I’m biased. There. It’s out. I work with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (formerly ExactTarget) and the experiences and learnings from it colour my views.
The system you choose must be a Platform. Now I’m not talking PaaS (Platform-as-a-service) in the sense that you need to build your own from the scratch. I’m talking about a Platform in context of having a system where you can add on capabilities – from the same vendor or from new ones – without having to change your core system.
There are two fundamental reasons why your marketing system must be a platform:
1: You might start small – but you will scale
Like most companies, you might end up starting small. This is rational and perfectly sound decision. We’ll start our marketing venture with just migrating the weekly newsletter. Then when you’ve confirmed and are happy with the performance – you start thinking, what’s next?
Could it be social targeting? Online ads? SMS? More dynamic email capabilities? Welcome Flows? Other customer journeys?
Regardless of your plans or thoughts – you need a system that can either scale to that point or has the capability that allows you to build on it (or buy 3rd party systems) to achieve your goals.
2: The world changes – but faster than before
Some would argue that the world is stabilizing for marketers, while many others would argue the opposite with IoT and ever increasing amounts of data. With some social media disappearing, others emerge with decreased attention spans and increased demands from customers. The world is becoming ever more complex – and if your marketing system, isn’t a platform where new capabilities can be built, it stands zero chance of anticipating and preparing you for the future.