Unified marketing platform: How it works, benefits, and examples

Katie Morley

Feb 12, 2024

Unified marketing platform: How it works, benefits, and examples Featured Image
Katie Morley

Feb 12, 2024

Today’s marketers have more on their plate than ever — from reaching users across many channels to managing customer data, analyzing campaign results, reporting to stakeholders, collaborating with other teams, and much more.

Juggling all of these tasks successfully depends on having versatile, robust, and user-friendly tools. Fortunately, that’s exactly what unified marketing platforms are built for.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about unified marketing platforms, including:

  • What they are.
  • How they work.
  • Their benefits over traditional point solutions.

We’ll also show you how Insiderour unified marketing platform for mid-market and enterprise businesses — can help you reach customers on all channels (including your website, mobile app, email, SMS, and more), personalize their experience, automate campaigns, aggregate your customer data, run A/B tests, and much more.

Table of Contents
  1. What is a unified marketing platform?

  2. The benefits of using a unified marketing platform (over point solutions)

  3. Insider: The best unified marketing platform

  4. Unify your marketing stack and maximize your budget with Insider

What is a unified marketing platform?

A unified marketing platform is a type of software that helps teams manage various marketing activities (like campaign creation, automation, and personalization) and different channels from one place. 

These “all-in-one” platforms do that by bringing together different tools and customer data, which enables marketers to build, launch, automate, optimize, and analyze their efforts across all channels from a single place.

Unified platforms are different from traditional point solutions which are built to serve a specific channel or use case. 

For example, a traditional email marketing solution like Mailchimp is primarily focused on building and automating email campaigns. In contrast, a unified platform like Insider can be used for the same purpose and for a ton of different channels and use cases, like website personalization, omnichannel marketing automation, WhatsApp marketing, and much more.

The benefits of using a unified marketing platform (over point solutions)

While point solutions are suitable for small businesses, unified marketing platforms are a much better option for large organizations. Specifically, unified platforms have five essential benefits over point solutions, especially for mid-market and enterprise teams:

  • Data unification. Each point solution you’re using creates its own customer data silo (with information often being stored in different formats). This prevents you from truly understanding your customers’ journeys without investing in costly integrations. Most unified marketing platforms have a way of aggregating all that data in one place, which is crucial for making informed decisions based on reliable customer insights.
  • Less context switching. Using different tools for each marketing channel and use cases forces marketers to constantly jump between different UIs and workflows. This is detrimental to productivity and efficiency. Unified platforms avoid this problem altogether, ensuring smoother workflows and more time to do work that actually matters.
  • More accurate marketing ROI calculations. This is a direct consequence of having all your data in one place, as you won’t be missing valuable information when evaluating the impact of your marketing efforts. Also, most unified platforms come with advanced behavioral analytics tools (like funnels, flows, and event analytics), which you can use to get granular insights into the results of your campaigns.
  • Maximization of marketing budget and efforts. The more tools you’re using, the higher their cost — both in terms of money and effort. Consolidating your stack into as few solutions as possible lets you reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) and work much more efficiently.
  • Easier maintenance and long-term management. Lastly, juggling too many tools in your day-to-day simply isn’t sustainable in the long run. Each one has its own UI and credentials, not to mention subscription periods, user seats, and contracts. In contrast, unified platforms are much simpler in this regard, as you only have to keep track of one solution.

Insider: The best unified marketing platform

Insider brings together essential capabilities for companies looking to unify their marketing technology stack — like broad channel support, advanced personalization, and AI-powered marketing automation and journey orchestration.

Over 1200 brands, including the likes of Adidas, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Gap, CNN, and Lexus, use Insider to personalize all their communications, build, manage, and analyze omnichannelmarketing campaigns, and nurture long-term customer relationships.

That’s why Insider has been ranked as the top omnichannel marketing platform by IDC.

