The future of MarTechBy Catherine Frame on September 7, 2022
For retailers, customers’ expectations are higher than ever before. Providing customers with the convenience they now demand is a top priority for brands to thrive.
The good news is that the proliferation of data means that modern retailers have all the ingredients they need to execute perfect personalization strategies, right at their fingertips.
But there’s only one way to do this well – and that’s with a robust and well-considered MarTech stack, powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
Why AI? Because AI is the most powerful way to understand and act on the myriad of signals provided by each individual customer. When used correctly, AI can identify patterns and trends hidden in historical data to improve the customer experience.
More importantly, it can use that insight to predict a customer’s needs or behavior and enable the retailer to tweak the experience for both customer and commercial benefit.
However, there are very few retailers who have the ability to view, manage and harness their data in this way. Most retail or consumer businesses we meet are struggling with data silos, or systems of record that don’t talk to each other. This results in personalization being executed via a single channel – if at all.
Introducing AI into the marketing tech stack will change that.
What does the future hold for the MarTech stack?
For most retailers, the current approach to assembling a MarTech stack is clunky. It includes a complex web of point solutions – each with its own data set – usually linked to the channels that that piece of technology is aimed at.
While this is great for looking at individual channel performance, it risks creating silos in a business; especially from a data perspective. Transactional data, for example, shows little in isolation. Customers with a large basket value or frequent purchases might be identified as ideal targets, even if they have consistently high returns.
The solution is a connected approach that unites data from across the entire customer journey. By analyzing every customer data touch point together, retailers gain a complete view of behavior, this can be leveraged to increase both customer experience and commercial performance. It’s an approach that will become commonplace, not least because it offers a significant competitive advantage.
To achieve it, marketers need three core things:
- Data unity: All data in one place, so every channel and system can use every single datapoint, both first and third party.
- Predictive insight: Identifying patterns and trends that can inform decision making against key strategic objectives.
- Feedback loop: Ensuring continuous learning, the performance of each action being measured and systems are iterated and improved.
Or, to put it another way…
Centralized data + artificial intelligence + execution platform
1. Centralized Data – Snowflake
A powerful data warehouse, Snowflake enables users to organize data in a structure that is most meaningful to their business. It centralizes data, creating a repository from which all MarTech solutions can run – both now and in the future.
The Snowflake Data Marketplace also provides access to third-party data, allowing users to leverage insight from the wider market as well as their businesses to enhance MarTech performance.
2. AI platform – Peak
On Peak, users can rapidly deploy multiple AI applications from a single platform, eliminating the need to leverage a complex web of individual solutions. The platform can be used by both technical and non-technical teams, giving decision makers access to a single, predictive view of their customers.
Filters and segments are fully customizable, so users can leverage the platform and its apps to deliver on the objectives that matter most to their business, for example, identifying when customers are in-market to purchase, and the specific items they’re likely to buy.
3. Execution platform – Braze
Braze is a comprehensive customer engagement platform that powers relevant and memorable experiences between consumers and the brands they love. Context underpins every Braze interaction, helping brands foster human connection with consumers through interactive conversations across channels that deliver value quickly and continuously.
A best-in-class functionality and user experience, for a fraction of the cost and complexity involved in self-building or leveraging multiple systems. Not to mention the elimination of silos across your business and increased customer loyalty.
In this new age of changing customer expectations, the agility and personalization offered by a simplified MarTech stack will separate the winners from the losers.