Today’s marketing teams are extremely busy, and they only seem to be getting busier. In our “always-on” digital era, companies are asking their marketing and creative teams to create more content for more channels than ever before — often without additional resources. As a result, today’s top marketing teams have recognized that optimizing their processes has become critical to their team’s success.
The tools and resources the teams use to accomplish their day-today activities can hinder their success. Although other departments and industries have adopted centralized software tools to manage their process, marketing is still largely run on spreadsheets and email. These outdated forms of collaboration have only perpetuated marketing teams’ obstacles in keeping up with the increasing market demands. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, more than 30 percent of marketing teams report persistent bottlenecks in the content-creation process. Given the cross-functional, highly collaborative nature of marketing work today, this is a pain point for many teams and can prevent them from working at their full capacity.
It can often take a great deal of resources to produce content that’s timely, relevant, informative, and provides value to customers, and without the proper technology to do so, the process can become even more difficult. This is where cloud technologies can augment marketing efforts. An increasing number of tech-savvy businesses are recognizing the many benefits of the cloud, especially when it comes to improving productivity.
What is the cloud?
What is the cloud? Where is the cloud? What does the cloud actually do?
If you’re not the most tech-savvy of marketers, this is probably a question you’ve asked yourself. However, if you’ve ever edited an online document, sent an email, streamed a television show, or listened to music, it was likely made possible by the cloud. The cloud is a network of software and services that run on the inter-connected servers, instead of locally on a computer. It allows users to access programs and data from anywhere with an internet connection.
As it relates to marketing, the cloud makes it simpler than ever to align teams, consistently publish content, and deliver compelling marketing experiences. Most importantly, it benefits teams by fueling productivity, streamlining processes, and boosting efficiency.
Here are the top four ways that cloud technologies can kickstart your marketing productivity:
They enable teams to easily collaborate
If you’re not one of the 53 percent of organizations currently using the cloud for storage and file sharing, you might want to consider it. Because the cloud operates through the internet, it allows users to access data anywhere they can access an internet connection. Applications like Google Drive, Dropbox, and a host of others have made it easier for marketing professionals to share documents, whether they’re working remotely, in the office, or on the go. In turn, collaboration processes have become much more efficient. Using cloud-based document sharing and storing tools simplifies sharing and collaborating on a singular document or piece of work, which empowers individuals to approach work in a more collaborative way. This reduces the time it takes to produce new campaign materials and allows teams to efficiently accomplish projects.
They allow marketers to focus on core responsibilities
Marketers today are responsible for more activities than ever. For example, with digital channels growing at a rapid pace, marketing teams play a vital role in managing their online assets and the critical data that comes along with them. Although managing this information isn’t in their job description, it’s a task marketers are now expected to add to their list of roles and responsibilities. Integrating cloud-based technologies with automation capabilities can help to minimize and refocus marketers’ workloads. In the case of managing data, emerging technologies, like Oracle’s new autonomous database, are recognized for their ability to reduce human intervention in the security and maintenance of these databases. These technologies can automate data monitoring, management, and analytics, which allows marketing teams to instead focus on tasks central to their day-to-day roles.
They provide valuable analytical insights
Cloud technologies provide powerful tools for managing and utilizing data. As marketers gain real-time data from their marketing efforts, they can arrange and analyze it to provide better, more customized customer experiences moving forward. Thanks to cloud-based marketing, these professionals can test new channels with minimal risk, track leads, and determine which strategies and channels work best for the desired audience. Whether marketers use a customer relationship management (CRM) system, a tool specific to social media analytics, or another one of the many cloud-based marketing platforms available today, these solutions are allowing marketing teams to fully understand customers and their needs. Rather than spending time pulling insights from each channel and manually configuring each data point’s specific impact, using a cloud-based analytical resource provides instantaneous and accurate visibility into campaign performance.
They empower customers to provide useful feedback
Marketers can only learn so much from their analytical tools; direct feedback from customers is often the most valuable type of insight. For example, marketing data may be able to tell marketers that a video they posted on Facebook is getting thousands of likes, but these figures can’t readily tell them the reasons why people like it. However, creating focus groups or contacting customers for their opinions can be time consuming and costly. Using cloud-based tools for research, like SurveyMonkey for example, can be an effective way to garner customer feedback, whether on a website or a more direct tactic, like email. After a marketer compiles the survey, a single click can send it to thousands of a brand’s contacts and quickly provides them with visibility into the thoughts and opinions of their customers.
Businesses today should put productivity at the core of their marketing strategies. They should dedicate resources to cloud-based tools that can help measure, manage, and optimize marketing efforts. Cloud technologies are paving the way for streamlined and efficient marketing processes and are becoming a vital component of team success.
Marie Johnson is a contributor to Enlightened Digital, UX Designer and technology writer from New York City. If I’m not writing my latest blog post in my kitchen, you’ll likely find me strolling through Central Park, cappuccino in hand.