Posted by Paul Anderson

Marketers vying for cloud technology – Why and How

Cloud Computing is not a new concept anymore.The past decade has seen a growing number of organizations opting for hosted e-mail, cloud based applications, and a spate of other tools that fall under the software-as-a-service (SaaS) banner. Many organizations have also opted for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) to plug in computing power and bandwidth on demand.

Cloud in managing data

One of the crucial reasons behind the unprecedented popularity of cloud has been its role in managing data. Cloud technology has made it possible to connect with data in easy and powerful ways. Elaborating further on this context, CMO of a leading firm has put in – ‘’Thanks to cloud that it is now possible to plug in mobile tools, social media data, and other data sources to create a more robust functionality and analytics capabilities. With Clouds there is no headache of data center footprint that was necessary 10 years ago. And not to forget, the added cloud benefits such as there are minimum contract periods and zero maintenance policy.’’

Gartner reports, by 2017 CMOs will be spending more on IT than the CIOs.

Cloud technology has impacted the marketing arena the most. Jeff Allen, director of product marketing for digital analytics at Adobe, has stated – ‘’within the marketing arena, clouds have boiled up faster than a summer thunderstorm. Cloud-based services have created a delivery model that extends and magnifies the efficiencies of digital marketing.’’

This new order of marketing has brought about a much bigger change in traditional business approach. Explaining this sudden change further, Ted Shelton, managing director or strategy competency for PWC consulting, in an interview with has stated – “In the past, the marketing organization was not a major consumer of IT, but the environment is changing rapidly. The marketing organization is becoming a top priority, and businesses must understand how this changes the picture.”

What IAS has stated –

The best example to show this new order of marketing is IAS. It has already switched over to more than a half-dozen clouds that includes campaign automation cloud (handling Google pay-per-click, display ads and LinkedIn social ads), social cloud (handling different social media channels), analytics cloud and assorted cloud based applications such as CRM and data management.

According to one of the associates of IAS, “The technology has helped the agency innovate and operate at a level that wouldn’t have been possible in the past. IAS has connected everything within a single unified platform which has enabled it to provision services to clients at the speed of today’s digital business environment.’’

Experts speak

Moving forward, many experts believe that the spaces and communities organizations use to target their customers will be totally cloud-based. All customer-centric data will be existent in different cloud applications and hence the need will arise to connect all the apps to ensure data can integrate and flow smoothly between them.

Although there are no two ways about the benefit of marketing cloud, experts say that it’s unwise to toss mission-critical applications into the cloud bandwagon quickly. Ideally, an organization should start with a few applications, gain experience and knowledge, witness the successes and failures, and then plan out the impending switchover. Once the marketing executives understand the whole concept of marketing cloud, they can choose cloud solutions that have the biggest impact on the business.

Role of IT and marketing technologist

Experts caution against setting up a marketing cloud without first consulting with the IT department. It needs to be understood that not all cloud providers are created equal. Some might not offer an ideal fit with an organization’s IT infrastructure. Consequently, it is vital to understand the service-level agreement (SLA), and ensure that the cloud provider provides the necessary performance standards as well as assurances and protections that can span multiple clouds.

Marketing technologist (as evident from the term) has a more dynamic understanding of both IT and marketing arenas. Hence, they can combine the two disciplines effectively and connect various marketing clouds in a way that produces maximum results. To gain optimum benefit from marketing cloud implementation, appointing a marketing technologist is advisable.

Final Thoughts

Marketing clouds will benefit organizations of diverse verticals. It will enable the organizations to plug in new marketing features and capabilities on demand. Using the marketing cloud, organizations can view data dashboards in a dynamic way and put information to work more effectively, to help build an agile marketing department.