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Ongoing digital transformation defines the modern marketing function, with so much activity now taking place on the web, social networks, and mobile.
It’s therefore unsurprising that Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) have been quick to embrace the cloud as they chase the speed and flexibility benefits it offers, as well as the enhanced ability to innovate new digital services and track the impact of specific campaigns or interactions.
While this is positive, the marketing function must be careful not to approach cloud in a piecemeal fashion to solve immediate challenges. In doing so, they risk ending up with inflexible technology that could hinder what they want to do in the future, as well as creating unwanted complexity.
The marketing function must be careful not to approach cloud in a piecemeal fashion to solve immediate challenges. In doing so, they risk ending up with inflexible technology that could hinder what they want to do in the future, as well as creating unwanted complexity.
According to Marketing Society’s second 24 Hour Global Conversation, the main challenges currently facing the marketing function include making better use of analytics, gaining a more complete view of the customer, and improving collaboration both internally and externally.
The cloud can help address all of these through the database and analytics capabilities it supports and via connectivity to digital and online assets. For example, it can enable the blending of enterprise and social data to improve critical customer insight.
But to get the best out of these capabilities, and to use them for effective marketing innovation in the future, CMOs need to ensure their cloud solutions integrate and fit with the broader business strategy.
As an example, a software as a service application adopted on an ad hoc basis to address a specific marketing need could lack the flexibility to work with other services elsewhere in the business, meaning its future use is limited. In addition, a cloud infrastructure that isn’t properly integrated with the wider business is likely to create complexity and security risks.
To get the best out of cloud capabilities, and to use them for effective marketing innovation in the future, CMOs need to ensure their cloud solutions integrate and fit with the broader business strategy.
The CMO must therefore work with the CIO and IT team to ensure that what they do with the cloud is aligned to other activities in the business. This means that rather than merely making cloud resources compatible, marketing and IT work towards a common purpose in which cloud investments are aligned with business goals.
The key here is to work within the framework of an enterprise cloud strategy, which combines the capabilities of on-premise, converged infrastructure or private clouds, public cloud, hybrid cloud and even on-premises public cloud. This enables the seamless movement of workloads between environments, providing flexibility to change the services used depending on business need.
A robust enterprise cloud strategy ensures all data and IT resources are joined up, delivering a range of capabilities to the marketing function, including data-driven marketing campaigns. Take Oracle Marketing Cloud for example, which enables organisations to tap into company-wide data through the integration of Oracle Data Management and Oracle Data Cloud.
By working within the framework of an enterprise cloud strategy and working closely with the CIO, marketing professionals can better reach and engage with the right customers and personalise customer
By making better use of sales and customer data through Oracle Marketing Cloud, Lifesize, providers of videoconferencing solutions was able to personalise its customer experience and prolong customer conversations by delivering appropriate content in a timely manner. This resulted in a 25 percent increase in sales conversion rates and more than $100 million in sales pipeline.
Another example can be taken from US airline, JetBlue Airways, which improved customer experience by using Oracle Marketing Cloud to integrate marketing with IT to produce more individualised and relevant messaging. The full range of factors impacting customers can now be taken into account when developing and distributing marketing content.
The enterprise cloud model provides the flexibility and agility that the modern marketing function needs both now and in the future. It supports modern applications that are fit for purpose, better workflows and deeper analytics to support a more data-driven approach and a better understanding of customers.
By working within the framework of an enterprise cloud strategy and working closely with the CIO, marketing professionals can better reach and engage with right the customers and personalise customer experience, ensuring they can meet the ever-changing demands placed on them by the digital world.
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