Top omnichannel marketing platform by IDC

As a versatile unified marketing platform, Insider also ranks as one of the top solutions in many other categories, including:

In the next sections, we’ll explore Insider’s key tools and functionalities that make it an ideal unified marketing platform for mid-market and enterprise teams in industries like retail, financial services, automotive, telecommunications, and more. 

Data unification and segmentation

As we said, using a bunch of point solutions creates data silos. Customer data is stored in each system and if they’re not connected — e.g., via an API, custom integration, or a native connector — you won’t have a good view of the customer journey or reliable insights to power your campaigns.

Insider lets you overcome this problem by:

First, our Integration Hub offers native integrations for all sorts of tools, platforms, and solutions, including:

  • eCommerce platforms, like Shopify, VTEX, and Akinon.
  • Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, SendGrid, and Campaign Monitor.
  • Marketing analytics software, like Google Analytics, Amplitude, and Mixpanel.
  • Customer relationship management systems (CRMs), like Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, or Microsoft Dynamics CRM. 
  • Data warehouses and storage systems, like BigQuery and Amazon S3. 
  • Ad networks, like Google, Facebook, and TikTok ads.
Insider integrations hub ads and analytics software

Plus, you can connect to all sorts of other systems, like data management platforms (DMP) or legacy solutions, using our flexible API. Put simply, Insider helps improve your marketing performance by ensuring crucial data is being shared in real-time across your martech stack.

Besides connecting to the rest of your solutions, Insider can also act as a central database for all your customer data. This is possible thanks to our enterprise CDP, which is built to unify data from all online and offline sources, like CRMs, CMSs, APIs, analytics tools, customer service software, automation platforms, and more.

This allows Insider to create detailed, 360-degree profiles of all your customers that contain key insights like: 

  • The customer’s name, demographics, and contact info.
  • Predictive characteristics, like likelihood to purchase or engage.
  • Behavioral data, like interactions with your website or messaging channels.
  • Last purchased, visited, and abandoned products.
  • And other key characteristics and metrics
360-degree profiles

In short, these profiles contain everything your brand needs to truly become customer-centric and create successful personalized campaigns. Plus, Insider’s CDP comes at no additional cost, so you don’t have to pay extra to consolidate your data and get a clear view of your customers’ journeys. 

You also have plenty of advanced segmentation options that make it easier to find and target the right customers for your marketing efforts. These include:

  • Standard characteristics, like device, operating system, and location.
  • Predefined audiences, like leads, cart and browser abandoners, mobile app users, customers who’ve interacted with your brand on a specific channel, and more.
Insider predefined segments
  • Predictive audiences, like customers with a discount affinity, with a high likelihood of buying or engaging on a specific channel, and more. 
Insider predictive audiences

The ability to aggregate your customer data and segment your audiences ensures your campaigns are always powered by reliable insights and targeted at the right customers. 

Broad channel support

Another key differentiator for Insider is our platform’s broad channel support. Instead, of focusing on a few channels, Insider lets you reach customers and build campaigns across 12+ touchpoints, including:

  • SMS.
  • Email.
  • Chatbots.
  • WhatsApp.
  • Push notifications.
  • Facebook Messenger.
  • Your website and mobile app.
  • Social media and search ads (e.g., across Google, Facebook, and TikTok).
  • And more.
Insider's broad channel support

You can use just one or a combination of channels when working with Insider. For example, you can start with our platform’s website personalization and email marketing capabilities. Over time, you expand to other channels and use cases to bring more of your workflows under one platform.

In general, the more you can consolidate your stack, the less you’ll need to jump between different platforms which saves time and effort. And as we said, you’ll also bring down the TCO of your martech stack, as you won’t be paying for a bunch of different marketing tools.

