Legacy marketing systems and service providers are falling behind. There are new SaaS marketing automation software leaders, including Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, Adobe Cloud, and Salesforce. These marketing automation software platforms have becomes powerhouses. They have firmly grasped the title of “disruptor” by developing new or migrating old services to the cloud.
Interestingly, it looks like enterprise organizations are following marketers into the ether:

  • Gartner has characterized cloud-driven SaaS providers as far down the path toward what they consider “mainstream” adoption rates.
  • According to CIO, IT executives in large enterprise organizations will finally be shifting all functions, including marketing, to the cloud in 2017.
  • Cisco says 83 percent of all data traffic will be in the cloud in the next three years.

CMOs and CIOs know that moving marketing functions to cloud-based SaaS providers may not solve all their KPI-related problems. However, it may make the most sense within the context of a global market of digitally obsessed connected consumers.

When you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em in the cloud.

Let’s look at two key questions enterprise business leaders need to consider:

  1. What does marketing in the cloud mean and how can companies leverage it?
  2. What are the advantages and potential adverse consequences of cloud marketing?

Leveraging the Cloud to Reach Consumers

The vision behind cloud marketing is to create an encompassing hub, which handles all functions from content management and social media to CRM.

SaaS also lessens the upfront costs associated with software licensure. As a subscription service, the overall costs associated with the technology remain fairly static. This allows marketing departments to easily budget for a relatively flat monthly expense.

There are four key components to marketing in the cloud:

  1. Marketing automation that publishes and promotes content across the web and into phones, digital advertising, and social media. These platforms include SEO that recognizes the algorithms that determine your Google ranking.
  2. Content Management tools are platforms designed to help enterprises manage their web-based publishing. These tools support web pages; offer embedded graphics, group functionality, marketing scheduling and calendar functions, and much more.
  3. Social Media Management software that helps manage multiple functions across many platforms, including scheduling, and project management.
  4. Analytics to track ROI by segment or sector, allowing you to shift message or change delivery vehicles in real-time.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Cloud Marketing

There are clear benefits and drawbacks to cloud marketing, including the issue of security that some CIOs still raise.

An additional red flag is when SaaS providers grow through acquisition; integration between all functions may have suffered. Additionally, SaaS still offers less customization than on-premise software.

On the benefits side, deployment of SaaS is quicker. These services offer out-of-the-box functionality and easy implementation. Updates occur in real-time, without service interruption.

SaaS also lessens the upfront costs associated with software licensure. As a subscription service, the overall costs associated with the technology remain fairly static. This allows marketing departments to easily budget for a relatively flat monthly expense.

Why Cloud – Now?

Cloud marketing allows for an interconnected marketing experience linking all activities toward one goal. The efficiency, low-cost and ease-of-use found in SaaS providers reinforce the decision by many corporate leaders to migrate to the cloud.