An enterprise marketing team’s typical martech setup often looks far different than the technology stacks for mid-sized brands today. Not necessarily larger. Just different.
That’s because enterprise data management needs and challenges are far more complex — and, therefore, more difficult to address — than those for smaller companies:
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of enterprise business leaders polled by SAP said their database structure is overly sophisticated and limits agility. Meanwhile, 86% remarked they don’t get the most out of their data.
Simply put, enterprises have significantly more contacts in their data ecosystem than mid-sized brands. Thus, they have substantially more attributes, behaviors, engagement data, and other data points associated with those contacts stored in their martech environments.
That means enterprise marketing teams have considerably more customer data to organize, segment, and, eventually, incorporate in both their outbound and inbound marketing efforts and leverage through modern technologies and capabilities. (See: artificial intelligence.)
It also means having the right marketing platforms and database architecture is all the more important for these large-scale businesses and their marketing organizations.
Enterprise marketing strategies for B2B and B2C brands not so different
Maybe you’re a B2B marketer for a manufacturer with an account-based marketing (ABM) approach and a nurture-based content strategy to aid both sales and marketing teams.
Or perhaps you’re a B2C marketer at an ecommerce company with a broader customer base and prospect pool and, consequently, a different digital marketing approach altogether.
Or maybe you’re a B2B2C marketer for a consumer packaged goods brand who develops marketing campaigns geared toward both retail partner and end-consumer audiences.
Regardless of your niche, there’s certainly some overlap among these types of enterprise marketing professionals and their on-the-job demands and concerns: from custom-tailored content creation for personalized emails to optimization of targeted advertising campaigns.
For instance, a B2B enterprise marketing department may spend much of its time on standard ABM efforts like lead scoring and account analysis in their customer database of choice, with the end goal of ultimately increasing sales and meeting their revenue goals.
Similarly, B2C enterprise marketing organizations also allocate resources to evaluate both individual prospects and customer segments in their martech — the kind of first-party data assessment that guides and enhances their consumer-focused marketing programs.
Chief Marketer contributor and marketing expert Charles Long rightfully noted B2B and B2C marketing approaches are inherently different, given the distinct audiences:
“[B2B brands] need ways to unite … decision-makers so they can come to a consensus and move forward with a purchase of far more consequence than a pair of sneakers.”
But, as Forbes Communications Council’s Trever Ackerman explained, B2C and B2B marketing are slowly converging with one another in terms of approach, as the desired CX by both consumers and buying decision-makers at brands are now quite similar:
“[E]ngaging both a business and consumer audience still goes back to basics: Understand your customer from a holistic perspective and reach them in the right place at the right time.”
Understanding customers, where they are in their respective journeys, and how to best engage them. At the end of the day, that’s all enterprise businesses’ shared objective.
To better comprehend their customers’ behaviors, interactions, and needs, though, they first need to onboard the appropriate mix of enterprise marketing technology in their stacks.
Why large enterprises are building best-of-breed marketing technology stacks
Too often, enterprise C-suites believe the marketing clouds when they say they offer the ‘all-in-one’ solution their sizable businesses need to succeed in today’s business landscape.
The truth is these false promises have led to insufficient marketing ROI for too long.
Thankfully, the percentage of enterprise brands that invest in cloud suites featuring ‘walled-off’ marketing automation platforms within a closed martech environment is declining.
And, as Gartner reports, investment in best-of-breed martech stacks is on the rise.
Instead of relying on a restricting set of tools which usually only ‘speak’ with one another (i.e., with solutions solely inside the ecosystem), enterprise marketing teams are turning to custom technology stacks that afford them the flexibility and agility required to thrive today.
The ideal starting point for these companies martech setups? Incorporate a single-source-of-truth customer data management system that lives at the center of their stacks.
Then, any other system — customer service solution, email service provider, data lake, etc. — can sync with said centralized database. (Preferably one that offers complete data unification and efficient, real-time data activation — something we’ll cover shortly.)
The pros of this best-of-breed approach — especially when compared to relying on the limiting marketing cloud suites to guide one’s promotional efforts — are many.
Case in point: 83% of marketers with best-of-breed, integrated martech setups told Walker Sands they were able to “fully leverage” their technology stacks for their use cases.
ChiefMarTec’s Scott Brinker even pointed out how many of the well-known cloud providers who joined him onstage for a recent MarTech Conference session “acknowledged that multi-vendor marketing tech stacks were the reality of the market.”
Put plainly, failing to structure your enterprise marketing technology stack in such a way means your relevant business information and customer data will remain in siloed systems.
This, in turn, will only continue to impede the desired advancements to your enterprise marketing strategy: from enhancing brand awareness to delivering a higher-quality CX.
How to improve your enterprise marketing management with modern martech
Transitioning from a cloud suite to a best-of-breed approach — and, optimally, with a centralized database like a customer data platform (CDP) at the center of your martech stack — is how you can elevate your enterprise marketing strategy.
As CMSWire’s David Roe stated, though, it’s also how many large enterprises meet the ever-changing demands of both their target audiences and businesses at-large:
“Integration and APIs are the only way to tie the new world of apps together with the legacy apps existing in enterprises, but moreover, companies need to be able to automatically create such connections, to keep up with the pace of business.”
Though ending your contract with your cloud provider is a move that can transform your marketing for the better, you don’t need to tear down your entire technology stack.
Rather, as Roe relayed, you need to onboard a database that connects all your older marketing systems and tools (CRM, ESP, etc.) and resolves the identity for all contacts.
Consolidating all this customer data in one place and creating unified profiles for each prospect and customer, though, won’t do your enterprise brand much good if it can’t be activated — or, as we like to say, liberated — with ease by you and your marketing team.
At the end of the day, enterprise marketing professionals need to construct technology stacks that streamline a sizable portion of their daily lifecycle orchestration efforts and simplify once-arduous tasks like segment comparison and predictive analytics.
Features offered in proven, modern martech like the customer data platform.
Back in 2019, CMO Survey’s Christine Moorman and Lauren Kirby detailed how “marketers know that automation, AI and machine learning will transform all aspects of business, including theirs, which is why many are accelerating use cases.”
With the right CDP as your primary customer database, you can fully embrace the power of AI for marketing and incorporate it in all facets of your marketing program to accelerate ROI, better comprehend customers’ journeys, and track your audience’s touch points.
(Not to mention calculate customer lifetime value, predict buyers’ and subscribers’ propensity to buy and churn, and compare and contrast your distinct audience segments.)
Forrester VP, Principal Analysts Joe Stanhope and Rusty Warner recently coined the term “moments-based marketing.” This approach, the duo noted, is how today’s marketers can more capably deliver compelling, individualized messages to their customers.
But the appropriate technology — like a platform that syncs with all other business solutions and enables real-time data liberation — is a must, Stanhope and Warner indicated:
“The challenge from a brand’s side is they must be ready at any second, in any touchpoint, to provide hyper-relevant content to the consumer. Brands need the tech to understand customer context and make decisions on how to engage in the moment.”
Using a CDP, you can meet your customers in these micro moments at the perfect times and with the perfect messaging. In other words, you can provide bespoke customer experiences that move the marketing ROI needle in the right direction for your enterprise brand.
Download out eBook today to discover why enterprise brands like yours are better off with a custom martech stack than a restricting marketing cloud suite.