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Frankentech is here to stay: How brands are getting the most out of martech investments

In today’s marketing landscape, we as consumers expect a seamless customer experience.

Whether we’re shopping at our favorite in-store retailer, booking our next vacation or performing a banking transaction online, we assume the technology applications we’re interacting with know who we are. But unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Recently, I had an interesting shopping experience at a retailer in which it felt disconnected from a technology and personalization perspective. The retailer’s customer service is top notch and the associates go above and beyond to help their “clients”. My experience had nothing to do with dissatisfaction of the service, it was related to my disconnected purchase.

Let me explain.

I visited the retail store and the shirts I wanted to purchase were not available in-store or online. No problem! The retailer located a store in the Chicago area who had the inventory on-hand, they called the store to make sure it was still available, and then the sales associate placed the order at the register and off I went.

On my drive home, I changed my mind on my purchase decision of the brand of shirt and I called customer service to cancel my order, and they were not able to do so.

Customer service informed me that they handle online orders only. So, they transferred me to my local store’s customer service, and I learned they were not able to cancel the order. What they were able to do is put a note on the order for when the warehouse scanned it for shipment, the note would appear saying “please cancel”.

While the customer service rep could not guarantee this note would be seen and that the order would be canceled, it was the best they could do. I had asked if this order could be replaced with one in which I decided to place online as I had changed my mind on the brand of shirts I wanted, and they informed me it could not. It’s a different system – a different purchasing process.

With these different systems/processes unable to ‘talk to’ each other, they’re unaware that “Tad Fordyce” is the same person ordering both in-store and online. I was very grateful for the efforts demonstrated by the customer service team, but got off the phone thinking they could use some assistance with their “Frankentech.”

So what is Frankentech?

We define ‘Frankentech’ as a compilation of miscellaneous (or ad-hoc) technology products and applications that are integrated together, intended to provide an overall solution.

Frankentech creates an operating environment of multiple technologies.

While ideally marketers strive to have one complete solution, this is not often a reality for all. With more than 7,000 solutions within our marketing technology landscape, marketers have a lot of choices. And, establishing the right solution set for your organization can be a challenge.

We recognize the brands we work with have technology applications from multiple providers, and we’ve built our solutions in such a way that all our functionality is exposed through APIs, which means we expect to integrate with other solutions in a given brand’s martech stack. 

To help you identify the right solution for your company, I advise brands to first do an internal evaluation to see what type of solution will fit best within their infrastructure.

For example, ask yourself these key questions:

  • Are the existing applications we have (platforms, software, etc.) sustainable (are they modernized) and do they effectively integrate with each other?
  • What is the cost of our existing technological infrastructure? (evaluate all costs including licensing fees, etc.)
  • Do we have the internal support services and training to run and maintain the solution?
  • Will we be able to provide a seamless experience for our customers?

Remember, you want your customers to feel like they are valued and known regardless of the channel of interaction. With a unified Frankentech solution that’s supported with services, personalization can be enabled, allowing marketers to provide 1:You communications to their customers.

**This post first appeared on L360.