Many people have a vague or unclear idea what the marketing cloud is, and a little less about how they both already and can use the cloud every day.
Cloud services have played a major role in shaping the marketing landscape in the digital era.
The cloud, which is really a cluster of virtual or dedicated servers, provides a foundation on which to build new marketing channels, collaborate on creative pieces, and expand brand awareness and sales opportunities into previously untapped areas.
With that in mind, here some smart ways marketers can use cloud services on a regular basis.
Social Media in the Marketing Cloud
Social media is built on the cloud, from big-name services to niche communities. Getting people to share brand and product information with their family, friends and followers on social media has become a big focus for marketers.
This is perhaps one of the most fertile areas of innovation for modern marketing, as existing networks constantly change their policies and algorithms and new networks emerge and become popular.
Marketers must adapt to the ever-changing social media landscape by understanding the costs and reach of paid placements as well as the potential for organic sharing.
In addition to offering new marketing channels, the cloud also provides a basis for tools to maximize use of those channels.
The marketing cloud tools allow automation and scheduling of shareable content through social channels, while also providing important data to track reach and effectiveness in various ways.
Cloud-based social media tools also track trends so marketers can react in real time to the things that people are talking about.
All of these areas offer great opportunities for ingenuity and inspiration.
With so many new channels for marketers to manage, coming up with the right types and amount of content can certainly be a challenge, not to mention all of the considerations around product launches, seasonality, and other scheduling factors that have to line up to ensure messages are seen by the right people at the right time.
Keeping all of the pieces moving smoothly and in the right order requires collaboration tools that can step up to the challenge.
The good news is that cloud-based collaboration tools are stepping up to help marketers in a big way.
From writing copy to quickly sharing high-resolution images or video, it’s easier than ever to develop quality content quickly.
Cloud-based tools let people anywhere in the world produce, edit, and annotate almost anything, from documents to spreadsheets, mind maps, flowcharts, graphics, and a host of other file types.
Files can be easily shared between companies, agencies, vendors, and contractors using cloud storage (private, public, or hybrid).
There are also plenty of cloud productivity tools to keep tabs on constantly moving project deadlines and deliverables.
There’s an App for That
We don’t know if Garnet is correct with its now three-year-old prediction that CMOs will be spending more than CIOs on technology in 2017.
What we do know, however, is that marketing departments are spending more each year on technology improvements and services. One big way marketing departments have been using their technology dollars is in the development of apps for mobile devices.
Whether they connect to provide personal banking services, offer a convenient shopping portal, or let people rank game high scores against friends, the vast majority of apps created today rely to some degree on cloud technology.
Going beyond that, apps themselves have become valuable tools in the marketing cloud, both as a way to highlight and augment the core products and services a company offers and as a way to provide targeted messaging directly to loyal customers.
The number of apps available continues to grow daily, and marketers are still figuring out the best ways to use the data gathered—and stored in cloud servers—in the most productive ways possible.
Life in the Marketing Cloud Continues
As prevalent as the marketing cloud is these days, we believe the use of cloud services by marketers is likely to grow even more in the years ahead.
We’ve only begun to see the benefits of network-based services that rely on cloud technology, and there are plenty of ways to continue innovating and refining it for marketing and other purposes.
Every communications professional needs to be interested and aware of all aspects of cloud technology, and the innovation surrounding it.
The Marketing cloud not only offers opportunities for marketers to take advantage of, but is increasingly becoming a requirement to keep up.
What are your favorite marketing cloud tools?