Multichannel marketing builds relationships by responding to expressed and implied customer needs through relevant, connected engagements to targeted audiences. Success requires data-driven insights into customer behaviors and interests, goals, and needs. It also requires knowing how channels operate most effectively — in isolation and in harmony — to deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time. To achieve growth objectives through multichannel engagement, marketing leaders need tools and talent to capitalize on their customer intelligence.
The multichannel marketing hub (MMH) is a core technology marketers use to achieve their multichannel marketing goals. Gartner’s 2018 Gartner Marketing Technology Survey found that 51% of respondents have fully deployed and are using a multichannel marketing hub. Another 26% are currently deploying one.
So What Is a Multichannel Marketing Hub Anyway?
Gartner defines the multichannel marketing hub as a technology that orchestrates a company’s communications with and offers to customer segments across multiple channels. These include websites, mobile, social, direct mail, call centers, paid media and email. MMH capabilities also may extend to integrating marketing offers/leads with sales for execution in both B2B and B2C environments.
How Can an MMH Help Me?
As marketers increasingly see effective multichannel marketing as synonymous with personalization, MMH vendors are focusing on capabilities that deliver relevant, contextualized customer experiences. They’re supporting the full scope of the customer journey with a more open, extensible approach to data that facilitates customer profile unification from multiple data sources. They’re also driving greater brand relevance by fortifying capabilities around machine learning, channel attribution and customer journey analytics, and the application of customer insights in real time (or near real time).
What Are Some Key Themes in This Year’s Magic Quadrant?
We identified a range of developments in the multichannel marketing hub landscape in the past year. Following are a selection:
- Customer data and profile management: This was a key vendor theme in last year’s Magic Quadrant, and it’s even more integral today. Marketers are demanding capabilities for data control, flexibility and analysis. In response, MMH vendors are enhancing their ability to unify, synchronize and reconcile customer data across multiple channels, devices and life cycle stages. In many cases, vendors are either explicitly or implicitly building customer data platforms (CDPs).
- Practical machine learning and artificial intelligence: Nearly every MMH vendor we evaluated for this year’s Magic Quadrant has machine learning and AI capabilities in some stage of development, designed to make customer insights more accessible and actionable. This year, vendors are emphasizing practical applications of machine learning, such as automatic campaign generation based on business goals and autonomous campaign optimization capabilities.
- Personalization capabilities: The application of AI and machine learning is designed to facilitate more seamless personalization across channels and touchpoints. MMH vendors continue to integrate historically stand-alone tools as native capabilities, enabling marketers to gather customer data, and tailor the content, products and offers accordingly.
How Can I Find Out More?
The 2019 Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs is now available for Gartner clients.
A bonus if you plan to be in San Diego on Monday, April 29 for Gartner’s Marketing Symposium/Xpo: my colleague Adam Sarner will be leading a Magic Quadrant Theater presentation on the 2019 Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs. He’ll be reviewing the results of this year’s MQ, mission-critical capabilities for this technology and best practices for finding a multichannel marketing hub to meet your needs. Be sure to check it out!