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#BizTrends2020: Taking the 20s into the cloud for marketing clout

The last decade was all about the cloud. From 2010 the cloud moved from novelty to the accepted means to deploy infrastructure. As we enter the Twenties, marketing professionals will need to aggressively leverage modular cloud computing if they hope to stay relevant.
Johan Walters, Lead Tech Consultant at Incubeta SA
Johan Walters, Lead Tech Consultant at Incubeta SA

Why the cloud?

At the outset, it helps tremendously to see cloud as an enabler of digital business, rather than simply a data centre replacement. When engaging with our clients, we describe using cloud technologies as a three-step journey of aggregating multiple data sources; analysing what data you have and how it pertains to your customer; and then activating based on that insight over channels that are appropriate to your customer at that time.

Making use of the cloud to achieve not only operational optimisation and cost savings, but also digital marketing maturity, will place an organisation on the path to reach what Google refers to as the multi-moment in its digital maturity framework.

In short, the multi-moment stage is when organisations can dynamically execute campaigns optimised for individuals across all their communication channels.

While this goal is something that many international companies are working towards, we warn clients not to skip steps as they strive to achieve the multi-moment stage. Rather, they should use the path of reaching digital maturity to lay the foundation that will allow an organisation to scale its digital marketing offering.

The cloud, and cloud-based stacks like Google Marketing Platform, help you with the heavy lifting that you need in a fully data-optimised marketing department. Cloud can enable data insights such as lifetime customer value and other customer behaviours that are invaluable when it comes to building a customer-centric brand.

By taking your business into the cloud, companies can also reap the full benefit of machine learning and AI. These functions, which represent the next logical step from predictive analysis, bring with them the truly revolutionary benefits such as predictive modelling, allowing marketing professionals to gain the in-depth knowledge that allows them to respond to their customers in real-time.

What’s more, by understanding your customer and using cloud infrastructure, companies can collect, analyse and leverage data to merge online and offline marketing campaigns. This includes tapping into the power of recommendation engines.

Recommendation engines are a prime example of how harnessing the power of the cloud and applying machine learning, will enable your company to upsell and cross-sell far more effectively than even the best human marketer. The sheer volume and speed of the data analysed can deliver astonishingly accurate suggestions to your customer. These will be based on their past behaviour, browsing preferences, searches, purchases, location, time, channel, and device, delivered in a matter of seconds.

While the cloud may have become the new normal in IT departments, understanding it and integrating it throughout the organisation – most particularly in the marketing department – will be the challenge of this decade. Those who get it right, will reap the rewards and those who delay in taking steps will fall behind, and will certainly struggle to catch up in years to come.

About Johan Walters

Johan Walters is Lead Consultant at Incubeta. With more than 20 years' experience in digital marketing, Johan specialises in helping brands on their transformation towards digital marketing maturity.

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