Do you really need a marketing cloud platform?
Sometimes in the pursuit of finding excellence or achieving results, we find ourselves under pressure to adopt products and force fit them into the existing ecosystem. Top it with the insensitive B2B marketing (much like the Big Short movie) where no one genuinely cares about the win-win situation, but everyone is out there to push their product/service down your throat.
The Marketing Cloud is massive as a concept, and if executed right can achieve great results. But the question you need to ask yourself is – what value is it going to bring to your business in terms of revenue dollars? I thought I’d try and be the devil’s advocate here and ask some questions. It is in this regard that you as a marketer need to carefully evaluate these questions before adopting a complex product such as the marketing cloud:
1) Does your business require one-to-one customer communication?
A typical marketing cloud sales executive will push his case that it’s important to communicate with your customer effectively. Depending on your business, you can leverage marketing tools to reach out to your customers through a weekly email, a generic push notification, latest information through browser notification, or a focused display marketing campaign to reach a wider audience. The question you need to ask yourself here is that – what value is a marketing cloud going to bring to me that these tools can’t?
2) Does your business have a large customer base?
If your business is in the B2B space, then you probably might be having a relatively smaller customer base. While you might need to harness traffic as each user visiting your website might be a potential lead, you can do this with a CRM solution which is cost effective. A marketing cloud product might complicate things and cloud your judgment of the right metrics and measurement goals. Is it worth the effort and time you spend on it?
3) Volume of data (customer data, transaction data, product level data)
If your business is small, or does not deal with a large no. of products or does not have a huge customer base generating voluminous transaction data, then you probably could do without a marketing cloud platform. While marketing cloud is great at analyzing data and help you mine customer level information, you can always use simple BI tools such as SAS to discover hidden patterns and make the best use of them.
4) Marketing at scale
We are always pushed to reach scale. Immediately. But does that really work? At whatever scale your business might be, and whatever be the targets you are chasing, it’s more than important to get the marketing basics right. It’s very important in today’s time that the free or almost free channels are properly implemented. So before you try the fancy stuff, get the right help to make the most of your free channels:
- SEO – in the long run, optimizing your content (website, blog, landing pages, etc.) will help you meet your RoI goals which might get skewed by other paid channels
- Content / Website Interaction – once a customer lands on one of your many digital touch points, ensure that you have enough and the right content to help them get clarity. Also, ensure that the website is neatly structured and takes lead at right stages so as to keep them engaged
- Social media profile – Ensure that free social media profile is created on all relevant platforms (Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google+, etc.) and is always up to date with right information.
5) Marketing + IT know-how
Ask some of the companies which tried deploying SAP solutions in the 2000s and they will have stories to tell. Marketing cloud, like SAP is a set of complex modules which is not easy to integrate and implement. It is therefore critical to assess the house before deciding to invest on one. One has to get in touch with key-stakeholders and get their points of view on platforms like these. What is also critical is to perceive challenge versus resistance. A lot of times, people and systems are resistant to change. So one needs to clearly evaluate such scenarios to ensure there is alignment in terms of people and process to be able to successfully implement it.
Successful businesses are built on sound and fundamental principles. We at Vizury always take a consultative approach and work with you to understand how Vizury Engage, our Growth Marketing Platform can add value to your business, and what are the 5 steps that need to be taken before you implement the product. What we also do is take a modular approach to the marketing cloud and help you implement pieces which can rapidly generate measurable results while we as a team work on long term objectives.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to know what exactly needs to be done when it comes to implementing a marketing cloud product.