Cloud Marketing 101: Personalized Digital Marketing
Cloud technology has led to innovations across many disciplines. The ability to store and access data from anywhere has been a game-changer. On top of that, the power of AI-assisted analytics is giving businesses faster and more accurate insights than ever.
It’s no surprise, then, that marketing has embraced cloud technology. Personalization of marketing is something marketers have been working towards for some time. With cloud marketing, it is possible to perfect this strategy with real-time data insights.
What Does Cloud Marketing Mean?
When we talk about cloud marketing, we’re talking about all of your business's online marketing efforts. What makes cloud marketing different from online marketing, in general, is the integration of all these separate channels.
The goal of cloud marketing is to provide each customer with an individualized experience. This experience should be consistent across all the channels where they interact with your business.
To make this possible, marketers use technologies like cloud data warehouse storage and AI data processing. We collect and analyze data on customer behaviors and preferences. Then, we use this to personalize marketing materials that a given customer sees.
Cloud marketing is a technology-driven solution. It relies on data insights from analytics, but the distribution of marketing is often automated too. Several different technologies work together to deliver the solution.
That’s why many businesses turn to single, integrated solutions known as cloud marketing platforms.
What Is a Cloud Marketing Platform?
Broadly speaking, we can separate cloud marketing into two areas, media and tools. Media makes up the channels where you interact with customers, whether email, your website, or social media. Tools are what you use to track data and deliver your marketing campaigns.
A cloud marketing platform aims to combine these tools into a single interface. This allows you to manage campaigns across all your media channels. Salesforce, IBM, and other major business software providers have their versions of these software suites.
The Benefits of a Marketing Cloud
Compared with traditional marketing, using a marketing cloud brings you closer to your customers. Being able to personalize marketing materials and accurately target a customer's preferred channels is a huge advantage.
In the past, marketing relied on direct feedback from customers or market research for insight. This was costly, hard to obtain and often out of date by the time it was analyzed. Compared with analyzing real-time customer data, the old ways can’t compete.
We used to judge the success of our marketing campaigns based on related metrics like sales volume. Now, we can see the effects of changes in marketing reflected in customer behaviors. We can even see which customers respond to different types of messaging.
All of this gives us as marketers far more knowledge of our individual customers. We get more control over what a customer sees across all marketing channels. It allows for the kind of consistent, personalized experience that customers are looking for.
When you’re still growing as a business, scalability is imperative. You don’t want to make a costly investment today that your business will outgrow in a year. A key advantage of cloud-based solutions is that they can scale with your business.
Whether we’re talking about professional phone systems or data warehousing solutions, space in the cloud is affordable and accessible. There’s little to limit your growth, though costs will increase proportionally, and large businesses may even provide their own cloud hosting.
Cloud-based marketing enhances your collaborative abilities. When you’re engaging with a global audience, it’s important to tailor your marketing with different cultures in mind. Having the ability to instantly collaborate with colleagues in different localities enables this flexibility.
Business communications have embraced cloud technology in the same way as marketing. Cloud phone systems and workplace collaboration apps like Slack can play a big role in enhancing your internal efficiency.
Cost & Efficiency Savings
The relatively low cost of online advertising has been a draw for marketers since the dawn of ecommerce. With cloud marketing strategies, the cost savings multiply. Automation in the distribution of marketing materials saves time and money.
Making the most of social marketing with the assistance of data insights is a highly cost-effective way of targeting your advertising. With a better way of targeting your ideal customers, less of your marketing efforts go to waste on non-viable prospects.
How to Implement a Cloud Marketing Strategy
Depending on the stage of your business, there will be different levels of investment and effort required. Maybe your marketing is done online, and you just need a way to integrate your systems. Or, maybe you’re just moving into digital marketing.
Whatever scenario you’re in, the following four steps will guide you in implementing your cloud marketing strategy.
First, you need to take stock of your current marketing channels. Make a list of any software and hardware that your marketers are using. This could mean anything from your campaign management software to your consultants’ mobile business plans.
Once you have these details, set your goals for implementing cloud marketing. Set your budget, then research your options. This will help you assess what systems you need to replace, what you can integrate, and what will be your most cost-effective solution.
Once your systems are in place, plan your campaigns. Digital marketing requires a constant flow of content. Online platforms must stay up to date, social media feeds need to post consistently, and so on. Automation will help with scheduling, but the content needs to be ready.
When you have access to real-time customer data and analysis, testing should become a habit. Use your automated tools and customer data to run A/B marketing tests on your audience segments.
Make use of all the data you are collecting. You planned your campaign based on data insights, keep that going. Use both your test data and the feedback you collect from user behaviors. Look at your highest and lowest engagement rates and learn from successes and mistakes.
Cloud marketing aims to elevate the entire customer experience. You should always keep this in mind as you refine your strategy. Ensure your marketing department is not isolated from your sales and customer service. All these teams help shape your customer experience.
With cloud marketing, you create a positive data feedback loop with the rest of your business. This will help you keep that all-important customer experience consistent across your marketing, sales, and service channels.
Cloud marketing isn’t for every business. There is a high requirement for consistent content output that could deter smaller companies. The technologies that make this strategy work are available to all businesses at some level.
It could be that digital asset management or cloud data storage fit your needs, even if you don’t implement a full multichannel marketing platform. Looking forward to where this technology can fit in with your business could help future-proof your operations.