What is a marketing platform?
A marketing platform is the online software or solution that help digital marketers manage their digital marketing activities. The ultimate goal of any marketing platform is to help your brand stay connected with your customers and prospects so you can deliver the best experiences at every touchpoint.Getting Started
Types of marketing solutions:
There are different types of marketing solutions available for different purposes. Some of the most common marketing activities facilitated by marketing solutions include:
- Sending emails
- Publishing post on social media
- Hosting webinars
- Sending surveys
- Measuring website performance
- Managing marketing data
Many marketing solutions are targeted towards one specific type of marketing or marketing activity, often called standalone or individual marketing solutions. Each solution is generally offered by a different vendor, which makes integrating all the solutions your team needs challenging or even impossible.
Challenges with standalone or individual solutions:
- Difficult data exchange between disconnected solutions.
- Inaccurate reporting and insights as feeding data from one tool to another is manual and time consuming.
- Real ROI measurement is out of scope as it is infeasible to track returns from every angle in different tools.
- Frequent switching between tools and large amount of manual work to run a single campaign. This impacts productivity and efficiency.
- Communication gaps and lack of collaboration between different marketers making it more difficult to present a united brand message.
The solution to all these challenges is to connect all the marketing tools your team uses into one platform.
Unified marketing platform
What is a unified marketing platform?
A unified marketing platform is a solution that includes a whole suite of marketing tools connected in one platform. This enables seamless integration and data exchange between all the tools.
This means you can manage all your audience, engage with them across channels, conduct webinars and invite prospects to them vial email then remind them to log on via SMS, go live on social channels, and receive feedback through surveys from all your attendees, all from a single screen.
Individual marketing solution vs. Unified marketing platform
Unified marketing platform
Marketing and customer data is scattered across multiple platforms and stored in different formats. Organizing the data to make an informed decision is a tedious, error-prone task.
All your marketing and customer data is unified in one centralized platform. This enables you and your team to make more data-driven decisions.
Bonus: All your critical data is shared with only one vendor, which means your data is not available in multiple places, and the chances of a data breach are significantly lower.
Each solution only has one function. This means marketers have to use multiple tools to create campaigns for different channels. Maintaining uniform and consistent branding across campaigns is difficult. This directly impacts the customer experience.
As all the marketing tools are connected, marketers can reach out to omnichannel customers more effectively and manage all their campaigns from the same place. This lets marketers maintain brand consistency and create uniform campaigns for different channels. So the experiences delivered to customers are more consistent and positive.
Different software has different user interfaces and flows, which adds complexity to marketers' day-to-day work.
One unified user interface as the entire marketing platform is designed by the same vendor.
Integration with other existing platforms
If you purchase eight individual marketing solutions, you may have to integrate your existing systems with more than eight platforms to sync the data. Integration is complex and time-consuming, and gets more complex the more data you collect.
Integrating a unified marketing platform with your existing system is easier and faster as you'll only have to integrate one software application.
Cost and maintenance
Buying software from multiple vendors means settling multiple invoices. You also have to safeguard and maintain multiple accounts and credentials. This increases the workload for your finance and data security teams.
A unified marketing platform is usually provided by a sole vendor, so you only have to pay one bill for all your marketing software expenses.
A single account for all your marketing software is easy to maintain and secure. This reduces the burden on other teams, and they can focus more on high-value tasks.
How does a unified marketing platform work?
A unified marketing platform is usually a full marketing technology (martech) stack tightly integrated in a single platform, designed to address the needs of three main stakeholders through the entire marketing lifecycle: customers, marketers, and CMOs.
- For customers
- For marketing teams
- For CMOs
Keep your customers updated about new products, promotions, or sales. Send them greetings on special occasions and keep impressing them.
- Listen to, engage, and stay connected with your customers on emails and social media
- Meet your customers face-to-face and build a great customer-brand relationship via webinars and online events
- Deliver a positive omnichannel experience to your audience across all the marketing channels
For Marketing teams
All your customer and marketing data in one place
- Track and tweak all the ongoing campaigns in realtime on a unified screen
- Store and access all your marketing collaterals and brand assets in one place
- Understand each customer, segment your audience, create curated messages, and send relevant campaigns
- Plan the campaigns, allocate work to team members, and track the work status on kanban boards
- Collaborate with team members and work together on campaigns, breaking silos
- Refer to collaterals to find ideas to repurpose for your next campaign
Measure the real ROI of overall marketing efforts or for individual campaigns on a simple dashboard
- Track KPIs and important metrics of all the marketing activities and direct your team in the right direction
- Fetch reports, share it with key stakeholders, collaborate, and ensure marketing goals are aligned with organizational goals
- Measure the real marketing ROI, identify top performing campaigns and channels, set goals.
