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Digital + Business: The Case for Data Integration

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In March, the team at Virtual Logistics attended Dx3 Canada 2013. The event was held in Toronto and focused on digital retailing, marketing and advertising. You can read about our experience as first time exhibitors here. Recently, Moveable Online released a very interesting report on Canadian Digital Business in response to their experience at Dx3, as well as that of other attendees. The report makes an interesting case for integration in the digital space, specifically between marketing efforts and social media.

The report focused on 20 important questions that all businesses should consider when focusing on digital. The questions ranged in topic from mobile presence to customer engagement and monitoring.

For the marketing team here at VL, there were some key takeaways in the report that really cemented the need for integration when focusing on digital.

Firstly, respondents were asked:  of those that were unsatisfied with their CMS system which areas cause the biggest challenges. For the majority of respondents in fact50% said that lack of integration with social media was one of the major pain points when using their current CMS.

As we have told many clients, and potential clients, social media integration should be a key driver in any system that you choose.  Social media is part of every company’s toolkit no matter if social means only having a company Facebook or LinkedIn page or if it means you incorporate every social media platform within your business including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine and many more. In a previous blog article we talked about social media integration possibilities using Liaison’s ECS and Delta and re-reading that article and thinking about the digital space got me thinking that the new VL Cloud Marketing Automation Service could also have an impact on social media integration.  How you ask?

1) Using Cloud Marketing Automation Integration and the customer order information that is sent up from the shopping cart to HubSpot or Infusionsoft, targeted tweets, Facebook posts, Vine videos, or suggested pins could be sent to specific lists of clients or potential customers.

2) Currently, there are social media monitoring tools like HootSuite that can help businesses monitor all their social feeds. Imagine the power of such monitoring tools if you could incorporate actual information about your customers in your monitoring.

A second takeaway for the VL marketing team was the response to the question of whether or not organizations have an online business strategy in place. Of the respondents over one-quarter stated that they have no strategy to engage clients online, which got me thinking that in the e-commerce/web store or digital space a service like Marketing Automation Integration can become a strategic part of a robust and flexible online business strategy because it allows the web store owner take advantage of not only their web store platform features but also the features of their marketing automation software. This means that their web store platform, marketing software, social media elements and customer information are all integrated.

While having parts of a strategy in place, like marketing automation integration and social media integration are important, e-commerce business owners still have to understand the importance of an overall data and business strategy:

1) Having a data and business strategy in place that incorporates client nurturing and engagement allows for increased conversion rates and sales

2) A clear and defined strategy allows the right product to get to the right customer at the right time which decreases manual errors and creates happy, returning customers.

3) A complete business and data strategy allows everyone in the organization to understand how the individual data elements work together and how the different business elements communicate with one another- a key to any data strategy AND marketing automation.

Based on the report and these primary takeaways there truly is a case in the e-commerce space for integration. In fact, it could be the key to creating that one to one relationship that is becoming more and more important as e-commerce continues to grow.

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