Why it pays to take an API-first approach to your martech strategy

  • Insights
  • DX
  • Digital product

Brands that don’t build customer-friendly sites and apps that render well on any device soon feel the burn. According to research, six in 10 (60%) consumers click away from websites that don’t offer a satisfactory digital customer experience (DCX).

If you’re a digital marketer, you’re naturally keen to mitigate DCX problems in order to engage and convert consumers with eye-catching, useful content. And this involves optimising the plethora of digital marketing tools already at marketers’ disposal.

Fortunately, the answer is at your fingertips. Making better use of built-in APIs is key. In fact, the best solution could be to adopt an ‘API-first’ approach to your digital strategy.

The many benefits of API-first digital marketing tools

Digital marketers will hope to solve multiple strategic problems by throwing focus on APIs. They’ve been around for a couple of decades but are often seen as the domain of the developer.

It’s true that you might need a dev team to make the differences necessary for an API-led digital marketing model. But it’s important for you to be in the know about the technology to get the best results for your team, your organisation, and your customers or users.

Key organisational issues for marketers include introducing - or improving - automation of workflows to make your marketing operation more efficient. In addition, utilising APIs opens up the possibility of valuable customer and other business data being available to all relevant stakeholders across your organisation.

Perhaps your objective is to enable your marketing platform to connect directly with a useful source of data which might include your website analytics software, mobile apps or call centre system can can help make informed decisions when it comes to improving your DCX. It’s simply a slicker way to share information. Before APIs existed, if you wanted to link two programmes or tools together without any previous links, you’d have needed to change or rewrite the code so they understood each other.

At the same time, API-first data strategy can also turbo charge your creativity, campaign execution and provide integrated reporting across your marketing and sales function.

The marketing process often involves repetitive and time-consuming tasks. APIs help automate these tasks by using readily available data, connecting directly to various systems, and improving their collective performance.

How APIs can build satisfying user experiences

Crucially, an API-first model for your business can be the foundation for better UX, leaving your customers and prospects more satisfied wherever they see your content; no matter the device they’re using, at any particular moment in time.

That’s because API-first digital marketing puts users front and centre. It lasers in on how a consumer will use your website, or digital product or service, and how it can make their life easier. In other words, it places UX first, rather than relegating it to a frustrating after-thought that becomes the cause of site or cart abandonment. 

Think of API-first marketing strategy as having the same halo effect on UX and engagement as user-centric approach did for websites; this is just as essential. All roads should lead to providing a high-quality end product. APIs are the magic that can help make that happen. 

So much for the advantages of going API-first. How does such a strategy work, and does it mean downloading or investing in a bunch of new digital marketing tools over and above your existing martech stack? 

Building an effective API-first martech strategy

Even if martech isn’t a favourite part of your job you might be aware - unless your current tech stack is teetering on the brink of obsolescence - that most marketing tools come with built-in APIs which can be extended to allow interaction between tools.

That’s good news, of course, because much of the groundwork needed to build your improved digital marketing strategy and delivery has already been done. It’s less common, however, for marketers to be using APIs for maximum value. That’s the goal of an API-first approach to martech.

Grant Crofton, Technical Architect at MMT, advices:

“Now you know you don’t necessarily need to start from scratch with your legacy tools, the work of driving the most value - and adding new options if required - can get under way. But you’ll doubtless need expert help along the way.

Typically, we’d begin this with a discovery phase. This includes:

•        Reviewing your existing software and tooling landscape to check opportunities and gaps

•        Taking a focus on goals for marketing, as well as for your wider organisation

•        Drafting a technical strategy based on the above 

Where it’s apparent that progress towards the goals identified in the discovery phase will be hampered by deficient tools that are in place, we provide a bespoke, step-by-step roadmap to shift to an API-first model - in a way that’s most appropriate for your business.

Working alongside you, our collective goal is to get to a point where APIs are the gateway to composable architecture: they’re being deployed and used to their maximum potential. Through APIs, the tools can connect to each other, bringing value to your products and services. Only then can you achieve your marketing objectives."

If you'd like to discuss API-first solutions and how MMT can support you and your team, don't hesitate to contact us and book your discovery call today.