The season of giving is upon us again! You’re dusting off the decorations, finding the perfect ugly sweater and rekindling your love of mulled wine. You’re also head-down in meetings, approving copy, making lists (dare I say, “checking them twice”?), and doing everything you can to deliver a seamless holiday experience for your audience.
You’re nothing short of a modern-day Kris Kringle, and we salute you.
Why Legacy Marketing Clouds Make Terrible Gifts
Free milk and cookies would be nice, but let’s start thinking about your ideal holiday wish list as a thriving marketing professional. What would it include?
Higher engagement rates, larger budget, more recognition? We agree. But more importantly, let’s think about what should be left off the list—specifically when it comes to your martech stack.
A few things might come to mind, but here are four reasons that legacy marketing clouds should be left off your holiday wish list this year.
1. A lack of data flexibility gives no one peace on earth
According to Forrester, only 5% of all consumers say that email offerings are well-timed to their current needs or interests. This isn’t due to your lack of vision; in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s due to your tools not being flexible enough to keep up with your vision. If it takes you hours or even days to figure out that someone was on your website, you’re already starting a lap behind.
Legacy marketing clouds want you to think that data management is meant to be a burden. That it’s normal to need help from engineers to build an audience, or that setting up a campaign is meant to take weeks on end. Their own shortcomings are being passed onto you as inevitabilities and you’re left to make it all work.
Let’s look at what else is out there.
Modern marketing automation platforms were built to correct these inevitabilities, starting with easier data management. Instead of having web/email/mobile data spread across different sources, modern platforms break down these data silos to centralize everything under one view. This allows anyone (regardless of role or technical prowess) to bring your engagement strategy to life.
Here’s what a flexible platform looks like:
- An intuitive UI that caters to any technical skill-level. Even if you prefer to code emails from scratch, you shouldn’t need an engineering degree to personalize messaging. Modern platforms are intuitive to the point that your team can do things like build emails, setup campaigns and segment audiences without needing technical resources.
- More sophisticated messaging personalization. According to SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging—that’s a large slice of the pie. These modern platforms let marketers deepen existing customer relationships by giving them access to all zero-party and first-party customer data to personalize content in real time.
- A robust partner ecosystem. One tool can’t solve all your problems, that’s why it’s called a “tech stack.” Modern platforms have built out partner ecosystems to make sharing data between your CDP or analytics tool just one API call away.
“There’s a lot to like with Iterable. Their workflow builder is VERY intuitive, basically allowing you to customize your user journey however you want […] After working with several other platforms, I’ve found that Iterable’s workflows are by far the best when it comes to ease of use and customization.”
2. Customer Support is not so holly-jolly at best, nonexistent at worst
Waiting for Santa is fun, waiting to hear back from customer support? Not so much. Stellar customer support is something that every marketer should feel entitled to expect from a martech provider. You’re not buying a toy like a yo-yo; you’re investing in a partnership to sit at the core of your customer engagement strategy.
Issues will arise, and you’ll need answers. So where do you turn?
Let’s take a look at what bad customer support looks like:
- Take a ticket. If you feel like you’re at the DMV, it’s not a great start.
- FAQ redirect. A term I made up for when you find yourself taken to a page called “General Resource Center.” Bonus points if they’re not able to actually address your specific question.
- 24-48 hours. 48 hours? That’s a long time to wait just to figure out how long you’ll ACTUALLY have to wait!
For better or worse (it’s worse), legacy marketing clouds think that support is a convenience, not a necessity.
Now let’s take a look at what kind of support a) exists and b) should become your new standard:
- Multiple points of contact. Email, video call, Slack, chatbot, hologram (kidding, maybe one day!). Pick your favorites, and a tool with good customer support should be able to accommodate.
- Quick response time. Imagine a world where all time zones are supported and an average response time is measured in seconds, not days. Now, what if I told you that this world exists today?
- “Hi, Chris.” Chris isn’t an acronym; they’re a dedicated Customer Success Manager just for your company who you’ve spoken with many times. Chris knows your business inside-and-out and can get you answers to anything you need.
“Ever email a support team for help only to get a generic response that you already Googled yourself? Yeah, that doesn’t happen on Iterable. All their support team members have a stronger level of technical proficiency […] Our dedicated customer success rep is also a rockstar who has helped give us tons of insight on how to build certain features to make our email experience seamless.”
3. Their inability to scale makes it impossible to let it grow, let it grow, let it grow
Modern platforms believe that growth should be a goal, not a deterrent. As you grow your database, the quantity of your messaging will have to increase without compromising the quality of your content. You deserve to have a tool that will deliver consistent experiences year-over-year without you having to worry about outgrowing its capabilities.
Modern scale was built with this kind of longevity in mind. These modern platforms built higher ceilings to store and pass data so that you won’t outgrow them, and let you leverage any data point you collect to inform personalized outreach.
What results is a solution that will be as effective in engaging 10,000 customers as it is engaging 10 million customers. You won’t notice any slow-downs in performance, or any need to limit yourself from what’s possible.
In a world where 73% of consumers say that experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties, modern scale is what allows you to deliver personal, unique brand experiences that remain consistent as you grow.
“Thanks to the ability to send messages at scale, we reach more buyers at the same time, creating higher profits compared to when we did not use Iterable.”
4. They cost two arms, a leg and a partridge in a pear tree
If you’ve ever had to defend your marketing spend in front of a higher-up, you probably know this better than anyone. It’s not easy having to fight for every dollar or pound, and it’s not made easier when a service you’re already paying for continues to squeeze your wallet.
Legacy marketing clouds are expensive because they can be. Hard stop. Let’s look at a few reasons why they think they can get away with it:
- Vendor lock-in. Global vendors figured out a long time ago that once they cross a threshold of dependency, your company falls at the mercy of their services. They are quite literally willing to gamble that any bad experience you have with them will never outweigh the perceived cost of migrating to a better alternative.
- Hidden costs. If you find yourself paying for things like API calls, users entering journeys or licensing fees, then it might be time to reevaluate things. That’s like paying for an all-you-can-eat buffet just to get a plate and a chance to buy the food for an extra cost.
If these sound all too familiar, you’re not alone. But you have more power than you realize, and the fact of the matter is that legacy marketing clouds can no longer get away with these exorbitant pricing structures. So find yourself an alternative that understands what you need to be successful, then works with you to flexibly price its services to fit those needs.
“Iterable has truly been a revolutionary product at a fair price. We use it for a variety of clients from political to corporate to media and have had great success.”
So What Next?
Now that you know what to leave off your wish list, you’re one step closer to having a successful holiday season. Even if now isn’t the best time to make a change, it’s never too early to start planning for next year.
So before you wrap up your work and lose yourself in some festive movies, think about what you can do to ensure that next year brings more joy to your world.
To learn why Iterable was named a Leader in Marketing Automation, rated 4 stars or higher by 93% of users, download the G2 GridⓇ Report for Marketing Automation today.