Cloud marketing: what is it, and why should you be using it?


Chris Attewell

CEO


Analytics and Data Science

Marketers have access to more data than ever before, but not all data is being used to its full potential.

If we have said it once, we have said it a thousand times: integrating your data is key to building a digital strategy that genuinely nurtures your customers through the sales funnel and leads them to conversion.

Working manually with lots of data is complex and time-consuming, and the more data there is, the more it is prone to human error.

This is where cloud for marketing, or cloud marketing, comes in. The use of cloud software to centralize data, gather actionable insights and activate your digital marketing strategy is revolutionizing the way brands and agencies work.

Cloud for marketing refers to the use of cloud technologies to collect, store, join and transform data, rather than using disparate databases and physical locations to do so. As a Google Cloud Platform Partner, we use Google Cloud products, but there are plenty of cloud platforms available offering end to end solutions.

 

Where and how can cloud for marketing be used

Cloud marketing can be used at any, or all, stages of your digital marketing, from collecting the data through to optimizing your digital campaigns.

Collect >Transform >Analyze >Visualize >Activate

Collect

Collecting the right data, in the right format, is the first step in delivering a data-driven marketing strategy. Cloud for marketing tools make it easier than ever to collect huge amounts of data, measuring the right metrics for your goals.

Examples of cloud for marketing platform tools that collect data include Google Analytics and Analytics 360, Google Tag Manager, Adobe Analytics and Salesforce.

Transform

Often, the data we collect has hidden insights. Cloud for marketing tools can be used to prepare, clean, and join numerous raw data sources into usable data sets where additional transformation projects like attribution modeling and audience segmentation can be performed.

One advantage cloud platforms have over isolated databases and servers is their ability to transform huge amounts of data easily and accurately. We regularly use a combination of Google cloud products including Cloud Dataprep and Google BigQuery, to build bespoke, machine learning solutions for our clients, which produces bespoke insights in a short space of time. This kind of speed and accuracy just isn’t possible without cloud for marketing tools.

Cloud for marketing tools offer new ways to join and transform your data, allowing you to get the most from it.

Analyze

Once data has been transformed into usable data sets, you can use cloud for marketing tools to take this raw data and turn it into powerful insights which can improve the way you undertake digital marketing.

Attribution models, audience segmentation and scoring, bespoke data projects within data warehouses – these projects all use the predictive algorithms within cloud for marketing tools to analyze your data and deliver insights that can be used to inform your digital marketing strategy.

Visualize

Interrogating large and disparate data sets can become increasingly complex and difficult when working in offline environments. Cloud for marketing platforms offer dashboarding solutions that make connecting and visualizing actionable insights easy. Cloud dashboard solutions like Data Studio, Looker and Tableau can connect with multiple third-party data sources and data warehouses to report on multiple channels and provide a holistic view of your data.

In fully automated online cloud environments, these reports can be updated in real-time, reducing the hours needed to build reports / interrogate data, allowing more resource to spend on adding strategic value.

Activate

Insights mean very little unless you actually do something with this information. Cloud for marketing integration can be used to activate data and insights between your data warehouse, analytics, and ad platforms to improve your digital performance, for example by pushing audience segments back into your ad platform where it can be used to target higher-value audiences specifically, or creating audiences for remarketing based on specific engagement signals which have been highlighted in your analysis.

What are the benefits of cloud for marketing?

Moving to cloud for marketing is non-negotiable for medium and large enterprises who want to grow. Here are some of the reasons why.

Integration

Cloud for marketing platforms make it possible to bring together big data sets from multiple sources and blend them together, allowing you to build a holistic picture of your customers and the sales funnel.

Bringing together data from many sources into one data warehouse means you can paint a more accurate picture of the customer journey and use this information to adjust how and where you spend your marketing budget. Building a full-funnel digital marketing strategy delivers a better customer experience and can drive efficiencies as well as more conversions when compared to a siloed channel-specific approach (nascent in digital maturity).

Scalability

Cloud platforms have the capacity and power to store and query huge amounts of data. For businesses with large or growing volumes of data being collected, being able to cope with – and use – this data is crucial. Cloud tools also automate marketing processes which means complete accuracy no matter how much data is being crunched.

Advanced data solutions

Historical data reveals so much about your customer and the customer journey. We can use cloud for marketing tools to take this data and build advanced solutions, such as building predictive models to score a customer’s likelihood of purchasing a certain product, which can then fed back into your remarketing strategy.

There are hundreds of ways we can use machine learning to build marketing solutions, something which is only possible thanks to the cloud products.

Instant insights

People are online every minute of the day, and marketers need to be able to act on changes in consumer behavior as it happens – or risk missing out on revenue, or wasting spend.

Cloud marketing platforms collect and can be configured to analyze your data in real-time, and thanks to functions like automated reporting, make it possible to see what is happening as it happens so that you can make informed reactive choices – like increasing spend during unprecedented demand after a product goes viral, or pausing ads when stock levels drop.

There is even the ability to set up automated rules so that campaigns are started or paused instantaneously when the rule criterion is met (i.e. a change in performance/demand).

Cloud for marketing solutions make it easier for businesses to collect and transform their data into actionable insights, build integrated strategies, and deliver better customer experiences. They also allow for high levels of automation which frees up time, meaning more time can be spent on strategy and execution. 

Want to get more from your cloud platform? We have a team of digital strategists and Google Cloud certified data engineers who can take your data to the next level.

Get more insights straight to your inboxSubscribe to our newsletter


x
Get the latest digital marketing insights delivered to your inbox