2018: The Year of Integration

A few weeks ago my colleague Eddie Ryce wrote this blog talking about the growing trends of voice search in the next 12 months.

As a follow-up, I’ve decided to respond with my take on the biggest challenge facing many companies in 2018… Getting their systems to talk to one another more effectively.

Yes, integration is nothing new. Everyone wants to tie website forms and their CRM together because they hate copying and pasting. Plus it’s good for business too. The reality is often that true bidirectional integration is never quite achieved as other things get in the way which makes it easy to shelve these disruptive and potentially risky projects.

But 2018 will be different.

First off you’ve got the GDPR coming into force at the end of May. No, I’m not going to go on at length about GDPR again here. We’ve done that lots before and you’re welcome to read some of our other articles (but finish this one first). In summary on GDPR end to end, customer engagement needs to be looked at with more scrutiny and by proxy we expect more people to look at bi-directional CMS/CRM integration rather than the currently common web-to-lead integrations.


A second reason for the change is that digital publishing has moved on. Now, on the eve of 2018, CMS heavyweights such as Sitecore and Kentico who used to be sold as all in one solutions are having to pitch their products differently. They are no longer automatically the A/B testing tools, the App technology platform, the Marketing Automation provider and the place where all data is held. They have all forged partnerships with other systems. Most of them are re-focusing their efforts on their core business: making things look nice online and facilitating great conversion journeys.


Finally, 2017 was the first year that I saw ‘normal’ companies moving beyond traditional digital engagement on mobile and tablet screens. Both Internet of things applications and augmented / virtual reality became much cheaper in 2017 and now that these projects can be completed for thousands rather than millions of dollars, we expect to see more clients asking for immersive customer experiences.

These projects tend to rely on aggregation of data from a number of systems. True integration is the only way of ensuring consistent look and feel, so we expect to see more integration here too. It isn’t surprising therefore that so many of the IT Directors we have spoken to recently, are planning to work on developing API layers for their owned data in 2018.

That sounds expensive…

It isn’t necessarily. We are moving towards a point where pretty much any two systems can be tied together. It might make your job of brief writing more difficult though…so feel free to watch our last webinar on writing a brief in half the time. It’s only 20 mins long and could save you upwards of a week in brief preparation.


Interested in learning more? Check out our latest blog topics for more great digital marketing insights and trends.

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