Digital Marketing: born in the cloud or…

In my work for a global retail company recently, I came across something I believe is common to lots of multinational / large enterprises that are utilizing digital marketing to reach out to consumers and their customers.

After defining the best strategy for their marketing, including digital marketing companies decide which tools they will use for the actual execution of their marketing campaigns. If your strategy is to have a focus on digital marketing then the obvious choice for a marketing execution or marketing automation tool is a cloud based one. Simply because of a couple of factors:

  • it’s close to where your customers are: social, mobile and always online
  • a wide variety of digital channels available which can easily be mixed
  • low or short learning curve for business people to adapt

If that is the case life is simple you would say, just swipe your creditcard and purchase  access to the cloud based tool, like Eloqua, ExactTarget or Responsys and off you go. And yes, if all you want to do is take your customer base, do lightweight segmentation based on basic customer information, like age for instance you’re completely right.
However when you want to provide real personalized and targeted content to your customers, based on a breadth of data, coming from a variety of data-sources you will run short with these cloud based marketing automation tools. Why? Because they’re not up to it yet:

  • Handling large volumes of data to and from the cloud > think for instance you’re online sales transactions
  • Ability to integrate multiple sources of data
  • Ability to properly analyze, segment and prepare data for personalized targeting

So if you’re looking for an end-2-end marketing automation solution, capable of handling your advanced personalization and data requirements, currently you will end up with a hybrid digital marketing solution comprised of a cloud based marketing tool supported by an on premise data analytics environment.

So moving your digital marketing to the cloud? Yes please!
But consider how you will cater for the necessary analytics and persoanlization that modern digital marketing requires!

Originally posted on LinkedIn

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