Benefits of using a unified marketing platform:
- Streamline all your marketing activities in one place
- Deliver a consistent experience to your audience across all channels
- Manage all your customers, teams, marketing data, and channels on the same platform
- Manage internal marketing operations with ease
- Focus more on high-value tasks by reducing time spent on manual work like switching between tools and data entry
- Track live performance to optimize campaigns in real time
- Measure the real ROI of your overall marketing activities and individual campaigns
Zoho Marketing Plus:
Zoho Marketing Plus is a unified marketing platform that lets you and your team manage all the marketing efforts, channels, and teams in one place.
Zoho Marketing Plus includes everything you need for marketing activities so you can create and send email campaigns, manage all your social media activities, host webinars and events, conduct surveys, measure campaign performances and real ROI, and a lot more, all from one single screen.
A powerful mix of tools to manage your marketing end-to-end in one platform
- Social media
- Marketing automation
- Campaigns management
- Collateral management
Create and send email campaigns and leverage email marketing automation. Build and manage your contacts, create emails or use pre-designed templates, measure email results in a powerful dashboard, and more.
Reach your audience directly on their phone through SMS. Create SMS from hundreds of templates, use variables like first name, city name for personalization, and schedule the SMS on time when the opening rate is usually high.
Manage and stay connected with your audience across all your social platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google My Business—all from a single place. Plan, schedule, and post content, engage with your followers, measure social media activities, and more, without having to keep all your pages open in separate tabs.
Conduct webinars and share your screen or application window in real time to deliver presentations or demos. Record your webinars, play and share them online, or download them. If internet issues stop you from connecting, you can use dial-in numbers to join webinars from your phone.
Create online surveys and questionnaires to collect customer satisfaction data, research data, feedback, and more. You can create instant surveys from existing templates or from scratch and share them directly with your contacts in campaigns on social media.
Host your event digitally and have attendees participate in the sessions in real time from anywhere in the world. Add details for your event, including what it's about, what the agenda is, and who the speakers are. You can sell tickets and get people to register for the event from specially designed microsites.
Measure all your marketing performance in a unified dashboard. Analytics combines data from campaigns, social media, websites, and even in-person events to calculate your ROAS.
PageSense provides an auto-generated snippet you can add to your website. Once it's activated, it provides you with the right set of tools to test personalized website experiences, track users' key metrics, and analyze their behavior on your website in real time to boost visitor conversions.
Automate your buyers' journey by setting up custom rules and flows. Capture leads, nurture them with personalized content based on their previous interactions, qualify them, and pass the best ones to the sales team without too much manual effort.
Manage your marketing campaigns efficiently: get a unified view of all your active campaigns, view task statuses in a Kanban board, and communicate with your team, all in the same window.
Create, store, and manage your marketing collaterals, branding kits, and sales materials in one place. Access your files in a simple search, use the collateral directly on your marketing channels, and share the files externally with password protection.
Zoho Marketing Plus is ideal for marketing teams of all sizes.
Marketing Plus for small and medium businesses:
- Quick start: Sign up, set up your account, and start sending campaigns from day one.
- A no-code platform which doesn't require a lot of technical expertise.
- The only platform you need to invest in to manage your marketing activities end to end.
- Pricing covers all the features mentioned here, and there are no hidden extra charges.
- No complex contracts: Only pay for what you use.
For mid-market businesses and enterprises:
Sync Marketing Plus with other platforms like Google Contact Manager, Office 365, PayPal, Salesforce, HubSpot, Go To Webinar, and more to automatically import your existing marketing and customer data.
Import your existing marketing collaterals and brand assets from other cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and OneDrive.
Get a complete high-level overview of all your campaigns and advanced reporting with in-depth insights across all metrics. This enables your team to analyze performance from every angle and keep taking your multichannel campaigns to new heights.
Bring all your marketing data to unified analytics, build custom reports, and analyze them to make more informed decisions.
Keep your entire marketing team—content writers, graphic designers, and digital marketers—on the same page, and break silos, so they can collaborate and work more efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions
01Do I really need a unified marketing platform? Will I be using all these tools everyday?
Zoho Marketing Plus only includes essential tools that marketers need for day-to-day activities. Check out all the available features here. The main objective of a unified marketing platform is not to pack in as many tools as possible, but rather to streamline all your marketing efforts, customers, teams, and data in one centralized place.
02Will I end up paying more for a unified marketing platform than individual solutions?
Zoho Marketing Plus is competitively priced at the cost of an individual solution, so you get all the essential tools for a fixed base price. You can extend Marketing Plus based on your marketing needs (pay for what you use). Check out our pricing plans here.
03What is the best-of-breed solution? Is it better than a unified marketing platform?
Sometimes individual solutions are called best-of-breed solutions as they focus on vertical functionalities. Marketing Plus is actually a collection of best-of-breed solutions that are unified into one central platform, so you still get top-of-the-line functionality in each area.
04What is the difference between an all-in-one marketing platform and a unified marketing platform?
An all-in-one marketing platform usually includes all the marketing tools in a single platform, but the tools may not be connected. A unified marketing platform includes all the marketing tools in a single platform and they are all connected to each other. So to identify a truly unified marketing platform, you have to check whether all the marketing tools are available in a unified interface and are connected to each other.