The marketing software landscape appears to become more complicated every month with more platforms popping up.
But, differentiating internal/external communication demands in the sizes, external / internal vs 1:1, N: N ratio is a highly effective means to simplify the playing field for both companies and service providers. And by accurately matching providers to company needs and processes on those dimensions, selecting the correct kind of provider becomes significantly easier.
Let’s look at some of the dimensions to consider when defining the marketing landscape for any business.
First there are internal/external communication channels and how they impact your company. Internal channels include direct interactions within the company (such as between sales, marketing, customer service, technical support and so on) as well as information sharing within departments (for example between accounting and marketing, or between manufacturing and engineering). External channels include channel activities such as product launches, the launch of new products, marketing campaigns, promotional activities and so on. All these activities have an effect on internal and external communication.
In addition, the marketing software landscape also includes measurement units.
Measuring business success is a key component to any business improvement activity and the metric system that you use must be easily understood and widely applicable to all stakeholders in your organization. Metrics help you clearly define the objectives of your strategy and measure against critical goals (to reduce cost and improve performance). Measuring progress and against targets can help you monitor what is working and what is not. Also important is measuring against your specific business needs, which may be different from your competitors or in some cases completely different from them.
The next dimension to consider is platform independence.
For marketers, platform independence means being able to use the platform without having to first obtain and install third party marketing software on each and every mobile and tablet device that may be in use in the organization. Most vendors will provide this functionality at no additional charge to the vendor and many vendors offer it on a paid basis to enhance the overall value of their platforms.
Another important element of the marketing software landscape is chatbots.
These are automated tools for managing contacts, forwarding messages, answering questions, and posting comments on blogs, articles, and more. Some popular chatbots include Facebook’s Fan Box, LinkedIn’s Workouts, Twitter’s Bot, Buffer, and Threelac. While chatBots are an increasingly important facet of the marketing automation landscape, they still remain a relatively immature offering relative to the capabilities of other choices. This is likely to change in the coming months and years as more organizations embrace unified messaging platforms across multiple devices.
Overall, the marketing software landscape continues to evolve as marketers learn to embrace mobile, social, and unified technologies to create more effective content marketing strategies. Marketers are currently reaping the benefits of integrating multiple technologies while simultaneously improving their revenue delivery models. Organizations that wish to capitalize on this evolution need to begin designing their strategies now in order to remain up to date on the capabilities of the market.