Good morning, Marketers, and “best-of-breed” takes me back.

Maybe only four or five years, but that’s a lifetime in marketing technology. Remember all the debates about marketing cloud vs. best-of-breed solutions? Remember the term coined for stack cobbled together from a series of more or less integrated tools: The Frankenstack?

I remember the late Mark Hurd, then CEO of Oracle, predicting that one of the big marketing clouds would end up dominating the space (guess which one). It became clear as time passed that the big vendor offerings would be at best hubs, something they seemed to acknowledge by developing app marketplaces for best-of-breed solutions, which played well with their own suite.

Honestly, who even talks about ‘marketing clouds” anymore? We have CX suites encompassing marketing, sales and service. See below for Real Story Group staking out a new battlefield: Platforms vs. Products. Let’s see how that looks four or five years from now. 

Kim Davis
Editorial Director

 
 
 
Operations
 

Is platforms vs. products replacing suites vs. best of breed?

The latest contribution from Real Story Group looks back at a time when one of the central debates in the marketing technology space was whether to go with one, more or less comprehensive marketing suite or to put together a stack from best-of-breed tools (with all the integration headaches as well as the increased flexibility that implies).

A different way of looking at the choice today is to consider the advantages and disadvantages of platforms vs. products. Those are two categories, of course, which overlap to some extent, so it might be better considered a spectrum rather than a choice of distinct alternatives. “Platforms are rich, extensible, and generally more expensive tool sets often favored by developers and systems integration firms,” writes Real Story Groups’ Tony Byrne. “Products promise a more ‘out of the box’ environment with less IT overhead, and therefore often appeal to businesspeople who want to quickly solve a problem or seize an opportunity. It turns out your stack needs both products and platforms…but which kind, and where?”

One thing to consider is whether your business case calls for shorter-term ROI versus long-term flexibility. “Products typically offer the former at the expense of the latter. Platforms offer the latter — but only if you resource them fully.”

Read more here.

 
Experience
 

How Samsung transformed their customer experience with a new support site search

During the pandemic, when many customers were working from home and using their cell phones more than usual, traffic to Samsung’s support site exploded. “Our goal has always been to meet Samsung customers where they are, and offer services that are most convenient for them,” said Scott Messina, Director of Search and Design Strategy at Samsung.

That meant some major changes to the support site user experience. The Samsung content team had created a vast library of articles, videos, FAQs and other assets. But they needed to be able to deliver these with an effective search tool. Additionally, search results themselves have to be intuitive and helpful.

They implemented Yext Support Answers, a tool introduced earlier this year by AI-powered search company Yext. The resulting improvement to the search experience, making it more ‘Google-like,’ encourage customers to go directly to Samsung for help. And this, in turn, leads to more interactions and data on Samsung’s site, which the company can use to further improve its experience. And it sets up the content team for success.

Read more here.

 

The importance of control groups in advertising

Companies in nearly every industry seek to use data to make better decisions. But the need for better data in decision-making is just half of the challenge. After decisions are made and plans are executed, marketers must also prove that revenue growth was directly the result of their marketing investments. Learn how and why to use control groups to measure the impact of your marketing.

Read more »

 
Data
 

How Discovery Plus markets complex streaming options to an international audience

Nothing makes the case for a CDP like a complex web of streaming TV channels, especially if it’s serving different types of content to users in different regions, with different interests and speaking different languages. That’s an audience which is going to generate, in aggregate, a huge volume of data, but it’s data that requires a myriad of different responses.

That’s the challenge facing Fredrik Salzedo, recently appointed Global Director Martech/CRM at Discovery Plus. The Discovery Channel itself and sibling channels like Animal Planet, TLC and the Food Network, are familiar in the U.S. In Europe, where Salzedo is based, the scope of Discovery Plus’s offerings has been much wider.

“The big difference between the U.S. and Europe is that, in the U.S., you have the old Discovery Networks Inc. channels like Discovery, like Animal Planet. Over in Europe we have the content coming from the U.S., but on top of that, how Discovery has grown in Europe has been by buying a lot of different companies.” In the Nordics especially, but other parts of Europe too, Discovery Plus has very strong local content. Sport is big too.”

Discovery Plus leverages an instance of CDP and marketing automation platform Blueshift to manage and market to their strikingly diverse audience. “You have to be clever when you do your campaigns or orchestration because you have a bunch of Spanish users — they don’t need to receive recommendations about some Finnish show,” Salzedo said. Blueshift models individual user profiles and on that basis delivers automated content recommendations as well as notifications to tell users that a new episode of their favorite show is available or their favorite soccer team is playing live.

Read more here.

 

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Quote of the day
 

Creative briefs: Marketoon of the Week

“Maybe this isn’t for everyone but I think giving your brand a personality for each social channel helps you keep your content focused for that specific platform and audience.” Anthony Yepez, Head of Social Media & Community, Bodybuilding.com