The Case for Open Marketing

How to clean up the CX mess created by disconnected or proprietary platforms

A standard marketing cloud today includes a content management system (CMS), a customer relationship manager (CRM), website personalization and much more. Unfortunately, these tools are often disconnected from one another. Data is siloed and, as a result, customers have disjointed experiences.

The solution is a digital experience platform (DXP) that integrates all the tools marketers need to do their jobs. When done right, all of the data from each of these systems flows smoothly. Marketers easily access the data they need to take informed actions, which leads to more personalized, relevant and seamless customer interactions.

But not all DXPs take the same approach.

Several legacy marketing automation vendors now claim to offer their own DXP. However, what they’re really offering are bundles of proprietary, single-point solutions that don’t integrate with homegrown technologies or tech outside of approved ecosystems. These so-called DXPs are really closed systems based on existing, outdated tech stacks.

The tools within these DXPs are still disconnected from one another, despite whatever claims the salespeople make. As a result, the data within each tool remains siloed and inaccessible to marketers. This creates a situation where brands have less choice, pay more, are forced to use vendor-approved solutions to perform even the most basic integrations and spend more time and effort experimenting with marketing campaigns.

At Acquia, we believe in a different approach: open marketing. More specifically, we believe in the open DXP.

An open DXP empowers marketers to integrate many different tools from many different vendors into one unified stack. With an open DXP, companies don’t need to buy an expensive package or pay a premium for vendor-locked advanced capabilities. Marketers can manage all the contacts, assets and campaigns they want or need in a single platform. And because the open DXP offers more flexibility with data, restrictions around segmentation, profiles, campaigns and personalization are eliminated.

Let’s look at the three core benefits of an open DXP approach:

1. Your strategy will be future-proofed

Who saw iPhones coming? Or Alexa? Or Instagram?

Brands win by moving quickly on new trends, responding to subtle shifts in consumer behavior and meeting their consumers where they are and where they’re going next. Today’s best brands can spin up new approaches that take advantage of voice assistants, AI or other ways consumers learn, shop and play. Meanwhile, those that are slow to adapt quickly fall behind their competitors.

Open marketing enables brands to adapt to new and nascent channels. When the next leap in consumer technology emerges, marketers with an open DXP will be better prepared to capitalize on the opportunity.

2. Your marketing toolkit can grow alongside your business

As companies grow from scrappy startups to corporations serving millions of customers, their marketing needs change. A small startup might not need an extensive CRM system right away. A large company might need to switch to a more robust email marketing tool. Some companies might develop home-grown, in-house tools specific to their industry, company or customer needs.

An open marketing approach allows companies to integrate the tools they need, when they need them, without overpaying for prescribed mega-bundles. This is because an open DXP is built as an API-first solution, meaning that it is intrinsically open to connecting to additional technologies. Brands can assemble the tech stack that suits them best when and from wherever they want, and integrate new tools or soutions as their businesses expand.

3. Marketers will be more agile

Tech-savvy marketers have picked up a thing or two from software developers who have eschewed a long-term project approach in favor of agile project-based sprints that can be iterated. Instead of creating massive marketing plans, agile marketers now execute smaller, modular campaigns, learn quickly and iterate the next campaign in rapid succession.

With an open marketing approach, marketers can deploy campaigns, understand customer responses, optimize and iterate rapidly across all elements of the marketing stack. No one gets stuck in messy legacy systems, code or solution siloes. Marketers can do what matters most— create engaging experiences and bring value to the customer.

An open future

Making the switch to an open DXP and an open-marketing philosophy may seem intimidating, but there are significant benefits to brands that prioritize innovation. Consider auto enthusiasts who demand the best possible performance for their car. They don’t buy parts just for the brand name, they shop across vendors to find the best parts for what they need. So why should marketers have to settle for one vendor for all the different capabilities they need? Just like cars, the ultimate metric in technology is performance, and today’s leading companies are pulling ahead with the help of open marketing.

As Acquia’s CMO, Lynne Capozzi oversees all global marketing functions including digital marketing, demand generation, operations, regional and field marketing, customer and partner marketing, events, vertical strategy, analyst relations, content and corporate communications. Lynne is one of Acquia’s boomerang stories, first serving as CMO in 2009, leaving in 2011 to pursue nonprofit work full-time, and returning in 2016 to lead the marketing organization into its next stage of growth.