We used to live in a world where consumers would say, “There must be an app for this?!”. Come the 2020s, while mobile apps had already exploded, the world started saying, “There must be an API for that?!”.
Application Program Interfaces, or APIs, enable external and internal consumers to seamlessly access, interact, and engage with a company’s data house. APIs essentially put together different parts of the value chain together in spite of being based on different technologies or supplied by different partners.APIs truly promote the rapid development of new capabilities and even greatly reduce the amount of rework required should one switch to a new vendor.
When companies have access to data and functions via APIs, it empowers them to make smarter decisions, improve customer satisfaction, drive innovation, and identify new areas of business. In fact, many businesses have identified APIs as their largest enabler of digital transformation strategies. According to Harvard Business Review, Expedia.com, for instance, generates 50% of its revenue through APIs and eBay, 60%. The benefits of using APIs are many,including enabling new digital products, opening new partner opportunities,enhancing customer experiences, and preparing for the future.
To reap the full benefits of all that APIs have to offer, an organization’s API strategy should reflect the key business drivers and goals upon which you are focusing in the market today. Say, for example, you supply a network of large companies with components. And they use an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system like SAP. Ideally, you would provide them with API endpoints so their order management system can talk to your order management system without any manual intervention, leading to automation and a lot of time saved.
Developing an API program is a significant undertaking that can have a profound impact on an organization. Because it can drive new products, new innovation, new customers, and new revenue streams, it’s not a task to take lightly.
Naturally,the marketing world has its own reasons for relying so heavily on APIs.Marketing is not merely telling your best friend that you discovered a cool new app, though that is one of many of its branches. Rather, marketing can look like receiving an email based on your latest purchase, encouraging you to pay more attention to the brand in question. Or it can be a chatbot in Facebook messenger, giving you every ounce of energy it has. This is to ensure that your experience is rewarding and satisfying enough that you return to the associated business.
Toput it one way, marketing is complex. And it also requires quite a bit oftechnology. In those examples alone, you can glimpse how software and marketingare bound to mix. Therefore, marketing APIs are essential to navigating thesoftware involved in a marketing campaign.
APIs help marketing operations in a number of ways.
Marketing Automation The importance of marketing automation in marketing campaigns mirrors that of marketing APIs. Half of the time — well, really, most of the time — marketing automation is depending on APIs to clean up its act. Using marketing automation tools and marketing APIs in unison help businesses boost productivity, save money, speed up operations, scale more efficiently. You will find that marketing automation is a fundamental asset of every other software and API related to marketing operations.
Integration of Different Platforms Another foundational element of marketing APIs is data integration. Making connections is at the heart of all APIs. It's simply what they were meant to do. With the use of APIs, you will be able to sync the various platforms you use together.The result is a fully-fledged software ecosystem for tackling daily marketing operations. With the use of APIs, you will be able to sync the various platforms you use together. For you, this will look like connecting your content management system (CMS) or customer relationship management (CRM) platform to useful tools that can help your business thrive. As an illustration, HubSpot APIs are notoriously recognized for being vital players for businesses that build websites using HubSpot. This is because HubSpot APIs power HubSpot integrations which connect HubSpot websites to a variety of revenue-increasing software whether that's MailChimp or WordPress.
Data Collection Data collection serves as one more general use case for marketing APIs. RESTful APIs, especially, are designed to query web services for data. If you were wondering, the REST in RESTful stands for Representational State Transfer. In short, REST APIs respond to HTTP requests to send data. This method of data collection has become increasingly popular throughout the years. But web APIs overall are traditionally assigned this labor. Data collection is indispensable for conducting market research. Although, it's worth noting that after data collection, the focus becomes data analysis — in which case marketing APIs are still imperative.
Email Marketing Email marketing APIs can be fairly diverse in their capabilities. Their most common use of marketing APIs for email campaigns is for notifications and transactional messages. In this regard, business platforms work with email servers to notify customers of important information or confirm a transaction that just occurred. Sure, you could send your customers an email manually, but this wouldn't allow for much scalability in the future. This is just a sneak peek of what marketing automation can do. To get an even more complex use of email marketing APIs, you can consider setting up workflows to send email messages at the most opportune moments depending on consumer interactions.Lastly, you can connect software tools like your CMS and CRM to your email platform. By doing this, you can let customers know about new content or manage email contacts from your CRM.
Social Media Social media is not just for young people. In 2019, 69% of U.S. adults were using Facebook. Though other social media platforms no doubt differ in participation,it's safe to say that social media is an apt avenue for marketing. The majority of social media platforms utilize social network APIs. In general, these types of APIs can query social networks for users, posts, and even demographic data.In the context of marketing APIs, businesses are beholden to software that permits them to gather insights and analyze their metrics. Comprehensive social media marketing can also streamline your campaign by letting you manage and monitor content all from the same dashboard. This can get as convenient as scheduling daily posts. To put it briefly, marketing APIs fuel marketing operations. APIs as a whole are the backbone of software.
The next time you are building a story, think of how you can use technology to get to market faster. When in doubt, just do an internet search. There must be an API for that.