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Understanding the 5 W’s of Marketing Clouds – The Who’s Who



In the previous Marketing Cloud post in our blog series, we looked at answering the question “why”. This question is the most critical to ask as part of the information gathering process for building out your organization’s marketing technology stack. Once you understand what the business drivers are and why they are important to your marketing vision, you can start your journey with defining the top marketing priorities that align with corporate business objectives and how you can connect the dots with a marketing cloud solution.

When building a business case for evolving your marketing technology stack, there are two important audiences (the Who’s) that will be involved in either defining your marketing cloud strategy or during the platform evaluation process – the business users and naturally the MarTech vendors. Let’s take a deeper look by understanding the roles and impact these two groups will have on your success with marketing cloud.

Who needs to be involved with defining your marketing cloud strategy?

We keep hearing market research firms and industry analysts predict that CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs in the next few years. As the digital domain continues to evolve, and digital strategies and spending priorities become increasingly important to keep pace with customer experience trends becoming the “new norm” for marketers. As this marketing paradigm shift occurs, CMOs and CIOs must work hand-in-hand to fully embrace and be successful with marketing cloud investments.

Up until the past few years, marketing operations (email marketing, social and digital marketing, content marketing, etc.) all functioned in a much more independent manner with little visibility into the value they are driving for the business. It is important for the CMO to bring these groups into the mix when defining the organization’s marketing cloud strategy. Ultimately, these groups of business users will be the ones to adopt and collaborate on the platform.

Who are the leaders in marketing clouds?

As we all know, the marketing technology (MarTech) landscape is evolving at a rapid pace. With more than 1,800 current vendors and new market entrants and categories emerging regularly, one of the defining characteristics of a marketing cloud “leader” is having a strong vision for where marketing is going with technology. As a technology buyer, evaluate enterprise marketing software providers by how well they’re positioned to be able to execute at making their strategic technology vision a reality for customers down the road with their platform. Other important criteria for assessing marketing cloud leaders includes:

  • Sustainability and scalability
  • Partner strategy
  • Market presence
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Cost

The Marketing Cloud VS. Best-of-Breed Debate

One of the biggest marketing challenges for organizations today revolves around the current state of their marketing technology stack. Business leaders, and often times IT leaders, may not fully understand why moving to a marketing cloud is a smart investment when marketing may already have a number of systems that perform the same or similar function as a marketing cloud. Therein lies the problem with best-of-breed or point solutions. Often times, these point solutions require complex integrations or result in data flow issues causing inefficiencies or breaks in marketing processes. Without a complete view of the customer lifecycle (across marketing, sales and service) and the data points you’ll want to capture and analyze, it will be a challenge to demonstrate measurable results with your marketing technology investments.

A perfect industry example of the benefits of an integrated solution is the blurred lines that are popping up between marketing and other business functions, such as customer service. These blurred lines are driving next-generation, integrated product features and functionality that can bridge call center and service gaps though self-service channels, social media networks and online engagement tactics. Customer communities are also a hot ticket item right now for many of our clients exploring new ways to leverage the power of Salesforce. By supporting peer-to-peer sharing, empowering brand advocates, and enabling new levels of collaboration, companies can extend their reach by building a customer community, based on trust and people with a shared interest, to transform the way they do business.

As you can see, with a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Salesforce as the “hub” for capturing all of the valuable information, you have a more holistic view of the business opening up the doors for new opportunities to attract, engage and serve customers with marketing automation tools.

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Elizabeth Dias

Elizabeth Dias is an experienced technology marketing strategist focused on the financial services and retail industry at Perficient. With over nine years of experience as a professional business-to-business (B2B) marketer, Elizabeth is knowledgeable in technology strategies for the financial services industry focusing on mobile banking and payments, data analytics, and enterprise information management. She also closely follows the fintech community as well as tech trends in social and digital, and is also an active blogger and thought leader on Twitter (@techmktggirl).

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