Advanced personalization across all touchpoints

When you can reach customers on a variety of channels, it becomes essential to maximize each interaction. That’s why Insider enables you to personalize your content, messaging, and product recommendations across all touchpoints, including:

  • Your website and mobile app: You can personalize any website element to each customer’s needs, behaviors, and preferences. This includes product recommendations, categories, banners, site search results, and even Instagram-like stories. In general, on-site personalization is vital for improving your conversion rates and making the most out of your marketing budget.
Insider website personalization top picks
  • Email and SMS. Insider lets you coordinate your efforts across these two widely-used channels to achieve the best possible results. For example, you can send promotional emails with products visitors browsed on your site, cross-sell SMS messages with items that go well with the ones customers bought recently, use cart abandonment reminders across one or both channels, and more. 
Insider email personalization product recommendations
  • Push notifications. These are a fantastic way to engage visitors on your site, bring customers back with personalized offers, reduce cart abandonments, and more. Push notifications are also more cost-effective than traditional emails, SMS messages, and online ads, as there’s no additional cost to send each one. That’s why Insider supports a wide range of web and mobile app push notification types.
Insider web push notification types
  • WhatsApp. Insider is a Meta-verified Business Solution Provider, which means you can use it to leverage the full spectrum of WhatsApp’s marketing functionality. This includes having unstructured two-way conversations, as well as sending personalized promo messages, price drop alerts, event reminders, and more. You can even design end-to-end shopping experiences using WhatsApp’s conversational commerce feature.
Insider Whatsapp conversational commerce mens shoes
  • Facebook Messenger, LINE, chatbots, and more. 

You can see an example of Insider’s omnichannel capabilities in our case study with fashion brand NA-KD. They used Insider to ditch their old coupon-based marketing in favor of creating personalized experiences across:

  • Their website and mobile app.
  • Push notifications.
  • Email and SMS.
Insider NA-KD cross channel journey

This helped the brand achieve a 25% uplift in customer lifetime value (CLTV) and a 72x ROI in 12 months

Cross-channel journey building and marketing automation

With so many channels, tools, and functionalities, it can be difficult to create personalized customer experiences across all touchpoints with your brand. Building and managing campaigns can also be very time-consuming for marketers, especially without the right marketing automation tools in place.

That’s why Insider offers Architect — a powerful customer journey builder and marketing automation solution that overcomes these challenges and helps you:

  • Create automated flows and campaigns using a drag-and-drop editor.
  • Manage, analyze, and optimize cross-channels from one place.
  • Use the full potential of AI to personalize your customers’ experience and simplify your workflows.
Insider journey testing email vs SMS

As you can see, the journey builder gives you full control of each journey — from the channels it takes place on to the wait times, conditions, and more. 

For a real-life example, check out our case study with eCommerce sports brand Slazenger. They used Architect to orchestrate personalized journeys across their website, email, push notifications, and SMS, resulting in a 700% increase in customer acquisition and a 49x ROI in just eight weeks.

Insider Slazenger cart abandonment journey

As an AI-powered solution, Architect can also do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to campaign creation and optimization, including:

  • Choosing the right channel to contact each customer. The Next-Best Channel feature analyzes recipients’ behaviors and automatically sends messages on the touchpoint they’re most likely to engage on.
Insider journey builder next best channel selection
  • Choosing the right times to contact each customer. Similar to the previous feature, Send-Time Optimization (STO) determines the right time to contact each customer and automatically sends them messages at that time.
Insider - Send time optimization
  • Auto-generate customer journeys. Thanks to Sirius AI™ — Insider’s suite of AI tools and features — our platform can generate entire customer journeys (or autocomplete journey paths) based on your text prompts. All you have to do is tell it what your end goal is, e.g., increasing open rates, driving more conversions, preventing churn, and so on.
Auto-generate customer journeys by Sirius AI
  • Generate campaign copy and images. Again, Sirius AI can use your text prompts to generate engaging subject lines, body text, and images for your campaigns. All you need to do is provide the input, like use case, audience, desired outcome, and so on.
Generate campaign copy and images with Sİrius AI

Built-in A/B testing, feedback tools, and much more

Insider lets you A/B test pretty much any element of your marketing strategy — from simple subject lines and images to channels (e.g., email vs SMS) and entire journey paths. You can set this up and analyze results directly inside Architect or in the dedicated A/B test analytics tab.

