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Why Tech Stack Integration Matters

And how identity resolution makes it easier

If you’re a marketer and you’re trying to leverage customer data (i.e. if you’re a marketer and you’re alive), you’re probably no stranger to tech stack complexity.

You need a broad range of tools, apps, systems, and platforms to address a customer journey spread over more touch points, channels, and devices than ever.

But as more businesses charge towards people-based marketing, it’s becoming clearer that the tech stack you choose doesn’t matter nearly as much as how you can use the data inside it.

That’s why tech stack integration matters.

To deliver true one-to-one personalized experiences to every customer and prospect, your tech stack integration needs to support two strategic capabilities:

Robust, integrated analytics across every stage of every customer journey

The strategic value of identity-led tech stack integration for…

  • Heads of digital marketing
  • Martech strategists
  • Analytics lead
  • Ecommerce leads

Heads of Digital Marketing

You need to:


Optimize your marketing budget efficiency

Attract and retain customers

Drive revenue

But that’s hard with tech stack disarray because:


It’s hard to measure ROI by channel

It’s hard to run people-based campaigns at scale and across channels

Multiple technologies require multiple input feeds to deliver the right audience to the right technology platform

Tech stack integration makes that easier because:


You can experiment faster and more creatively

You can measure more broadly and more effectively

You can optimize your work streams and save the cost of managing your tech

Martech strategists

You need to:


Prove that your tech stack vision works

Streamline data management and automate administrative work

Reduce waste and decommission legacy systems

Plug and play to support every part of the organization as business needs change

But that’s hard with tech stack disarray because:


You’re too busy working around data silos and inefficiencies to resolve them

IT is too busy to build custom point-to-point integrations between systems

It’s too time-consuming to stand up new technologies as your business needs change

Tech stack integration makes that easier because:


You can unlock the full potential of your tech stack investments

You can respond nimbly to changing requirements with plug-and-play technologies

You can meet the needs of multiple internal stakeholders

Analytics lead

You need to:


Report campaign success per channel

Optimize performance of future targeted advertising

Gain a single view of the customer journey to report accurate analytics

Build single-channel measurement and refine multitouch attribution models

But that’s hard with tech stack disarray because:


It’s challenging to get data back from advertising platforms that you can connect to a single consumer

Many technologies have their own proprietary reporting that obscures the actual results

Campaigns often change quickly and you can’t move fast enough to reach the optimal audience

Tech stack integration makes that easier because:


You can seamlessly pull data bi-directionally from your tech stack partners

You can move closer to closed-loop measurement

You can make agile marketing decisions to influence in-flight and future campaigns

Ecommerce leads

You need to:


Deliver outstanding, personalized web experiences

Optimize on-site customer journeys

Increase traffic, grow conversions, and reduce cart abandonment

But that’s hard with tech stack disarray because:


You can’t see the real consumers behind anonymous on-site user behaviors

People often visit your site multiple times before converting

Tech stack integration makes that easier because:


You can reconcile anonymous browsing behavior (from your site analytics or ecommerce platform) with the rich customer data elsewhere in your stack to accurately see customer journeys

You can inform your site decisioning with first-, second- and third-party data

So how do you integrate your tech stack?

Strategic tech stack integration comes in many forms for marketers. It depends on the maturity of your marketing activities and the ambition of your goals.

1

Manual Reconciliation

The most basic kind of integration is when a group of marketers manually merge spreadsheets, poring over them looking for data quality issues. For the longest time, this was how the CMO’s annual report came together, but it’s inefficient and labor-intensive.

2

Integration tools

A more streamlined (but still labor-intensive) approach involves a single marketer writing simple if this, then that workflows within web-based integration software that collects and sends data between two or more cloud-based systems.

3

Partner-led

Then there’s traditional integration. This could involve IT resolving more substantial technology silos with API-based manual workarounds for cloud services. But it often also includes an integration partner providing professional services to support big on-premises integration between multiple systems of record and data warehouses.

These three approaches are all valid, proven ways to integrate your tech stack. But if you zoom out, the whole point of integrating a martech stack is to get a more well-rounded view of your customers without over-burdening internal resources in the process.

