3 pillars sdl

3 Pillars to Business Growth: Integration, Co-operation and Communication Between People and Technologies

In a globalized economy, we work within highly distributed teams that include experts from various backgrounds, cultures, regions and languages, etc. They generally have one goal in common: to drive business growth. According to research from McKinsey, companies with diverse workforce perform better and drive innovation.

The parallel between workforce and technology

As a marketing leader, what are the key skills you look for when hiring for any position – from a junior position to higher up senior management even to executive? Do you agree that amongst other things the ability to work as a team player, communicate and integrate with your work environment is key to the success of the individual AND your team? Also, does the impact of these abilities increase the higher you climb in your career?

We have seen the positive impact of a diverse workforce on the growth of any economy. The US economy had a staggering boost due to the Internet / IT boom in the 1990s – primarily due to their policy to invest in the best talents from across the globe. These talents worked in tandem, jointly, co-creating some of the largest and most successful organizations on the planet, from Alphabet, Google and Apple, to Microsoft, Pepsi and Nike etc. This list goes on… It’s interesting to note that the more diverse the organization’s workforce, the better they did.

But is the same tried and tested method used in the marketing technology landscape?

The explosion of Marketing technology

Scott Brinker first started the mapping the Marketing Technology Landscape back in 2011 with approximately 150 technology platforms on the market – which today is at a staggering 7000+. Clearly there is tonnes of innovation taking place in this space, all to facilitate business growth of customers and to add value to the end consumer. This explosion in marketing technology wouldn’t have happened without a high demand for specialized solutions that solve business challenges.

So how do these diverse technologies drive business growth? 

1. Integrating with your existing environment 

A diverse workforce is of little value if they don’t integrate with each other well, and work together to tackle business challenges. An integrated team that’s close and tight working together not only helps solve your day to day problems but also helps boost productivity, add value by co-creating, bring innovative ideas and more. There is a sense of trust and reliability that the team is strong to handle the high demanding business challenges and uncertainty.

Would you hire somebody who says that he / she won’t integrate with your existing team and would work with only his set of resources? 

But isn’t that what actually happens with many of the biggest names in the marketing technology world? They are buying organizations, usually where these new technology products don’t integrate well or many times at all with the rest of their portfolio. The impact of this disjointed machinery over time is huge for customers using those solutions. Their business strategy, market expansion, new product launches, heck even a new website launch after spending millions, can be a nightmare because of a lack of properly working technology. 

2. Co-operation equals Interoperable

Most of these acquired technologies by tech giants are based on different technologies. That creates a set of challenges:

  • The first challenge is to integrate these different solutions built in different computer languages to even begin to interact with each other. So how interoperable can these technologies be made? It’s the equivalent to teaching your ex-pat colleague your native language to communicate.
  • The second challenge is that acquired solutions were built separately, specialized to tackle a particular problem. If these solutions are not flexible in their structure (architecture & platform design), it’s an uphill battle and years of investment just to make them interoperable and working together. Millions are spent and years of investment are often needed to re-architect these solutions.
  • The biggest challenge and often overlooked, tech companies are managed to make profits and increase their margins, plain simple. Any investment made, needs to pay back, ideally multiple times. Maybe it’s cheaper to let professional services solve the integration problem, rather than properly productize the integration. In this case the customer actually pays for the integration work, even though they may have operated under the (false) assumption that they bought an integrated suite.
3. Communication is key

A marketing technology that has a bi-directional communication channel with the rest of your technologies whether a Digital Asset Management, e-commerce system, CRM, PIM, marketing automation software, CMS, Translation Management etc. strengthens your teams ability to tackle any challenge in any situation. As a well-oiled marketing machinery acting as a tag team – technology and marketing experts can better serve your consumers, adding value to them and aiding to the business growth. 

As you prepare for 2020 and beyond, consider this – will your business be at the forefront of innovation, and your market, by the end of the next decade? Future looking businesses are already considering these three pillars as part of their growth strategies, while rethinking their technology acquisition strategies. At the same time they should continue to open their door to a global and diverse workforce. It’s about having the right people in place that can work as a team, and equipping them with the right interoperable technology. Is your business doing the same?