Blog post

The Need for the Digital Marketing Hub

By Adam Sarner | January 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Marketing needs a new approach. While customers view a company as one entity, and look for multiple, even synchronous interactions, many marketers continue to communicate one-way, company-to-customer, through disconnected channels. The challenge is compounded by digital’s explosive growth of access and reach. With billions of people and “things” now connected, there is an accelerating expectation for companies to be able to engage with customers in both digital and traditional means delivering a unified experience, or risk losing them to others who can.

Although the overall market for digital marketing hubs is still nascent, it is born out of a direct result of marketers persistent long time needs. Marketing cannot afford to manage a growing fragmentation of marketing tools, processes, data and technology, be in-tune with the changing needs of customers, while all the while having to prove that these multiple marketing efforts tie directly to results like conversion. Marketers want the characteristics of what the digital marketing hub represents. I will cover some of the big ones:

Flexibility: The digital marketing hub represents the ability to not only accommodate, weave in and reconcile new processes, approaches, and technology, but have the flexibility to dispose of them when something better has come along or when customers have moved on.

Profile Data: The ability to take data, from multiple domains, anonymous and known, including combining data from both first and third-party sources and make it available to them. The digital marketing hub represents marketing’s need for a consistent view of customers gathered and reconciled from multiple areas.

Real-Time Data Exchange: The hub represents the ability to share data, in real time with multiple applications, systems and processes. This means mobile marketing data needs to be available to share with other real-time oriented activities like social, the web, the kiosk and the call center or miss the opportunity to be actionable in the moment it needs to be in.

Common Analytics:  When mobile analytics are different from your web analytics, which are different from your e-mail analytics and distinct from your programmatic media metrics, marketers will never find the holy grail of attribution. The hub represents a common set of measurement rules for tracing the thread between investment and outcomes.

The Digital Marketing Hub seeks to answer marketer’s call for a coordination of complex, fragmented and expanding marketing activities around a common view of the customer. As a result, Gartner has published Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs. Gartner for Marketing Leaders can review. This week, Gartner For Marketing leaders features our published research around digital marketing hubs and discusses the rapidly evolving digital marketing landscape.

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