ daily CX activities and long-term strategies.
But dependence on these systems to run even ‘successful’ marketing campaigns for things like product launches is (finally) being questioned by marketers.
Why? Because they, along with their CMOs, realize there are several notable downsides to not just marketing campaign management, but also their campaign-oriented tech.
Forrester VP, Principal Analyst Rusty Warner summed up the state of campaigns perfectly:
“Empowered customers are quickly becoming entitled customers who expect consistent, high-value experiences, regardless of channel. On their own, traditional marketing campaigns are ineffective at meeting these demands.”
The challenge for marketers, Warner added? The ability to implement “customer-driven inbound interactions throughout the customer life cycle.”
Simply put, an integrated marketing communication approach (and a new, more modern audience engagement mindset for many brands) requires lifecycle marketing-enabling tech.
Campaign management software: Built for static, outbound marketing activities
At its core, campaign management is project management:
The planning, execution, and analysis of product-and-service-centric promotions to specific segments.
Once marketers define their goals for campaigns, rules-based workflows are put in place to pre-determine when specific messaging is shared with groups of prospects and customers.
At its core, though, a campaign is an outbound tactic. (That is, “push” marketing).
“Two-way campaigns yield results, but multichannel campaign management vendors often don’t integrate inbound and outbound marketing,” per Gartner Managing VP Adam Sarner.
That means a static campaign doesn’t account for real-time updates to a customer’s profile. And that includes their most recent online and offline engagement with your brand.
Failing to account for these dynamically refreshed profiles can render campaign messaging geared toward customers irrelevant, untimely, and a waste of time, resources, and spend.
Moreover, campaign management tools often don’t integrate well with other tech.
Often, to connect with other tools, a heavy lift is needed on the part of technologists or IT.
Campaign management tools can connect to core marketing channels (social media platforms, ecommerce stores). But they’re not always the best for personalized marketing.
Only with time- and labor-intensive integration to other tools in one’s stack can that level of individualization and personalization be achieved without the power of a CDP.
Moving from a campaign management tool to a lifecycle orchestration platform
It’s clear campaign tools and “journey builders” with pre-set campaign templates excel at helping marketers deliver outbound messaging. But it’s also apparent these solutions come up well short when it comes to inbound marketing.
That’s where customer lifecycle orchestration has the edge. (And a big one at that.)
It’s the more effective, individual-focused engagement model that enables marketers to be responsive to customer journeys as behaviors, interests, and/or circumstances change.
Acknowledging this problem with campaign-oriented martech is one thing. Solving said problem proves a larger task for many large-scale organizations and their marketing teams.
If you want to eliminate your dependence on legacy campaign management tools (or, at the very least, stop trying to force your outbound campaign software to try to orchestrate lifecycle messaging), you need to ask yourself:
“How can we smoothly transition from campaign tools to lifecycle orchestration technology so we don’t disrupt our marketing and continue to meet our KPIs?”
The answer to this will certainly depend on your current tech stack configuration, available resources, and marketing use cases. But the simplified answer is threefold:
- 1) Clearly define the issues you’ve experienced with your current campaign management tool and its drawbacks in terms of real-time marketing for your C-suite.
- 2) Get buy-in from leadership to invest in new martech that enables customer lifecycle orchestration based on a wholly unified set of first-party customer data.
- 3) Onboard a marketer-friendly solution that enables you to track customers’ activity in actual real time and deliver the most compelling, timely messaging to them.
Regarding the latter point, your ideal tech is a customer data platform (CDP):
In BlueConic, for instance, marketers who use our CDP can build custom lifecycles geared toward various segments. These lifecycles consist of sequential, mutually exclusive stages:
- A person starts in one, pre-determined lifecycle stage. For example, one that’s based on a particular event (e.g., newsletter sign-up), customer behavior score (e.g., website recency, frequency, or momentum score), state (e.g., known or anonymous visitor), or any combination of these data points.
- Then, when they’ve engaged with certain touchpoints (i.e., criteria defined by marketing, like clicking certain ads or opening certain emails) and reach a pre-set threshold (i.e., interact with a certain number of touchpoints overall or within a given period), they move to the next lifecycle stage.
- This gradual orchestration of the customer lifecycle can lead to whatever conversion is a given marketing team’s end goal. For example, this could when a purchase is made, subscription renewal is completed, or an onboarding program is complete.
Lifecycle orchestration has proven to help many companies — particularly retailers — acquire and retain customers, build out their loyalty programs, enhance lifetime value, and, overall, mature their data-driven marketing strategies.
Campaign management, meanwhile, had its day in the sun for companies. In today’s marketing and business landscape, a pure outbound approach just doesn’t cut it anymore.
As noted, campaigns house creative and need to be implemented in your campaign management tool. Thus, a campaign tool should remain a valuable layer of your stack.
Using a CDP in tandem with your campaign management tools, though, can ensure you’re smart about what messaging and content you send to your customers.
Adopt a lifecycle-centric strategy instead — one that puts customer identity at the heart of every interaction — along with a leading CDP with lifecycle marketing capabilities.
That is how your lifecycle orchestration approach can prosper in the long run.
Watch our webinar to learn how customer lifecycle orchestration leads to far greater ROI for companies across industries compared to campaign management.