The volume and complexity of product information is increasing, but strategies to cope with this 'Big Data' aren't evolving with it. Too many marketing departments use segmented functions where separate teams work in silos, with different processes and tech - as we’ve mentioned previously, it’s not abnormal for some personnel to use multiple software solutions routinely.
In contrast, forward-thinking business leaders are turning to a single, integrated platform that connects your data in productive, creative and efficient ways that gives employees control of their content and data.
While each new piece of martech might address a specific issue, the proliferation of these software solutions is causing more problems than it solves.
Sharing product data and content across teams and departments is essential for numerous tasks, from producing creative content to fact-checking and even empowering the sales team to deliver the right information to their lead at the right time. However, data sharing across multiple platforms using non-standard processes can make this a time-consuming chore.
Good data hygiene is also complicated by running multiple martech platforms. Data scrubbing and reduplication is reported as a major problem for 49% of marketing automation platforms, with major issues in vital areas like privacy and data leakage.
These aren't even hidden problems. With all of this martech in hand, only nine percent of marketers say they have all the tools they need, and fully utilize what they have. Something must change.
An alternative to silos
The answer is to start think collaboratively, and to aim for full integration of cobbled systems into a single, holistic marketing platform. This not only eliminates duplication of data, process and work, but also creates an opportunity to work more creatively and efficiently. When people can share quickly, with fewer obstacles, they collaborate more often.
Platforms utilizing semantic networks also connect related data, automatically displaying contextual information about related content or statistics that can inform decisions in all departments. A product description, for example, could be connected to the product data, ensuring writers and sales staff are accurate in their work. It also gives all departments the chance to assist their colleagues, whether they spot the chance to enhance a product description with new information or see how a new social media campaign correlates with the latest sales figures.
Specific advantages of integration
This isn't just about big picture issues like simplifying systems, or a change in strategic thinking. An integrated approach, driven by relationships and the flexibility of a semantic graph-driven database, brings a number of specific, measurable benefits:
It’s easier to search for data and assets, which increases efficiency and saves time.
Your data is more accurate and more accessible, reducing errors.
You can manage the whole digital experience within the one system, ensuring brand consistency across multiple teams, campaigns and departments.
Relational linkages from the semantic network empower creative collaboration across teams and departments, maximizing your data and content usage and increasing its value.
Seeing the data in context allows greater control of macro strategy, and oversight of accountability for each project and piece of content.
For more information about how to implement integrated marketing, and why that means putting content first, read our whitepaper A Modern Approach to Marketing Product Information.