When your enterprise outgrows its SMB-style tech stack

You don’t want your company to be treated like every other company. You have unique needs – depending on your industry, your target customers, your size, your goals, and more. As an enterprise MOps pro, you shouldn’t have to accept the limitations that go along with using a legacy email service provider or customer data platform built to serve the mid-market. Yet, that’s a challenge (and frustration) that MOps teams at enterprise face every day.

Working at an enterprise-level business, your needs for data and scale are far different from smaller companies. You deserve a messaging partner that understands what makes large enterprise brands different – and why standard marketing cloud ESPs, CEPs, and packaged CDPs aren’t set up to serve your brand in the manner you need.

In this blog, let’s examine why this difference matters, including the shortcomings enterprise MOps teams struggle with when using legacy martech tools, and guidance about features that large brands should look for when considering a new solution.

One size doesn’t fit all

The largest enterprises have unique marketing technology needs that aren’t being served by many ESPs, CEPs, and packaged CDPs. When it comes to messaging solutions, what works for one company won’t work for another. However, large enterprise brands usually have several things in common. See which are true for you:

  • Your brand keeps a large amount of customer data behind its firewall
  • Your data is stored in one or multiple places, often including a modern data warehouse at the center
  • You send millions of emails and other messages every month
  • Data security is top of mind for your brand
  • You’re paying high data storage fees to multiple vendors

If you’re reading that list thinking, “It shouldn’t have to be this way,” you’re right. There is a better way for large enterprise brands to connect with customers using their data.

What you know about your customers versus what you say to your customers

Personalization is vital for success

It’s no secret that consumers expect big brands to lead the pack when it comes to delivering a great experience. This means it’s essential to have the right technology in place to be able to execute your vision effectively. But traditional cross-channel marketing solutions, like the popular “marketing clouds,”  were built for a wide audience and don’t meet the specific needs of enterprise brands like yours.

Marketing clouds make all kinds of appealing promises: easy installation, higher ROI, and freedom and independence from IT. For many businesses, legacy SaaS solutions can deliver on enough of these promises. They fall short for enterprise marketers, though, as data gets more plentiful and complex, and message volume grows too high for the marketing clouds to be effective.

As a MOps pro at a large brand, you’re also likely to feel the pain of an ESP or CEP built for mid-market companies when you try to use more of the numerous data points you collect about customers. As you try to get more complex with your personalization strategy for a specific campaign, the worse the pain gets. You can likely relate to the frustration of maxing out the number of fields needed to execute  a dynamic message – or feeling like it requires advanced trigonometry (and a hefty budget) to get the right data from your CDP into your ESP.

A woman looks confused considering a complex math equation.

It’s all about data access and control

One big reason legacy SaaS solutions aren’t ideal for big enterprises is that marketers can’t access all their data in real time… Despite what your martech platform might say on their website.  With system-of-record customer data housed internally, a company must copy a subset of data, map it to their cloud provider, and sync it there for storage. After sending messages, you must send data back into the internal systems.

This process is time-consuming, costly, and less effective for larger businesses. When the data sync has issues or you need to add new fields, it frustrates both IT and marketing teams.  

Most importantly, brands aren’t able to deliver a great customer experience. For a lot of businesses, a “real-time” connection from their ESP or CEP might mean a few hours or even a day, and based on the messaging they send, it works. For others, a lag of even a few minutes can mean the difference between a positive customer experience and a frustrating one.

Above all that, we haven’t even touched on the security implications of moving data back and forth, outside your firewall, exposing it to potential bad actors.

Robust customer engagement platforms for enterprise brands

So where do major brands go when they’ve “outgrown” the traditional marketing clouds? A robust customer engagement platform like MessageGears that lives wherever your data lives and provides all the tools you need to use the data can be a game-changer. It uses the cloud for the heavy lifting: getting emails out the door and into recipients’ inboxes. But more importantly, connecting directly to your data – whether it’s in a modern data warehouse or an internally built system – allows you to access your customer data in real time and avoid the friction that can negatively impact the customer experience (not to mention the high data fees that can impact your budget).

Chick-fil-A is a great example of an enterprise brand facing this challenge and finding solutions in a platform built for enterprise brands. The Chick-fil-A team needed the ability to personalize, but protecting sensitive customer information was also crucial for their team. They wanted to keep customer data secure from any third party – MessageGears included.

Using MessageGears’ warehouse-native platform, Chick-fil-A can confidently collect and leverage data for an endless number of personalization points – all while assuring customers that they have one of the most secure data solutions in the industry. All data is encrypted, even from their marketing admins. But they’re still able to leverage those private data points for better targeting and an enhanced customer experience – all while greatly reducing the chances of a costly data breach.

By allowing MOps and marketing teams to access all of their data in real-time and letting the cloud deliver the messages, IT resources that used to be dedicated to managing email feeds and data syncs are freed up, enabling you to focus on projects that can grow the business. You benefit from live access to all of your internal data within a familiar, robust interface. And customers are happy because a brand they love is sending them timely and highly personalized communications.

About the Author

Will Devlin

A 20-year email marketing veteran, Will has focused on marketing strategy and execution for MessageGears since 2014. He has extensive experience on both the retail customer and service side of email marketing, and he’s interested in helping businesses better understand how they can make the most of the work they put into their email campaigns.