By 2017, Chief Marketing Officers will spend more on IT resources than Chief Information Officers will, according to Gartner research. CIO.com agrees and reports that the shift is well underway. Today’s CIOs are being ushered into a marketing support role to meet the growing demands of an increasingly data driven industry.
Regardless of what role you’re in, embracing the cloud is essential in growing your marketing strategy and consequently your business. Without the appropriate resources from real-time communication to centralized data, marketers will get left behind as their colleagues speed forward with the help of cloud-based marketing tools.
Here’s a look at how digital marketers are using the cloud to reach new customers and retain current ones.
Access to centralized data can mean the difference between targeting your core audience and their specific interests and demographic or doing a blind marketing reach. Marketers can use a centralized approach to data with a tool like Oracle’s Marketing Cloud to tie together the digital, offline and data designed to customize your marketing plan and take action. With seamless integration, marketing channels can complement each other instead of struggling to stay in tandem.
Even small businesses with a specific target audience can take advantage of centralizing their data by using cloud storage. Upload charts, social media updates, client information and marketing materials like e-books and free seminar replays for instant download when a client opts in to your list. Accessing materials on the go is essential for client presentations and to collect additional materials and data. Use a site like Top10CloudStorage.com to find reviews and features of cloud storage providers to find the best one to meet your needs.
Customers expect real-time communication whether they’re emailing, sending a tweet or looking for online chat. On a smaller scale, marketers can try a platform like Hootsuite to automate social media messages, respond to issues on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, and look for trends in brand conversations. Staying on the pulse of customer communication can stop an issue from escalating and offer a public platform which everyone can watch a satisfying resolution unfold.
Salesforce provides seamless multi-channel communication whether your company sends thousands of emails each day or needs to provide customer support across multiple channels. Marketers can use the cloud to filter and target specific audiences, whether to send a promotion to business executives or check in with a new lead.
Adobe Marketing Cloud capitalizes on the idea of providing amazing experiences as being the new brand. The new generation of customers want a genuine, personal experience that goes beyond form emails. Use cloud marketing to analyze your customer’s behavior and make automated recommendations to customize their service.
Leveraging analytics can also tell marketers how customers use their websites. Look for clickstream patterns, which areas of the site customers use most and how seamless their purchasing experience really is. Without a simplified shopping process, customers will leave and find another site with a more intuitive interface.