A New Cloud’s Come Over Us

2021-01-26 by Ronn Torossian

There are hundreds of quotes about clouds, so why should it be any different in marketing? Like those clouds that pass overhead and continually evolve and reshape themselves, cloud marketing, too, has gone through many changes.

Most marketers agree that cloud marketing aims to reach consumers where they frequent, whether it’s social media, websites, or email. But from there, one can find many differences in priorities and approach. One of the primary reasons is that historically, many marketers have singular focuses on customer acquisition or management of different forms of engagement. The result is scattered cloud cover. The nucleus of cloud marketing should be data mining and proper application to ensure greater success and ROI.

Collecting consumer data is not as easy as it appears. The major challenges are data fragmentation and accuracy. Data can often be found in more than one database in many companies and must be reconciled, checked for accuracy, and unified. It’s impossible to personalize communications, much less interpret and predict behavior without a clear and accurate portrait of consumers. Placing data as a cloud priority starts with a unified foundation for data. This means having an integration layer with a real-time application programming interface (API) that can reliably extract data from CRMs, e-commerce platforms, loyalty and event management systems, customer service platforms, point-of-sale solutions, and any other relevant source being used. It’s equally important that the integration layer be flexible enough to import data from digital, offline, and even home-grown systems.

The next key element is ensuring that the integrated data feeds into a customer data platform (CDP). The CDP will maintain the unified customer profiles and help provide up-to-date, accurate, and consistent records that may be used and analyzed by marketing and sales teams. Another cloud layer is the customer journey. Tracking, nurturing, and helping guide customers through each channel they’re on can generate more sales. This could be as simple as sending customers a text message if they click on a link or an email if they don’t respond. Holding customers’ hands throughout their journey without being pushy can maintain their interest and awareness.

Yet another layer in the cloud is providing consumers access to any of the brand’s channels. This flexibility across all touchpoints, including email, SMS, website, social media, etc., can also help drive sales. Here’s where consistency in messaging is important across all these channels.

Six major ingredients make up a good marketing cloud. They include:

1. an integration network to ingest and handle all the data,

2. an identity resolution component to tailor messages,

3. a customer analytics component,

4. machine learning that segments, targets, and predicts market performance, and

5. a cross-channel engine that can track and choreograph messaging. The sixth element is personalizing customer experiences and interactions with the brand.

The common ingredient to all this success is data. By wisely and properly gathering, analyzing, and using it to create more personal experiences for consumers, marketers will experience more growth and sales.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of leading PR agency 5WPR.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities