What an Integrated MarTech Strategy Really Means for B2C
Ways to Approach MarTech Integrations That Lead to an Optimized Digital Marketing Strategy
The customer journey is a fragmented experience and many paths lead back to your website–more if you’re a B2C company.
Integrations are important to B2C for one major reason: data. Anticipating visitors via those different channels and even optimizing on them may be something that you can still accomplish manually, but MarTech integrations become a necessity when leveraging data.
Here are some of the most common MarTech integrations used by B2C and the difference between a simple integration, what marketers can do without advanced technological skills, and a professional integration.
MarTech for B2C
Community Building Tools
Rather than pursuing individual leads with drip campaigns that can stretch out over long periods of time, B2C focus on building their brand for a crowd, and creating a community of loyal brand advocates.
To foster community building and give potential brand advocates a voice, social media integrations are one of the most common martech tools featured on B2C websites. I’m sure it would be difficult for you to recall a website that didn’t feature social icons somewhere on their page.
Simple Integration: Most CMS website platforms (Wordpress, Drupal) make it simple to integrate social media icons somewhere on your website. Unless there’s any particular theming you need, this is something that most non-technical website managers can do on their own.
Complex Integration: Some companies leverage their social media presence to play a louder role on their website, dedicating whole webpages to live-streams. These kinds of integrations can be more complicated, requiring web design and a developer who understands API.
While another baseline marketing tool across the board, email marketing integrations provide a level of automation which makes community building much easier than manual data analysis.
Simple Integration: Many email marketing software and website platforms provide tools that allow you to build out and embed webforms without needing any advanced coding skill. Information submitted through webforms on your website will be passed into your email marketing software.
Complex Integration: There are other integration points, aside from just your website, where you can introduce email marketing and a higher level of automation. For example, by integrating your email marketing software with your ERP, orders passed into your ERP can trigger a series of emails that establish a more personal and up-to-date level of communication with your customer.
Event Management Tools
Keeping your registrants updated, managing payment processing, and coordinating post-registration emails are tasks that event managing software handle comprehensively. Another common tactic for community building, we’ve seen a number of clients implement event management tools, integrating them with their website and other martech.
Simple Integration: Most event management software, like Eventbrite, allows you to create event pages with a familiar user interface (using tools that you’ve most likely seen on your CMS UI). You can also build webforms and then embed those on your website as well. This simple integration will redirect your user to your event page off-site, though.
Complex Integration: You can integrate your event management software with your website, featuring themed event pages or calendaring tools that allow your users to interact with your registration tool and stay within your website. You can also integrate your registration tool with other analytics or email marketing systems to handle data analysis and post-registration communication tasks.
One of the biggest differences between B2B and B2C is the volume of traffic that comes through your website. For B2C companies collecting data insights, this is good news.
Split Testing Software
One of the more popular tools for digital marketers, split testing software has reportedly led to some significant increases in conversion.
Note: You can read more about how and why split testing is effective in our post.
Simple Integration: Split testing is incredibly easy to implement. Most follow the same process that requires you to upload your selected webpage’s URL, and then you can make adjustments to individual elements through the software’s user interface. No new web design or coding is required.
Complex Integration: Split testing software is fairly easy to implement, and it isn’t often that more advanced integration work is required. However, a word of caution about split testing software. Because of the software’s build, running too many tests at once can harm your website’s performance. If you experience any such issues, you may want to consult a developer.
Having a website that’s equipped to handle erratic spikes in traffic–whether around a particular holiday or promotion–is something that needs to be prepared for beforehand. Otherwise, at the point that you’re receiving messages from users who can’t access your website, it’s really too late to do anything. Your only option is to wait for the traffic to subside, and hope those users return to your website. Website analytics and server tools can help prevent those issues ahead of time.
Server analytics are a good choice for both managing website traffic and monitoring security on your website. They regularly “ping” your website to make sure that it’s still up, immediately notifying you when it’s down. Your server is constantly producing data logs–server analytics interpret that data and analyze it, tracking patterns and pointing out issues.
Simple Integration: Integrating anything with your server requires a careful touch. You absolutely want to ensure that your server remains secure, and with implementing server analytics, the best course of action may be to go with a complex integration tactic and contact a developer.
Complex Integration: A developer who understands API and can provide ongoing support when your server analytics API needs to be updated is the best course of action for managing an integration this sensitive.
A Word of Caution About MarTech Integrations
Each marketer’s business and workflow will be unique, and their martech stack should reflect that. What this means is that sometimes the best decision is to choose not to integrate a specific tool, either because it’s unnecessary or the ROI doesn’t justify paying for the development work. When approaching your martech tools and deciding what to integrate, your best approach is to analyze your current workflow and goals, looking for holes that could be filled or problems that could be solved with the right integration.