A/B Test Winner-Autoselection

However, we also know that scaling A/B tests can get difficult, especially when you’re running hundreds of campaigns across a dozen channels.

That’s why we also offer A/B Test Winner Auto-Selection. This AI-powered feature automatically detects and guides users to the winning variant in each A/B test. All you have to do is:

  • Choose a time period for the test.
  • Select a winning metric, like open rates, conversion rates, or revenue.

That way, you’re saving tons of time and effort from having to manually revenue each test, interpret the results, and adjust your campaigns accordingly.Finally, Insider gives you plenty of ways to gather direct user feedback. For example, you can use our Survey Builder to create and embed different types of surveys directly into your website or mobile app.

user feedback capabilites of Insider

You can also run surveys across different channels. One particularly powerful way to increase survey responses is by using AMP emails to allow customers to submit their answers inside the email, with no need to go to an external site or app.

Insider AMP email NPS survey

If you want to learn how these and all other Insider capabilities work, visit our website’s Product Demo Hub. The hub lets you explore use cases across channels (e.g., website, email, SMS), industries (e.g., retail, finance, media), use cases (e.g., unifying customer data, personalizing experiences, analyzing results), and more.

Ease of use, quality customer support, and fast time-to-value

While unified marketing platforms offer a ton of functionality, they can also be overwhelming. The sheer amount of features and channels can result in digital marketing teams spending months implementing and learning the platform before they start seeing any results from it.

This is something we’ve tried to eliminate with Insider.

First, our platform comes with a ton of templates for all channels and various use cases. You have templates for generating leads on your website, collecting survey answers via email, celebrating customer milestones, cross-selling complementary items to boost AOV, and much more.

Insider templates

Second, we’ve also invested heavily in building an experienced, global support team that can answer questions and resolve issues quickly. 

This is an area where many large service providers fall short because they outsource their implementation and service functions to third-party agencies or system integrators. However, at Insider, everything is handled by internal support teams that:

  • Help you set up Insider (with no extra setup charge).
  • Ensure you’re connected to the right data sources and are using the right tools, depending on your business needs and goals.
  • Analyze your current analytics data before the first kick-off meeting. This lets them come up with relevant marketing tactics and strategies that can generate quick wins for you.

Thanks to our focus on getting customers started as quickly as possible, Insider has constantly been ranked at the top of categories like ease of setup, ease of use, support quality, and time-to-value.

Insider rating on G2

Unify your marketing stack and maximize your budget with Insider

Insider is an ideal unified marketing platform for mid-market and enterprise companies looking to make the most out of their marketing efforts and budget. 

It enables you to build personalized, automated, and highly effective campaigns across touchpoints — from websites and mobile apps to channels like email, push notifications, SMS, WhatsApp, and more.

Additionally, our enterprise marketing platform can:

  • Aggregate your customer data from all online and offline sources into a central database.
  • Create detailed 360-degree profiles of your customers and reveal their behaviors, interests, and preferred touchpoints.
  • Predict future customer behaviors, like how much they’re projected to spend and how likely they are to buy or engage with your brand on a specific channel.
  • Improve essential metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), like conversion rates, acquisition costs, revenue, churn, AOV, CLTV, and more.
  • Automate lots of difficult tasks around omnichannel campaign creation and management, such as choosing the right channels and moments to engage customers.

Lastly, our easy channel integrations, experienced support team, and versatile templates will help you get started and see results as quickly as possible.

Schedule a demo with our team to learn how Insider can benefit your business specifically.

Katie is an award-winning content marketer with over eight years of experience in content strategy, development, and copywriting. As Global Content Director at Insider, she currently oversees content strategy across 26 regions. Fun fact: Katie read 64 books last year (for which she owes a long commute and two week-long holidays where she spent approximately six hours a day with her nose in a book).