As customer engagement evolves toward more real-time one to one interactions, marketers are looking for technology solution partners to support their advanced strategies. However, updating and upgrading marketing technologies is no easy undertaking. And the choices are becoming almost endless with 4000+ technology solutions on the market.
For many, there may be an initial attraction towards cloud based marketing solutions, which have been sold as a “one stop solution,” to deliver marketing’s desire to have an integrated platform. However, as with all technology, unless you plan and resource effectively, the technology you choose may not deliver.
Cloud Based Marketing Solutions Falling Short of Expectations
Cloud based marketing solutions are commonly sold as an “all in one product.” But the reality is that they are not a single product. They are a bundle of individual offerings under one banner, that may, or may not, integrate well with your existing systems, or even be the best tool for your needs.
Thinking that because something is part of an overall cloud based marketing solution means it will integrate well and be easy to implement is where marketers are getting themselves into trouble. In fact, a recent Forrester commissioned study showed that 95% of marketing cloud users experience challenges with implementation.
Without a well scoped plan the complexity of implementation can leave IT departments struggling to find the bandwidth needed to manipulate data and perform the necessary integrations. The Forrester commissioned study highlights this integration challenge with 40% of respondents stating their number one challenge with their cloud based marketing solution is integration with legacy systems.
64% Rely on Outside Consultants or Systems Integrators
The number one solution to overcome these challenges is to bring in outside partners who can provide the expertise and bandwidth to manage and coordinate the necessary integrations.
In addition to considering bringing in an outside partner, these three steps are critical to make cloud based marketing solutions work for you.
- It all Starts with Data. Any technology is pretty much useless if the data foundation has not been addressed first. Data plus technology is needed to execute real-time one to one customer interactions. The first step is to make sure all data – first, second, and third party data is in a centralized repository.
- Identify Critical Gaps. What are the critical requirements that are not being met by current systems? Scoping out requirements, makes it easier (not easy) to narrow the search for the tools that will meet the need.
- Manage Expectations. Expectations for any technology that demands a high level of investment are going to be high. And, added to that having the right technology is critical to marketing being able to meet the relentless demands of the customer. But, it is paramount that marketers manage expectations as to what the technology can and cannot fulfill.
To find out more about the steps needed to implement real-time one to one customer interactions, download our latest eBook, How to Implement Personalization Across All Customer Touchpoints.
About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.