It’s about reconciling multiple identities from multiple platforms and partners so you can market to people based on a complete view of them.

So integration is less about the tech—it’s about identity.

Using identity resolution to drive tech stack integration

Identity resolution gives you the ability to integrate your tech stack in a people-based way—without hours of overtime from the marketing team or months of legwork from IT.

It can do that because it isn’t trying to set up all the data transformations and workflows you’d need in a heavy-duty integration. It’s reconciling the many identifiers for people scattered across your system.

Identity resolution is the single most important facet of people-based marketing. Find out why identity resolution matters to every marketer.

The result is that marketers can see who they’re talking to in a privacy-conscious way across every device, browser, touch point, and system and market to them based on who they are, what they like, and how they’ve behaved in the past.

It’s the rocket fuel for people-based marketing.

LiveRamp’s platform has three characteristics for marketers looking to integrate their tech stack:

1. It’s simple


LiveRamp offers an external, self-service platform that anyone can use.

2. It’s versatile


Identity resolution can integrate, connect, and add value to every part of your tech stack environment.

3. It integrates faster


Our platform connects with over 500 technology companies within the existing martech ecosystem, so there’s no waiting around for IT to build point-to-point integrations.

Five important outcomes:

Why identity resolution is a smart way to integrate

1

Broaden and synchronize your data sets and advertising partner relationships

The first obstacle to executing more people-based marketing is simply making your first-party data available to the right platforms and partners.

LiveRamp’s identity resolution technology and our integrations with over 500 platform partners makes internal data instantly actionable. Our Connect platform is an external, self-service bridge to which marketers can push disparate online (and onboarded offline) datasets.

2

Improve ad effectiveness

This is the really powerful part. Once your online and offline first-party data (from CRM systems, loyalty programs, POS systems etc.) is uploaded through Connect, you can start reconciling it against the anonymous identifiers (like cookies and mobile IDs) flowing in from all your digital touchpoints.

By resolving your first-party data with anonymous digital engagement and existing customer profiles or identities, your digital advertising effectively becomes more people-based. You can craft more personalized ads based on de-identified attributes at an optimal cadence.

Better yet, you can actively suppress ads to avoid wasted media spend.

3

Create a near-real time measurement feedback loop

Once you’re running more people-based digital advertising, you can start measuring effectiveness down to individual transactions. By tying campaign exposure data back to incoming purchase data—either on-site or in-store—you can see which customers converted after viewing which ads. You can do this for both individual campaigns and over time across different campaigns.

4

Perform people-based incrementality testing

People-based incrementality testing can help uncover the most effective combination of content, frequency, and channel in your digital advertising.

It starts by taking two large groups of resolved customer identities and running slightly different campaigns between them to measure the effectiveness of a specific element.

So if you send one group an email coupon and run banner ads, do they convincingly outperform a group that only received the email coupon? People-based incrementality testing is a highly accurate way to determine the impact of specific marketing activities.

You aren’t just seeing the performance of the ad in the context of multiple identifiers that may or may not have been resolved, you’re seeing how real people reacted.

5

Increase data lake transparency

One advanced use of identity resolution is to bring its ability to integrate different datasets to the place you need it most—a data lake. This could be stored internally or externally.

Here, you use identity resolution to bring those capabilities to where your data lives. That way, as you’re running various tests, you can rest assured that you’re recognizing the same people across channels in a privacy-conscious way.

Your data scientists can trust the data they’re using, and crucially, they don’t have to spend 80% of their time trying to build and manage the integrations or data feeds themselves. They don’t even need IT’s help.

People-based marketing is the new industry standard

The most effective marketers know they need to be activating based on a realistic, combined view of the people they’re marketing to.

But they also know they can’t spend months waiting for IT to connect all their data for them. And they can’t scale the all-too-manual approaches that hardworking marketers adopt when they’re taking matters into their own hands.

Identity resolution makes people-based marketing possible, without exhausting your resources.

Once people-based marketing is possible, what comes next?

Check out some sweet, specific identity resolution use cases to start having better, people-based conversations with your customers and prospects.