This is part two of a series of four articles on the Enterprise Marketing Platform. In my previous blog, I explained the importance—and even the inevitability—of an Enterprise Marketing Platform. In Part 2, I will explain what an Enterprise Marketing Platform (EMP) looks like from an architectural viewpoint and how it should be used.
Every enterprise needs to build out their version of a fully integrated EMP. Most organizations already have many if not most of the systems/software of an enterprise marketing platform in place, but they are rarely integrated from a technology, organizational and customer perspective. The result is little value delivered to the enterprise, despite sizeable investment.
The EMP architecture is the very foundation of our clients’ marketing technology strategy. It defines which problem the marketing organization needs to solve. This will take time, of course, and the EMP helps to determine in which order the problems should be solved. As a consequence, the EMP mandates the required investments of money, resources and talent.
More importantly, an EMP will drive the vendor/partner strategy, because it helps answering several key questions: which technologies are needed to fully flesh out an EMP? Which vendors are best-of-breed? Which vendors better integrate across an EMP? And, which vendors offer or are developing a complete EMP suite?
The EMP must be used as a Reference Architecture for Enterprise Marketing. It is a conceptual design, and it gives the principles and the best practices any digital experience software investment or project must adopt as guidelines.
The EMP Reference Architecture discussed here should be seen as a template on which a client specific architecture is based.
Here’s the Tahzoo EMP architecture, as we see it:
When we are talking about the data foundation of our architecture, we speak of two kinds of data: audience data and content data. We establish single centers of truth for each, as they require very different technologies (CRM versus DAM). Often, ownership will reside in different organizations within the enterprise. (These are the sorts of organizational silos my colleague Ian Truscott discussed in his recent blog: “Three Steps to Trust (Not Bust) Your Silos.”)
As you see, the EMP supports multiple audience data sources. Looking from the inside out these are existing customer databases. Looking from the outside-in these are the data generated from digital sources and third-party sources, like demographic, customer history and purchase data.
In terms of content assets, we distinguish several sources: digital assets, product information, textual content, which can be further divided into owned, earned and paid media. We store them in centralized content repositories, integrated by one enterprise-wide taxonomy. This enables universal brand compliance, consistency throughout all channels, less time and cost spent on maintaining different sources, higher quality of content and ultimately a faster time to market.
When you think about it, personalization is the bringing together of audience data and content data. It is how we determine who gets what content. The marriage of audience and content through data insight—connecting the right person with the right content—is what defines “contextual relevancy.” In the future, every EMP should incorporate software that enables learning from individual experiences.
Of course, that’s what Tahzoo does best. If you’d like to learn more about structuring your Enterprise Marketing Platform and what it can mean for your business, please reach out.
In part three of my series, I’ll discuss why content management is the heart of any EMP.