Conventional wisdom says that information is power. If that’s true, then integration of information systems, particularly information which can be used by marketing to help sell more products and services, is very powerful indeed!
Consider a typical scenario where a technology company has a cloud-based software offering. This company probably uses a CRM system like Saleforce.com, a marketing automation system like Marketo, a website, and other applications used by the company. Some of the information from these systems is readily available for marketing’s use, but not all of it.
For example, marketing may be responsible for driving adoption of the cloud product using trials, but they may not have visibility into the evaluation process. Or perhaps marketing is responsible for helping to increase subscription renewal rates, but they have no visibility into the order management system, which holds the customer renewal information.
When you consider a 5-10% increase in evaluation-to-purchase conversions, or a 5-10% increase in renewals, the bottom line impact is significant. However, marketing will have difficult time improving these business processes without the information stored in other apps, and app integration is the only way to combine disparate data into a holistic view of a business process that marketing can act upon.
Good News for Savvy Marketing Execs
Luckily many cloud-based software products have application program interfaces (APIs) which all external apps to share information and processes. For example, Marketo enables information to be written to, or gathered from, external applications. This means that if a company’s cloud-based product evaluations can be shared via its API, marketing can create a Marketo Webhook to query the information about a lead’s progress with their evaluation, and take action on it.
Consider a scenario where the evaluation steps of cloud software looks like this:
- Request 30-day trial
- Log into system
- Configure trial
- Upload data to trial (if applicable)
- Run tests
- Create reports
If the cloud-based app is integrated with the company’s marketing automation system, the marketing automation system could interact with the person during their evaluation in the following ways:
- (24 hours after step #1) Send a reminder to log into the trial system if they have not done so
- (24 hours after step #2) Ask if they would like to view learning materials and videos that help configure the system
- (24 hours after step #3) Ask if they would like help uploading data into the system.
- (1 week after step #4) Ask if they would like to talk with a company representative about the system.
- (48 hours after #5) Ask how the tests went. Perhaps a survey. Ask if they would like to talk with anyone about the Reporting functionality.
Hooking Up with Hot Apps
Marketers might not consider using APIs to integrate their apps, but the level of difficulty is not as great as you might expect. Digital Pi has helped many companies connect their cloud-app-offering, data-enrichment, business intelligence, CRM, and other systems, within just days or weeks.
In the following weeks, our staff will share a variety of integration use cases in our blog, so stay tuned. Find out how you can have more information power at your disposal, so marketing can tackle tough organizational goals and impact the bottom line.