After many years of working with businesses both large and small, it’s clear to us that most companies within the customer engagement industry get one thing very, very wrong. They make it way more difficult than it needs to be.

Your customers need to scale as their businesses grow, and that means they need a single view of a customer, coverage for more channels, and increased functionality.

Many vendors buy other companies and fill in the gaps, growing capabilities by acquisition. These vendors often need to license multiple individual platforms, leading to complex integrations with disparate data sets and different codebases that are prone to breakdowns. This makes implementations complex, time-intensive and not very friendly to a marketer’s budget.

A prime example is discussed in this recent article by AdAge, on Salesforce’s move to provide analytics for customer journeys by adding another solution on top of an already complex tech stack. They’ve promised more value while moving customers even further from the chance of realizing that promise. They have long touted their ability to provide a single customer view with seamless customer journeys. Yet, Salesforce keeps acquiring new solutions to bolt on top of their myriad of platforms, noting with each acquisition that this one is the piece that marketers really need. It makes it hard to understand exactly what customers are getting with each piece of the “cloud” they are licensing. It surely is a great revenue-generating business model, however.

The customer journey is hotter than ever. Marketers need to know how or why customers make the decisions they make. Without analytics, there is no way to know this, nor are there insights into which initiatives a marketer should prioritize. Adding more solutions on top of a complex tech stack doesn’t fix that data problem, though. It makes it more complex, missing the mark.

For simple, effective customer engagement, companies need to be able to see the data they have on their customers in one place, making sense of it in real time, with the ability to identify and replicate common customer journeys. They want to discover hidden opportunities and immediately make changes to maximize conversion. Only a unified platform (one code base, one database), natively built, will enable this. And only a platform that enables engagement across all channels, with quick implementation, will get the job done. Only this type of solution gives e-commerce companies data-driven personalization at scale. And only true, effective, accessible insight into the customer journey help a growing company to scale even faster.

When shopping for a customer engagement tool, marketers will be best served to select a partner outside of the current customer engagement industry norm, one that simplifies customer engagement, with easy implementation. Such tools exist – and a few of them even provide powerful analytics on each phase of the customer journey.

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