Gartner has published its Magic Quadrant Report on Digital Marketing Hubs. While the marketing technology industry has many different market assessments, this research very much reflects the emergence of “marketing clouds” as a category of software. While the Oracle Marketing Cloud was honored to be named a leader for the second straight year, this post will summarize the definition of digital marketing hubs and offer some ideas for how marketers think about constructing theirs with a variety of the technologies they use today.
In its report, Gartner defines a digital marketing hub this way:
“A digital marketing hub provides marketers and applications with standardized access to audience profile data, content, workflow elements, messaging and common analytic functions for orchestrating and optimizing multichannel campaigns, conversations, experiences, and data collection across online and offline channels, both manually and programmatically.”
One of the most compelling things about a digital marketing hub is that it accounts for the fact that most marketing technology and advertising technology environments are heterogeneous. In some cases, you might be leveraging technology from a vendor like Oracle for the foundational components of your digital marketing hub, but marketers can also pull in other data, application and media sources as needed to provide more consistent customer experiences.
As we’ve been building the Oracle Marketing Cloud during the past three years, we’ve been taking a modular, but integrated, strategy that helps marketers think about their proprietary digital marketing hubs in five discrete layers. As you think about all the technology you leverage today — and how you want to think about your hub in the future — this concept of the hub can be a good organizing mechanism.
1. Connected Data
Because marketers have a variety of data sources to contend with, a digital marketing hub must help them connect with the right data that matters. This includes the data marketers own — such as their CRM, automation or website data — but also the data they purchase, such as third-party audience data for advertising.
2. Actionable Audience Profile
You can connect all the data in the world, but to make it useful, it needs to be actionable. Marketers need actionable profiles for both anonymous channels — such as advertising — and known channels, such as email, mobile and social. The main difference is that while both profiles leverage relevant attributes, behaviors and preferences, anonymous targeting generally preserves key aspects of user privacy depending on the country.
3. Intelligent Orchestration
Potentially the heart of a digital marketing hub is the orchestration layer. Here, a marketing team has one canvas to orchestrate experiences across paid, owned and earned channels. With this orchestration canvas, a marketer should be able to utilize all the behavioral data at their disposal.
4. Digital Experience Management
This is about the moment of truth, and the mechanics and content required to engage customers properly. Here, content marketing collaboration and content management is critical. In addition, especially in consumer environment, eCommerce capabilities are key.
5. Testing & Optimization
Just because we can automate more marketing processes today doesn’t necessarily mean we’re always going to do a good job. This layer of the digital marketing hub helps marketers leverage analytics and testing to understand what messaging, products and services drive conversion and enhanced engagement.
The concept of a digital marketing hub is very compelling, and we’ll be following this topic throughout the year on the modern marketing blog, so stay tuned.