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Next Gen MarTech Stacks Enable Experience-led Growth

Walking away from Adobe Summit recently left me with two feelings. One was a desire to get home to decompress from the sensory smorgasbord that Las Vegas serves up on every street corner (hello person with the Boa Constrictor around their neck!) and in every false facade. The other had to do with Adobe’s strategy of buying and building a variety of products across the Adobe Experience Cloud. They are apparently well on their way to creating a singular platform with a variety of interoperable capabilities.

Beyond the economic benefits of this strategy, this evolution of their platform and other next gen MarTech stacks (like Salesforce Marketing Cloud), is that it should really enable the Experience-led Growth Motion that many organizations are dabbling with today.

 

What is Experience-led Growth?

You can think of Experience-led Growth as the B2B equivalent of what you might experience if you were the client of a luxury hotel brand. Your preferred exercise equipment, apparel, and shoes are waiting for you in your room when you check-in. Your preferred wine brand is stocked in your room. A surprise birthday cake is prepared for your daughter. A hotel car is waiting for you every time you step outside.

As it is with our hotel example, to enable an Experience-led Growth Motion, B2B organizations must orchestrate an impeccable symphony of data, integrated technology, content, and digital and in-person interactions in a seamless manner (across multiple business units).

The results for those who can (or who can come close) are predictably spectacular when it comes to customer retention and expansion, growth, and overall financial performance. Forrester has uncovered that companies that lead in customer experience outperform peers by nearly 80%. A Deloitte study found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable.

 

Next Gen MarTech Stacks Enable Experience-Led Growth

So, how is it exactly that these next gen MarTech stacks are being carefully curated to enable wow moments? In the case of Adobe (and seemingly Salesforce), it starts with data. There were many sessions, and references throughout general sessions and other breakouts, devoted to Adobe’s Real-Time Customer Data Platform (CDP). As CDPs do, this is where the super segmentation and foundation for hyper-personalization begins.

Adobe announced the introduction of the B2B version of their Adobe Journey Optimizer (AJO) capabilities to orchestrate engagement across buying groups. These capabilities, when paired with Adobe’s Marketo Engage platform, deliver highly personalized content to a variety of personas and buying roles at the precise moment each is engaged in a complex B2B buying journey. Add in Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) and their new AI Assistant, and the content that is delivered to every individual in a buying group becomes even more precise across every channel imaginable.

 

The (Several) Million Dollar Question for Organizations

Vendors like Adobe and Salesforce in building out these comprehensive platforms are driven by a really clear vision for how to enable an Experience-led Growth motion. And by economics.

Customers who wish to fully surprise and delight their customers must subscribe to the breadth of capabilities that exist across these platforms. What good are the engagement engines (AJO, Marketo, AEM, Target) without the data (Real-Time CDP) and analytics capabilities?

The other option is to embark on a really ambitious integration strategy across a variety of best of breed capabilities, essentially building your own stack. While that may have been viable in the past, we believe that it is increasingly fraught with integration challenges and functionality and cost trade-offs.

 

A Framework for Investment

Our advice to the clients we work with in building out MarTech stack strategies is as follows:

  1. Align your MarTech strategy to your marketing and business strategy. Today, this often translates into what kind of go-to-market motion do you use? An organization with a product-led growth strategy might look at a platform approach that includes Inflection.io. An organization with a more traditional Enterprise Sales Motion with a long sales cycle should look at Adobe and Salesforce as two leading candidates to build out around.
  2. Consider what you already own. Organizations who have invested for example in Adobe Marketo Engage and Adobe Experience Manager should strongly consider lighting up other Adobe Experience Cloud capabilities such as AJO, Real-Time CDP, and Adobe Analytics. Those who have invested in Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud Engagement capabilities should strongly consider Data Cloud for Marketing. Organizations should carefully consider trade-offs in cost, integration resources, and capabilities in a best of breed approach.
  3. Map your deployment roadmap to your marketing maturity roadmap. This requires close alignment between your marketing leaders, your RevOps or MOPs leaders, and your IT team. Lighting up the capabilities across these stacks has the potential to power an exceptional Experience-led Growth Motion. But it will also take time and careful planning, not only from a technology perspective but also a marketing strategy approach.
  4. Implement, Test, and Iterate. An Experience-led Growth motion requires careful planning, testing, measuring, analysis, and iteration (from a marketing strategy perspective and a technology usage one).

 

It’s a really exciting time to be a B2B marketer, with the advances in technology that have the potential to create exceptional Experience-led Growth motions. But it also requires careful planning, expectation setting at the executive level, significant investment and organizational alignment, and a culture of testing, measuring, and iterating. Want to learn more? Feel free to contact us.

Mark Emond

CEO, Founder and Executive Chair

Mark Emond has a tremendous passion for developing advanced, yet pragmatic Revenue Marketing strategies that deliver early results and long-term growth for our clients.

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