Using and Interpreting The Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map
One of the coolest infographics that I have come across recently is one from Gartner called the Digital Marketing Transit Map.This interactive map to provides digital marketers a framework develop a strategy and plan out the journey towards an integrated digital marketing hub.
The map is also designed to support and foster communications between Marketing and IT organizations as they develop/update implementation plans for integrated digital marketing hub.
Additional details from Gartner as well as the interactive version of the Digital Marketing Transit Map can be found at http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/digital-marketing/transit-map.jsp or accessed by clicking the image below.
The System Integration Tax
One of the technology challenges of all complex, enterprise technology solution deployments, including marketing technology, is that large organizations have more often than not, acquired much of their technologies as best of breed point solutions purchased to solved an individual business problem or set of related problems. In fact, so single solution provider offers a complete digital marketing hub, though some will be positioned in the market that way. This best of breed approach create an ongoing cost (tax) to keep the re-integrating solution as product and API updates break the integration between disparate products each product with their own divergent roadmaps and release cycles.
The system integration “tax rate” goes up if there is no holistic plan in place regarding how digital marketers will integrate all these disparate point systems into the digital marketing hub holy grail. The Digital Marketing Transit Map to provides Marketing and IT organizations a framework to develop a strategy and plan out their journey towards an integrated digital marketing hub.
Maintaining such a solution can become cost prohibitive as different solution providers will implemented different product roadmaps, with product overlap and solution gaps over time. Collaboration between Marketing and IT organizations has never been more important to ensure that the set of tools are implemented in a way that can evolve as the digital marketing landscape, vendors and point products evolve.
Plan and Manage the Use of Technology Effectively
Interpreting the Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map
The Digital Marketing Transit Map is designed to help online marketers navigate the complexity of an increasingly fragmented and evolving digital marketing landscape.
Elements of the Digital Marketing Transit Map include:
- Neighborhoods which represent functional organizations with a company that digital marketing efforts. The neighborhoods in the map include: ad ops, design, social apps, mobility, web ops and data ops. Hovering over the names in the interactive maps provides summary description of each.
- Tracks connect neighborhoods and represent application services that share common business objectives and information. The tracks in the map include: ad technology, analytics, creative, commerce, emerging technologies, marketing management, mobile, real time data, search, social strategy and user experience. These tracks can be turned on and off to help the use examine each in isolation and how they intersect.
- Stations are interaction points that represent different actors in the digital marketing landscape and focused product areas and point product, solution vendors. The stations in the map include entities such as: search engines, rich media search, mobile search, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools, and attributions which are all on the search track. The maps illustrates relationships between the stations and the track(s) that connect them.
- Intersections represent solutions that typically serve multiple business areas. For example, the intersection between the Marketing Management and Analytics stations include IT Service Providers, Business Process Outsourcers, Marketing Service Providers, and Social Analytics.
The Digital Marketing Transit map also includes off line connections, such as connections to Sales, IT, CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and BI (Business Intelligence. Vendor stations include entities such as media companies, CSPs (Communication Service Providers), SEO Tools, Mobile Search. Product stations include things like gamification tools, ad exchanges, QR (Quick Response) codes to name just a few.
Using the Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map
The Digital Marketing Transit Map can be used to identify digital marketing requirements and how those requirements drive product and application integration strategies focused on delivering a holistic digital marketing hub while support emerging marketing opportunities and addressing the system integration tax.
Specifically, the Digital Marketing Transit Map helps digital marketers:
- Identify the connections between broad business functions, application tracks, solutions providers and vendors
- Find additional research or structure questions about strategy, best practices, technology providers, products, and selection criteria.
- Use as a communication tool to facilitate Marketing and IT conversations focused on providing competitive advantages realized through the digital marketing hub.
Interactive features of the Digital Marketing Transit Map
What is really cool about the interactive copy of the Digital Marketing Transit Map is that users can view and compare tracks by filtering on more of the tracks by clicking the track buttons to turn individual tracks on and off. Users can also roll over track and neighborhood names and receive summary descriptions of those. This provides the user to process a tremendous amount of information in ways that are digestible.
What makes the Digital Marketing Transit map intuitive is that it takes digital marketing entities and relationships and applies them to a transit map, a visual representation that many readers are no-doubt familiar with and know how to read. The map draws key analogies between the transit system illustrating the paths necessary to take to get to that ideal digital marketing hub.
The definitions in the map are great places to start when planning your digital marketing hub and searching for the right digital marketing tools or even knowing what tools are needed to support the different digital marketing functions. The Digital Marketing Transit Map, with all of it’s information, provides engaged readers a clearer image of what integrated Digital Marketing Hubs might look like and the paths to take to get there.