MarTech: You need to build an omnichannel platform for all requirements: Apoorv Durga, RSG

At the MarTech Mumbai Conference, Apoorv Durga, Research Director & Analyst, Real Story Group, helped simplify the MarTech marketplace for end users

e4m by exchange4media Mumbai Bureau
Published: Nov 27, 2019 8:49 AM  | 4 min read
Apoorv Durga

In a riveting session at the MarTech Mumbai conference, Apoorv Durga, Research Director & Analyst, Real Story Group (RSG), held the audience’s attention for the half an hour that he spoke about the MarTech market place. His session titled 'Omnichannel Marketing Stack - Key Technologies Marketers Need to Know' provided a deeper understanding of the MarTech space with self-help tricks and mistakes to avoid.

Through an elaborate and insightful presentation, Durga explained how the MarTech marketplace was rapidly evolving and becoming increasingly complex. The key objective of his session was therefore to simplify the marketplace for end users. The session covered key emerging foundational capabilities that according him were really important if one was trying to build a truly omni-channel MarTech stack.

The session also covered how MarTech stacks were evolving and what technologies could be relevant for marketers as they make the transition to the next decade.

Delving into some of these foundational technologies, including Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), Omnichannel Content Platforms and Journey Orchestration Engines (JOEs), based on RSG's recently released research, he looked at the key use cases for these technologies as well as key vendors providing these services.

Durga explained how everyone was familiar with the four traditional categories - web content management, digital asset management, marketing automation and customer relationship management. “But the ones where we're seeing a lot of traction are customer data platforms, journey orchestration engines, the omnichannel operations hub, and the omnichannel content platform. Those are really the key foundational services, as we call them.”

As part of his presentation Durga elaborated on the need to find the right vendor and cautioned marketers not to fall into the trap of big names but explore the markets to find the best fit for themselves. Pointing out the big suite of cloud vendors, he explained, “There is Microsoft, there is Acoustic, which was IBM essentially, there is Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce. These are the vendors who provide solutions across multiple categories. Since they provide solutions across multiple MarTech categories, a lot of customers start believing that all MarTech needs can be solved by these vendors. But our research has shown otherwise. We have learned from our customers that it is not necessary that if a vendor is present on multiple categories, it is the best fit for your requirements. In fact, we have learned that a lot of times it is actually the worst fit.”

Durga, however, added that by this he was not saying that all was bad. Elaborating further he said, “There are use cases where you might want to go with those big suite vendors. So, if you do go with those suite vendors consider these two points. The first one is that consider individual products in a suite or a cloud, based on their own merit and not because they are part of a suite. So, just because you've implemented your licenses to Salesforce, don't just go around implementing Salesforce CDP or something like that. So, evaluate each of those products on their own merit and don't assume that all the components of a suite or a cloud are well integrated. Plan for their integration and additional effort and resources. Essentially, the key point here is that an Omnichannel platform doesn't exist by default. There is nothing called an end to end solution, you actually need to build an Omnichannel platform for all your requirements.”

In conclusion, Durga left his audience with these words of wisdom: “So this is really the summary. When you're thinking of an Omnichannel content, Omnichannel experience, you need to think of an enterprise wide scenario and not a departmental by scenario. So, what that means is that you need to have services that can power multiple channels and multiple departments and not just be channel specific. Be sceptical about vendors. Don't believe all your vendors claims, sometimes they might not be entirely true. Invest low, meaning invest in your foundation services keep the services above that light. Remember that these platforms are not Omnichannel in themselves - you need to actually build your own Omnichannel stacks. And finally, if there is one takeaway from the session, don't just implement salesforce because you have licences for it. There is a big market out there, look at different products, match them with your requirements and then select the right ones."

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