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An API Connects, it Powers Team Collaboration
May 4, 2016
An API Connects, it Powers Team Collaboration

Occasionally Allbound invites guest bloggers to contribute to our Partner Sales Acceleration conversation, and today’s blog post is from Hannah Shain, Director of Marketing at Cloud Elements.

Today is the age of extreme digital businesses. All roles from support and accounting, to sales and marketing, are armed with best-in-breed digital applications to get their jobs done.Long gone are the days of enterprises buying the archaic, monolithic mega-apps that tried to be everything. Us ‘average business users’ are buying best apps to get a single job done at a quarter of the cost and at least 10x the benefit.

But the move towards best-in-breed buying patterns is causing new patterns in a business. Silos of data, communication and collaboration are happening. Sure the literal cubicle walls are being torn down in lieu of a new-age open seating plan that in theory offers higher levels of team collaboration, but the cloud apps each team uses on an individual level come with their own walls of separation.

I like to use the island analogy. Each new, hot app out there, whether it’s a social app, or invoicing app, or email-NPS-social-analytics-tweeting app, creates a new isolated island of data. As a detailed-oriented, perfectionist, analytically-driven marketer, I cannot tell you how annoying it is for me to login in to 100+ applications just to get to the bottom of string of data related to a lead or contact.

This is where APIs come in and how collaboration is (will be) powered by APIs. Think of APIs as magical, invisible super-glue heroes that join together these islands of data. In my organized world of marketing apps, I choose one single source of record for lead and contact data, and each and every new application we bring into our marketing stack MUST connect by, you guessed it, APIs.

One real-world scenario I’ll leave you with showcasing how our own teams are relying on APIs to connect systems together, had solved some major communication barriers we were facing between our teams. The Customer Success Team was chartered with capturing and measuring our NPS score. Our Marketing Team wanted the data and to track communications. While we could have used an existing email client to manage the program, it would have taken hours of work to design and implement. Instead we chose a free NPS app (just one of dozens available in the ‘Feedback and Chat’ category of the Marketing Technology Landscape).

With APIs, I setup an event-based workflow that was triggered by each time a survey response was submitted. Once the survey was submitted, our marketing automation system would find that existing contact and update properties called “NPS Score” and “Feedback.” If the contact did not exist, a new one would be created. It might sound like a basic “if this happens, then do this” setup. But each one of those actions is powered by APIs.

And more importantly, the Customer Success Team has NPS data at their finger tips, and the marketing team is in lock step with Customer Success about what data is being collected. It’s collaboration at its core and the entire program was created and executed in less than an hour.

hanna shainHannah is an energetic, ambitious, witty and driven team-player with 12 years professional experience in marketing, most recently leading the marketing team at Cloud Elements on all fronts from content strategy and investor relations, to customer success and lead gen. Hannah’s passions circle around customer advocacy; client relations; account-based campaigns; user conferences; community management; public relations; & market research.
She has worked for a range of incredible client brands while working at a cloud-based software and services tech company. Her background in agile development + creative mind in realm of marketing marks the ability in getting amazing things done that truly delight.


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