“What’s integration?” Dude, it’s saved my life.
Here’s a little backstory: After my first job, which was comfy, paid okay, but took care of me for six years, I felt like it was time to move on. After all, I had 6 years under my belt, 5 of which in digital marketing and copywriting. For a few years, I was in love with email so I figured, “How hard could it be to get an email marketing job somewhere?”
It wasn’t hard. What was hard was what came after.
It turns out that there are a lot of people and companies who have no idea what they’re doing. Big surprise, huh? Whether they didn’t consult their teams to make sure the tools they use can communicate or just devalued marketing so much that they went for cheap programs that made other peoples’ jobs harder.
My first job as an Email Marketing Manager was a mess. They had a strange, proprietary Ecommerce System with developers in, I want to say, Bratislava or Bulgaria or somewhere whose time difference makes it impossible to get anything done. Not only that, their Email Service Provider was a system that had very few native integrations, was very developer-reliant (not good when they’re all the way in Slovakia), and their CRM was all done in spreadsheets, so nothing could be automated.
It became very clear incredibly quickly that the first thing any CRM pro needs is integration. And that goes beyond what you might assume.
How? Well, you got a bunch of things to look for:
If you’re in retail and ecommerce: Does the Retail POS (or, Point-of-Sale system) actually automatically send customer data back to us? Is there a Loyalty system that hooks up right into our CRM or ESP?
Does the ecommerce platform automatically sync product and customer data with your marketing systems?
Basic rule of thumb here: The less you need a developer, the better. They need to work on the website and functionality, apps, et cetera. Don’t make them waste their time on email or CRM marketing where they don’t absolutely have to.
If you know quite a bit about digital marketing already, you may be wondering:
“But Andrew, dude, don’t transactional emails need to be deployed by a developer?”
No. There are ESPs like Klaviyo that, if you’re ecomm store is synced up, will let you build post-purchase journeys that include all of that. And if it integrates with your shipping service, digital product delivery service, or you have a CRM that integrates that will let you do all of that, guess what?
You can do it all yourself.
So, don’t be fooled! Integration across all systems is the name of the game.
We’ll talk about it another time, but a strong CRM system that integrates with your ESP and other systems can be key in bringing this all together.