From Cloud to Customer

Why Cloud Platforms Matter to Marketing Leaders

According to IDC, 89% of marketing campaign management applications in Europe are now cloud based rather than on premises. This is expected to rise to an almost ubiquitous level of 96% by 2026.

Marketing is becoming digitally transformed through the adoption of new cloud-based marketing applications. Until recently, however, little buyer attention has gone into the clouds that underpin marketing applications. Three-quarters of European enterprises use a mix of three main cloud hyperscale platform providers. Hundreds of other closed proprietary vendor cloud solutions are in the market. Multiple clouds mean multiple problems of interoperability that undermine marketer confidence in customer profiles and the customer data truth.

This might not matter very much for isolated back-office IT applications, but to marketers’ data truth it is mission critical. Marketers need to collect data from many different zero, first, second and third-party internal and external data sources to run their campaigns. Different cloud platforms mean unproductive time spent cobbling together and homogenising data. A remote and home working ethos amplifies this problem. In today’s fast-moving environment, campaigns need to be real time. Using this data collection method, the window of maximum campaign opportunity will close before a campaign is even started.

Combating the Cycle of Distrust

Edelman called its 2022 trust survey The Cycle of Distrust. It found that 70% of Gen Z youngsters (aged 14-24) don’t trust the “facts” they read and seek to validate media claims on other online sources. Customer trust in enterprises and their promises is also low, and trust is a critical marketing asset. Apple has proved this by moving to advertising-free mobile phones with privacy by default while increasing its market share. Without trust, the most creative and brilliant marketing campaigns will fail with customers. Also, when marketers don’t trust their data, they hesitate to push the button on campaign execution, leading to crucial delays in taking compelling messages to market.

Both internally and externally, organisations need to create trust and confidence in their customer profile data and marketing message claims. A unified cloud-based platform makes life easier and better for all creative and customer-facing staff:

Customer data platforms (CDPs) that work out-of-the-box without customisation, data conversion and integrationA common user interface means marketers don’t need to “learn” different systems and commands to execute campaignsAccess to high-quality, real-time customer profiles is easier and simpler; complete customer data is available at the point of need, in a flexible format, with real-time data integrityData compliance to GDPR and other regional or country-based regulations is guaranteed

Improving the Working Environment

Besides the commercial advantages associated with a unified cloud platform, there are other performance-related benefits:

Innovation unleashed: ubiquitous analysis and AI to uncover new profitable customer segments combined with real-time omni-channel campaign executionAgile working: a unified low-code/no-code developer platform enabling real-time campaign adaptions and customisations using “citizen” developer skillsImproved campaign teamwork: collaboration and workflow built in “from cloud to customer” to ensure all contributors are on the same page and internal approvals are timely

IDC research reveals that 85% of enterprises agree that employee experience and customer experience are directly connected. By giving marketers more confidence in their customer profile data and their ability to activate high-integrity creative campaigns, marketers will enjoy their work more and deliver higher performance. This is particularly important considering a recent Forbes report that said 83% of communications and marketing professionals report burnout, the worst rate among job functions.

By improving digital systems with universal AI to reduce grunt work and increase the strategic and creative component, employers will improve employee experience, resulting in less burnout, greater company loyalty and a reduced risk of staff churn. In times of scarce digital and marketing skills availability, this is a seriously important benefit.

Optimising Marketing Performance within Constrained Budget Guidelines

A unified cloud platform enables marketing leaders to empower their staff and partners to deliver more and better marketing. This enables greater ownership of marketing processes and reduces costly outsourcing to external agencies. This reduces cost, improves timeliness of campaign delivery, and most importantly increases marketing’s ability to directly control its budget spend.

Marketing performance is always the subject of management scrutiny. A unified cloud platform joins up systems and customer profile data to deliver consistent and accurate real-time marketing metrics. These metrics can be organised into a reporting hierarchy of real-time analytics usable by managers across your organisation, on demand, to democratise marketing performance assessment and improve enterprise-wide collaboration.

Marketing managers can also use these metrics to evaluate real-time campaign performance analytics to justify additional investment and acceleration of successful campaigns, halt non-performing campaigns not meeting performance thresholds or adapt campaigns lagging in performance.

IDC CX Research Director Gerry Brown will be discussing how both marketing and IT leaders can benefit from consolidating their cloud platforms and marketing application platforms in his presentation, “From Cloud to Customer” at the Microsoft and Adobe conference on March 15, 2023. In addition to the points made above, he will reveal brand new research from IDC that will provide further insights for the audience into this key topic. Please join us.

Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Management, Managed Cloud Services, Marketing and Advertising Industry