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PERSPECTIVE
8 Complexities that Impact Digital Platform Selection

Does selecting your digital platform seem like Mission Impossible to you? You are not alone!

Digital platforms enable marketers to accomplish their goals. A marketer’s digital platform – including websites, online communities, marketing/email automation, CRM and social media – drives the acquisition and engagement of customers. Newest technologies have begun seeking out consumers.

Both marketers and technologists see platform selection as a daunting task. Indeed, selecting an appropriate digital platform that fulfills marketing needs is becoming exceedingly complex.

Deeply frustrated at having lost too much time and money in finding the right platform, a new customer recently approached us. When asked about what went wrong, he replied with a withdrawn voice, “Do you have all day for me to tell you? I don’t have that long, because I’m going to lose my job if we don’t get this done soon.”I have heard this many times before…

The complexity of selection is driven by eight key factors:

  • Marketing needs are becoming sophisticated

Prospects and customers are engaging online with organizations in new ways – Facebook, Twitter, and online communities. They are talking about brands with passion and heated sentiment. Marketers, thus, need to engage with customers where they are.

Competition is intense. It is difficult for marketers to get customers’ attention. When they do get some attention, the channels that drive conversation need to be on their game. Knowing your customers is the key to successful interactions.

Marketers are, therefore, asking more of their digital technology. They want their Pintos to do the job of a Ferrari before all is lost!

  • Marketers think they only need a CMS

Quite often, decision makers think an all –in- oneall-inclusive CMS platform will answer all their digital needs. However, rarely it is so. A platform that can run your website, community, social media and lead gen programs may need several cohesive products under the hood to enable marketing goals.

  • Digital systems are getting commoditized

Digital technology is becoming commoditized. Leading contemporary Content Management Systems offer similar capability. It is hard to differentiate based on features alone.

  • Proliferation of products

Under one digital platform in an organization you may find a Content Management System, Digital Asset Management system, Media Content Delivery technologies, Search, Analytics, eCommerce, Marketing Automation and CRM. New products are being introduced continuously. The last few years saw communities and social tools becoming popular.

  • Many, many options – In 2010 alone, there were several thousand CMS vendors in the market. Making the right pick has become a challenge amidst a variety of options
  • Emerging technology vendors are unproven – Vendors in areas like social media are relatively new and unproven. This makes selection risky.
  • Keeping up with the pace of progress – Progress is occurring at a frantic pace. Recently customer insight and social media have revolutionized the digital medium. The digital space is transforming at a faster pace and it is difficult to keep up with all the advancements.
  • Disconnect between Marketing and IT – Marketing people complain that IT does not understand their requirements.   However, IT folks feel marketers are an ignorant lot. This divide poses a barrier to selecting the appropriate platform

The impact of these complexities is profound. Projects take much longer… Marketing initiatives which heavily rely on digital technologies get delayed, and ultimately, the organization pays the price of not acquiring or engaging customers.

In the recent webinar, Best Practices in Selecting a Digital Platform, we have discussed these issues and various best practices in selecting a Digital Platform.

Click here to download the on-demand webinar now.

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