There are all kinds of tools available to you to do different marketing tasks. Check out the Marketing Technology Landscape graphic to get an idea of just how much is out there. One of the most powerful, and efficient, things you can do with all the tools you use is connect them. Making them “talk to each other” automates certain tasks and can vastly improve how you process data.
There are essentially three ways you can connect various tools.
Find Tools That Play Nice Together
Here you would choose tools that have integration already built in. When you go to pick a tool for a specific purpose, you can check to see what it advertises to integrate with. As an example, let’s consider your email newsletter and how you collect subscriber information. You could use a newsletter tool like MailChimp that works with website forms such as Gravity forms. The integrations are built in and so like “magic” when someone fills out a form on your website, your MailChimp list will automatically update.
Use a Connector Tool
Although there are so many tools that come with integrations, there are times you may want something more specific. Maybe there’s a particular data set you are targeting or maybe you just need a certain action to happen. In these cases, we recommend a connector tool, such as LeadsBridge, Zapier, or IFTTT. These setups give you more control and give you more options for how you process data. The scenario with your email list might look like that. You build a Gravity Form on your website. Then you set up Zappier or IFTTT to be notified when someone fills it out and to send that data at a certain time somewhere, such as MailChimp.
Engage with a Custom Developer
While this isn’t as common, there are times you want something truly custom. In this case, a developer can work with the API to build custom connections, more specific and sometimes more robust than the options on the market. We often see these needed with custom ecommerce or inventory systems. In a scenario with your email list, you may need custom connections if your website form was built for you or if you are using a proprietary email newsletter program, rather than something like MailChimp.
The tools on the market these days are highly powerful. We find that often they provide enough, sometimes more, than our clients need. We recommend starting there with those tools that have integration built in. However if you need something more custom, or if you are finding it a cumbersome task, we often help our clients make these connections work. Give us a call today.