In this new era of instantaneous consumption modes, customers demand ultra-personalised and hyper-fluid experiences taking into account their momentary context, their consumption and past interactions, on and offline. For brands, it is a question of ensuring and providing this consistency with a message that is relevant to each interaction on all points of contact, be they physical - human or digital.
To achieve this objective, brands have to equip themselves with an ecosystem of solutions that positions the customer at the heart of the company's mechanism. This so-called 'customer centric' ecosystem helps to design and orchestrate a seamless, end-to-end, omnichannel customer experience. Marketing automation is an integral part of this ecosystem, as a CRM activation lever.
To obtain this enriched omnichannel customer experience, marketing automation must communicate with all other front-end customer solutions (e-commerce, media, customer service, etc.), to control messages on all screens in a personalised way while ensuring the consistency of the message, offers and content.
Among these, we distinguish agile, very ergonomic and userfriendly marketing automation platforms: Message Cloud by Smartfocus and Actito. They allow automated relational campaigns based on behaviour or on a specific event to be set up quickly and easily. They have very good and broad coverage of contact channels: email, SMS, push/email notification, social networks, etc.
Other multi-channel activation platforms are positioned such as "Customer X-Platform" (X for Data, Digital or Loyalty) by integrating a complete component differentiated by their automation. NP6 and Mapp Cloud have integrated a DMP in their marketing automation platform. These platforms allow greater customer knowledge to develop and through this enrich digital contact strategies. Splio stands apart by developing a customer loyalty marketing automation platform, from data control to scripting campaigns by incorporating a loyalty and clienteling module.
Then, SAS, a historical player in data management, data mining and automation, remains a robust and powerful player in the activation of multi-channel campaigns.
This very comprehensive set of platforms aims to offer end-to-end customer marketing functions and merge into a customer-centric ecosystem.
In view of the diversity of tools that support marketing activities, it is increasingly relevant to have a unique and consistent ecosystem from a technological point of view, but also from a business point of view by avoiding teams juggling multiple tools.
Marketing hubs are modular platforms whose technological opening, thanks to the provision of third-party connectors (existence of all kinds of APIs in particular), offers a large capacity for integration. In fact, to increasingly enhance the end customer experience, the interconnections must be fluid and multiple to enable the sharing of offer recommendations with the entire Customer IS and to interact in a way that is consistent with the end customer?s past actions.
Some historical publishers, such as Adobe or Salesforce, have been able, because of their acquisitions, constitute complete offers ensuring genuine continuity in the steering and orchestration of the omnichannel customer experience. The combination of solutions and additional modules offer even greater performance for campaigns.
The leaders (Adobe, Salesforce, IBM and Oracle) are gradually being challenged by Selligent and Cheetah Digital, which offer integrated omnichannel platforms. By natively integrating artificial intelligence into its solution, Selligent offers the opportunity to optimise the recommendations and messages sent to customers, thus strengthening the customer-centric approach. Cheetah Digital, for its part, is focussed on its capacity to manage very large quantities of data and complex projects, even on the Chinese market.
On the one hand, marketing hubs which meet the technical and integration constraints in a strong IS, and, on the other, the multi-channel activation platforms that are more 'plug and play', agile, effective and quick to set up.
This introduction is an extract from the chapter dedicated to Marketing Automation B2C in the Yearbook 2019 (Velvet Consulting) ; click below to download the long version: