The words “out of the box” evoke the same feelings in today’s business leaders that “batteries included” did in kids who grew up in the 1980s—pure joy and excitement that you don’t have to wait to enjoy your newest purchase. Just like those kids could immediately start whipping up sweet treats in their Easy Bake Ovens, you can start taking advantage of your newest technology “toy.”
But an out of the box offer management platform is a lot like chocolate cake baked underneath a light bulb—it ends up being not quite as satisfying as you thought it would be.
That’s why it’s so important to have an offer management platform that can be customized to meet your exact needs, goals, systems, and plans. Think of it as a gourmet flourless chocolate cake drizzled with ganache. You’d never be able to create that in an Easy Bake Oven, just like you’d never be able to create the same innovation and intelligence in an out of the box platform.
Let’s discuss the details:
You need a holistic approach
In many cases, an out of the box offer management platform just focuses on distributing offers and keeping track of the results. But in reality, offer management is so much deeper than that. It’s a bi-directional integration with your POS, it takes advantage of the newest technology via 3rd party integrations, it incorporates your entire MarTech stack, it generates new customer intelligence. In other words, when done correctly, it’s how you create personalized and enhanced experiences that support smarter customer acquisition, customer engagement, and customer retention.
You don’t want to play catch-up
Customized offer management platforms are more agile and dynamic than their out of the box counterparts in large part because they’re designed to seamlessly integrate with 3rd party systems and technologies. If an offer management platform isn’t designed to incorporate 3rd party integrations, it won’t be as cutting edge as the platforms that do. After all, tech companies are constantly coming up with new innovations, and if your platform can create a single service layer to normalize all of the processes and data, your offer management strategy can advance just as quickly as the market does. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck waiting for similar features (that may not be as good) to be built into your out of the box platform.
You need to modernize your legacy systems
You don’t have to invest in brand new systems in order to take advantage of brand new technology. By customizing your offer management platform to offset some of the weaknesses your legacy systems are creating, you’ll still be able to leverage them (and save money in the process). Just like the evolving integrations we talked about above, your legacy system can evolve too. Because everything works together seamlessly, you’ll have the power to be more innovative while being less dependent on IT. And best of all, you won’t have to struggle with siloed views of your marketing efforts and business performance that make it impossible to analyze and optimize quickly.
You need to close the loop on all of that activity
Sure, any offer management platform can tell you how many offers were delivered and redeemed in a particular campaign. But in order to maximize that data, you need to close the loop. You can do it by leveraging a real-time bi-directional POS integration that empowers you to better understand your customers and, thus, engage better with them on an individual basis. Closed-loop intelligence also gives you a huge upper-hand by connecting your marketing spend to transactional activity so that you can measure ROI and sales attribution in real-time.
You need to succeed today and tomorrow
Even if an out of the box platform seems like a good solution today, will it still work for you tomorrow? A customized offer management platform (and the team behind it) focuses on continuous innovation and growth. As customer expectations evolve and technology advances, your platform’s capabilities can be tweaked or expanded.
At the end of the day, customization is what sets you apart from your competitors. The last thing you want is to look and feel exactly the same as everyone else. That’s why it’s one of the biggest foundations for your entire offer management strategy. You don’t want your ideas constrained by limitations in your technology. You need the power to dream big and make it happen.