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A Marketing Cloud Alternative for Startups? Really?

 

Before I begin unfolding this, let us understand what a Marketing Cloud really is.

According to Wikipedia

Cloud marketing is the process of an organization’s efforts to market their goods and services online through integrated digital experiences, by which they are specialized for every single end user.”

According to my understanding, a marketing cloud is a complete marketing suite which gives digital marketing professionals the ability to market their products/services. The differentiators of a marketing cloud which make it stand out from other marketing platforms are:

  1. Integrated/ Cross Channel Marketing Ability
  2. Personalized Marketing ability for each and every end user
  3. Predictive Intelligence
  4. Integrated cross channel content management system
  5. Provides actionable intelligent reporting system

Let us understand these in more detail

 

Integrated/Cross Channel Marketing Ability:

This feature of marketing cloud makes it possible for a marketing professional to manage all cross channel marketing efforts from a single location, may it be managing content and collateral for different marketing campaigns or managing cross channel campaigns across multiple websites, social media, email, SMS, loyalty programs, discount coupons/offer campaign etc.

 

Personalized Marketing Ability For Each and Every End User 

A marketing cloud gives you the ability to market to your customer at each and every step of customer life-cycle. A personalized marketing ability gives you the ability to create personalized cross channel customer experiences. It also gives you the ability to initiate customer interaction at multiple touch point basis customer behavior. It gives a marketer the power to test and target using multiple content variations, test frequency and timing etc. Personalized marketing ability also enables a marketer to leverage automation and respond to customers automatically basis their previous user behavior or basis intelligent monitoring systems.

A personalized marketing feature of a marketing cloud also makes it possible to easily integrate it with other marketing systems, apps and products to multiply its outputs.

Predictive Intelligence

Predictive intelligence helps in delivering personalized content or helps the marketer derive intelligent inputs from cross channel data to create highly effective marketing campaigns. Predictive intelligence helps devise long term marketing road maps and helps easily achieve your marketing goals. Predictive intelligence can help you predict what a user might want to buy and suggest content according to that.

 

Integrated Cross Channel Content Management System

An integrated cross channel Content Management System (CMS) enables you to publish content across multiple marketing channels in different forms, it also comes with useful plugins and integration to ensure that all marketing channels can be leveraged to the maximum output.

Provides Actionable Intelligent Reporting System

Marketing Cloud comes with an intelligent reporting system, more customer data you have more powerful you become. Marketing cloud makes it possible to combine big data and analytics . This helps you develop a data driven strategy for your marketing campaign.

 

Salesforce and Adobe have emerged as the leaders in the race of Enterprise Marketing Software Suites with IBM and SAP following closely. The below Forrester study shows the trend from Q4 2014

marketing cloud contenders

Though a marketing cloud is a great offering for an established organization looking trying to establish themselves and improve their marketing performance, for a startup even the smallest of a marketing cloud module can sound very expensive.

But after analyzing the composition of a marketing cloud an alternative robust economical solution can be chosen.

In next posts I will break this down and tell you about tools which will help you achieve these objectives with ease.

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