The State of the Marketing Cloud

December 16, 2016 James Thomas


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State of the Marketing CloudAs we approach year-end and look ahead to 2017, Forrester is making big predictions for cloud computing, including that “the influx of enterprise dollars will push the global public cloud market to $236 billion in 2020, up from $146 billion in 2017.”

Marketers certainly aren’t strangers to the power of cloud computing. In the past several years cloud-based solutions have emerged to help marketers engage prospects and customers; to plan, deliver and measure campaigns across channels; to manage content and workflows; and to measure and optimize marketing performance. (Allocadia partners with marketing cloud leaders IBM Marketing Cloud, Marketo, and Oracle Marketing Cloud.)

Keep reading for more about the current state of the marketing cloud and developments that marketers should expect in the coming months.

Cloud-Based Technologies Will Become Core Business Operations

“ ‘We are at an inflection point as digital transformation efforts shift from “project” or “initiative” status to strategic business imperative,’ said Frank Gens, IDC senior vice president and chief analyst, in a November press statement. ‘Every (growing) enterprise, regardless of age or industry, must become “digital native” in the way its executives and employees think, what they produce, and how they operate. At the same time, Third Platform technology adoption and digital transformation is happening much faster than most expected and early competitive advantages will go to those enterprises that can keep pace with the emerging DX (digital transformation) economy.’ ” —Read more at CIO.

The Marketing Cloud Will Become the Rule, Not the Exception

“[T]he marketing cloud will come into maturity in 2017. You know, that utopian place where social media management, content marketing, advertising and automation come together in one fluffy white platform, [says Dr. Jacob Shama, author of “Intelligent Customer Engagement Powered by Predictive Marketing”]. The marketing cloud will become more the rule than the exception, adopted and perfected by smaller businesses as well. What does this mean for all those ‘me-too’ startups next year? That it will be harder to gain traction as you compete with companies with better capabilities in existing solutions.” —Read more at The Huffington Post.

Audio Will Become Part of the Marketing Cloud

“Many companies have not prepared themselves for the next 3 to 5 years, and, as they begin to look into delivering voice-enabled experiences in 2017, the gaps will begin to appear. That won’t do. Companies need to start building for the very near future if they want to deliver product-related audio content across new sets of channels and interactions. Now that the CMS has become the hub of the content marketing cloud, it must evolve to facilitate voice interaction — just as it evolved to syndicate content across channels.” —Read more at VentureBeat.

Artificial Intelligence Will Make the Marketing Cloud More Productive

“ ‘If you think about what a marketer wants to do, it is probably not to learn data science technologies,’ [says Salesforce’s Asia-Pacific head of product marketing, Derek Laney]. ‘The key problems they are trying to address are what’s the right method or channel to interact with the customer, what is the right message or content, and when is the right time. And applying data science to those three problems can make a marketer much more productive. What we are doing is understanding domain problems within CRM and solving them one by one, then making that available to all our customers as a service.’ While marketers often create rules-based systems for interacting with customers, Laney says this can be automated with AI. The machine can look at [an] individual’s behavioural data and make recommendations without having to create rules.” —Read more at CMO Australia.

Real-Time Data Streams Will Become Critical to the Cloud

“The static name, rank and serial number of the customer has long served as the bedrock of CRM systems, with huge investment in physical data stores for customer information. But with data coming from devices, applications and even appliances, real-time data streams are poised to drive real differentiation in CX. In 2017, marketing, sales and service campaigns will center on leveraging these data streams to proactively address customer needs in the moment.” —Read more at CMSWire.


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