From Marketing Jumble to a Sustainable Ecosystem

Digital marketing is fundamentally quite simple. Its purpose is to prompt people to take a desired action or convey a message to them. In reality, it is more complex because marketing usually needs to be measured in some way or requires optimization.

As the scope of marketing grows and the desire for optimization increases, the number of services and platforms used may become quite large. For example:

  • to do Facebook marketing, one needs to use Meta Business Manager
  • for search advertising, the Google Ads platform is used
  • and for email marketing, one needs to use a specialized email marketing service. 

Almost every different advertising space requires its own marketing platform. The tools, services, and platforms used form a marketing jumble from which a sustainable and functional ecosystem can be refined.

From a MaaS perspective, the marketing ecosystem is essential. An ecosystem means that tools are managed systematically and can be used efficiently to support each other. This also means that marketing partners are part of the ecosystem.

Connecting ecosystem pieces

While compatibility and interoperability are important in the marketing ecosystem, not everything always needs to work directly with each other. In some cases, keeping a tool separate from the rest of the marketing ecosystem is justified. However, it must be ensured that the tool’s use aligns with other marketing efforts and that all essential information can be extracted from it manually if necessary.

It’s also quite common that data cannot be easily transferred from a marketing platform elsewhere for reporting purposes. Sometimes, it’s completely blocked, but some services offer integrations through tools like Zapier. Available integrations vary depending on the service, so these should always be verified on a case-by-case basis. Note! This is not a full-fledged integration, as Zapier itself relies on interfaces provided by different tools.

The best scenario is when a marketing platform offers integrations directly with the tools in use. This can greatly facilitate the flow of information, saving considerable amounts of time. However, these integrations don’t always work as expected (due to various limitations similar to Zapier), so it’s wise to properly check what the integrations can exactly do.

The last resort for moving data between tools is manual labor. Data can be exported from almost all marketing tools in spreadsheet format, which can then be incorporated into reporting using MS Excel or Google Sheets. This is more laborious and prone to errors, but sometimes it’s the only option.

A functional ecosystem in reporting

Once data has been moved through integrations or manual work, it must be brought into reporting. The clear advantage of a managed ecosystem is that when data mobility is ensured across all platforms, information can be effectively used for reporting.

Several tools, such as the popular Grafana and Looker Studio, are designed specifically for reporting. It makes sense to choose the one that involves the least hassle and allows for the most straightforward import of data collected from other tools.

Data can be imported into reports in various ways. Sometimes, the reporting platform can directly fetch data from the marketing platform, but this is not always possible. Connector tools have been created for this purpose, such as Supermetrics, which fetch data from different platforms and bring it into the reporting tool. Even this can fail for various reasons, and manual work becomes necessary again. Depending on the data to be reported, this may indeed be the best, albeit the only, solution.

Remember to invest in measurement

Measurement is a crucial part of the ecosystem for monitoring effectiveness and reporting. Measurement is also an integral part of the marketing ecosystem that must be in order. Data must be collected reliably and legally. Reliability concerns both technical functionality and ensuring that the metrics measured are the right ones.

Measuring the right things might be difficult if it’s unclear what one wants to know. Usually, the metrics are reasonably directly related to the business objectives. Leads, downloads, and other contacts are clear measurement targets, and their proper and functional measurement must be ensured.

Nowadays, all marketing platforms have their own tracking codes to collect visitor data from websites or applications. When using multiple platforms, the number of tracking codes increases, and managing them can become problematic. Various tag managers assist in their management, and they can also be used for efficient event tracking without needing to add code to websites for these purposes. Tools like Google, Matomo, and Adobe provide such solutions.

Better marketing with a functional ecosystem

The marketing ecosystem is a sum of many things. Marketing platforms and tools, reporting, and monitoring are certainly central, but the ecosystem also significantly emphasizes marketers like you and me. We are part of the machinery we build; its functionality is our responsibility.

In a functional ecosystem, data mobility is taken into account, efforts are made to avoid locking into certain services as much as possible (understandably tricky), and above all, continuous testing is done to make marketing even better.

Also read: 

B2B Marketing Tools 2024 – In This Way, We Use them Collectively
Digital Marketing Data Analytics – Tools and Tips

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