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May 10, 2022

Skip the Database, “Micro Integrate” Your Sales and MarTech Platforms Instead

Siloed data is a death sentence for Sales and Marketing teams.

Almost every B2B enterprise operates marketing and sales software like Salesforce, Marketo, and Adobe Analytics. Unfortunately, these tools don’t communicate with each other out of the box. This leads to siloed data, making crucial marketing tactics like account-based personalization challenging.

What’s the best way to overcome this challenge? Integrate your data, of course.

Much easier said than done.

Usually, data engineers accomplish this by centralizing data from sales and marketing systems into a database using ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tools. After centralizing the data, engineers work to transform it into a dataset that sales and marketing teams can use. The process is not only time consuming and expensive, but also requires extensive knowledge of the intricacies of all systems involved.

I spent a large majority of my career build marketing and sales data flows from scratch using this method. As a Marketing Analytics specialist, I’ve personally touched every aspect of making marketing and sales systems work together at the lowest level of technical granularity.

Having experienced first hand the amount of technical “heavy-lift” and frustration of this type of work involves, I decided to develop a method to skip it altogether that I call “Micro-Integrations”.

Micro-Integrations take data from one system and push it to another — it’s that simple.

The data is then usable and actionable in both systems. If a marketer wanted to determine how many MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) a campaign generated, Micro-Integrations can make that data available in the system she’s already using. She no longer needs a data analytics team to go through the complexities of retrieving that data and putting it into a dashboard. Micro-Integrating avoids data-storage expenses, eschews labor-intensive data transformation, and takes less time than ETL methods.

Use case: A marketing director wants analytics on which campaigns are the most effective at generating new sales pipeline.

Typical Data Centralization Process: a data engineering team, digital web team, marketing team, and salesforce admin meet to gather requirements and scope the project. The web dev team works with the Salesforce team to place JavaScript tags on the website, pushing Salesforce IDs into Adobe Analytics and Experience Cloud IDs into Salesforce. The data engineering team will then write a pipeline that taps into the Adobe Analytics and Salesforce API and pushes data into the database. Then the data is transformed, and loaded into a dashboard or spreadsheet. Finally, the marketing director has a usable dataset.

Micro-Integration: The marketing director meets with a Micro-integrations specialist at Datajoin. She selects which use cases are the most critical for her needs. Data begins automatically flowing between Salesforce and Adobe Analytics within 1–2 weeks.

By specializing where traditional data processes generalize, Micro-Integrations minimize the friction between a marketer or a sales professional needing data, and actually getting it.

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