Platformization and the Evolution from Task-based Silos to Enterprise Orchestration

 In Martech

Coming out of the Martech conference, we’re highlighting 3 industry insights that marketers should be aware of as they continue to innovate at the intersection of people, processes and tools. Below, please find part two of our 3-part series covering: (1) The mental state of the modern marketer regarding technology, (2) ‘Platformization’ and the march from task-based silos toward enterprise ‘orchestration,’ (below) and (3) The rapid and sudden rise of CDPs.

‘Platformization’ and the March from Task-Based Silos toward Enterprise ‘Orchestration’

The session with Gerry Murray, an analyst from IDC, really put a fine point on this recurring theme that was told in session after session at MarTech.  It centered on the gradual shift of where certain tasks and the services underpinning those tasks are housed within an organization.

In stage 1 of this process (graphic below), you can see how each individual marketing task began as its own, totally encapsulated silo, each with certain tasks or services that overlap with other silos. Or in other words every task, such as email marketing, has its own database, its own analytics, it’s own rules….and this is repeated across every task from email marketing, to the website , to display advertising, to mobile apps, and so on. 

Stage 1 Task Based MarTech Silos

Photo Credit: Gerry Murray, IDC: link here

So you end up with 10 – 20 or more of these silos.  And eventually when you start hooking these point solutions together with daisy-chain integrations you end up with something that looks like this:

MarTech point solutions: stage 1 typical customer technology infrastructure

Photo Credit: Gerry Murray, IDC: link here

Then you realize…this isn’t effective, it’s not sustainable, and you’re spending all your time hooking systems together instead of doing real marketing. And it doesn’t even work that well.

So, you get the idea that there needs to be some center around which all these systems are organized.  All these systems are using the same data, so we should be able to have some sort of central database, right? To evolve from the state above, this means that each silo still has its own analytics, rules, etc…but we can centralize all that data from all the systems instead of just hooking it up point to point, to create something like this:

Stage 2 - Evolution from Task Based MarTech Silos to Departmental Stacks

Photo Credit: Gerry Murray, IDC: link here

Or visualized a different way, like this:

enterprise MarTech integration evolution - Stage 2, central data hub

Photo Credit: Gerry Murray, IDC: link here

Now we’re getting somewhere.  This is definitely a step in the right direction and goes a long way toward simplifying the task of leveraging all data across a business in each individual channel.  But it doesn’t quite go far enough…we can still see areas where the silos are duplicating efforts.  Not only is that inefficient, but it creates uneven customer experiences. While the tasks may all be driven by a central source of data, the execution is still all siloed. A strategy to increase customer loyalty needs to be recreated in every individual system, which is naturally unreliable and less effective than harmonizing the rules across systems.

This leads to the natural progression of moving more and more services out of each silo and making it more available to the department at large. So eventually companies get to a point where at least the marketing department itself (not including other departments yet like business intelligence, customer experience, etc) develops a platform on top of which the silos can function in a more centralized way.  

Departmental MarTech platforms - evolving to enterprise orchestration

Photo Credit: Gerry Murray, IDC: link here

BUT, the evolution isn’t complete. This is just one department and you can still see how the silos are duplicating efforts.

The final stage that Gerry Murray describes is what he terms “enterprise orchestration”, where the rules and strategies that used to reside within each task-based silo, within each department, finally move out of the silos and out of each department to create an enterprise-wide orchestration layer that truly harmonizes business strategy around the customer. No longer is data and strategy business-centric, but rather it becomes customer-centric as a result of moving customer data and experience to the center of the organization.

Central hub for enterprise orchestration - customer-centric MarTech stack approach

Photo Credit: Gerry Murray, IDC: link here

You can see how the customer moves to the center of execution for every business system.

Customer Behavior & Profiling/Identity at center - MarTech enterprise orchestration

Photo Credit: Gerry Murray, IDC: link here

This is the state of the market today and the direction that organizations should be headed.  For all the talk over the last decade of becoming customer-centric, this is the way companies can actually do it. There’s a proven road map with technologies available to get you there. The important part is that this foundation is all based on managing data in a universal way and making it flexible whereby you can apply that data and your insights across all teams, all customer touchpoints and throughout all technologies from one data hub.  When you start mixing your data hub with upstack, executional functions (sending email, doing web site personalization, etc) is when you re-create the legacy problems of the recently siloed past. Resist the temptation of all-in-one tools and treat your data as the hub around which all those execution tools orbit.

Continue reading Part 3 of our MarTech conference recap hereThe Rapid & Sudden Rise of the CDP

And if you haven’t seen part 1, yet, check it out here: The mental state of the modern marketer regarding technology

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