Why Cloud Platforms Matter to Marketing Leaders\n\nAccording to IDC, 89% of marketing campaign management applications in Europe are now cloud based rather than on premises. This is expected to rise to an almost ubiquitous level of 96% by 2026.\n\nMarketing is becoming digitally transformed through the adoption of new cloud-based marketing applications. Until recently, however, little buyer attention has gone into the clouds that underpin marketing applications. Three-quarters of European enterprises use a mix of three main cloud hyperscale platform providers. Hundreds of other closed proprietary vendor cloud solutions are in the market. Multiple clouds mean multiple problems of interoperability that undermine marketer confidence in customer profiles and the customer data truth.\n\nThis might not matter very much for isolated back-office IT applications, but to marketers' data truth it is mission critical. Marketers need to collect data from many different zero, first, second and third-party internal and external data sources to run their campaigns. Different cloud platforms mean unproductive time spent cobbling together and homogenising data. A remote and home working ethos amplifies this problem. In today's fast-moving environment, campaigns need to be real time. Using this data collection method, the window of maximum campaign opportunity will close before a campaign is even started.\n\nCombating the Cycle of Distrust\n\nEdelman called its 2022 trust survey The Cycle of Distrust. It found that 70% of Gen Z youngsters (aged 14-24) don't trust the "facts" they read and seek to validate media claims on other online sources. Customer trust in enterprises and their promises is also low, and trust is a critical marketing asset. Apple has proved this by moving to advertising-free mobile phones with privacy by default while increasing its market share. Without trust, the most creative and brilliant marketing campaigns will fail with customers. Also, when marketers don't trust their data, they hesitate to push the button on campaign execution, leading to crucial delays in taking compelling messages to market.\n\nBoth internally and externally, organisations need to create trust and confidence in their customer profile data and marketing message claims. A unified cloud-based platform makes life easier and better for all creative and customer-facing staff:\n\nImproving the Working Environment\n\nBesides the commercial advantages associated with a unified cloud platform, there are other performance-related benefits:\n\nIDC research reveals that 85% of enterprises agree that employee experience and customer experience are directly connected. By giving marketers more confidence in their customer profile data and their ability to activate high-integrity creative campaigns, marketers will enjoy their work more and deliver higher performance. This is particularly important considering a recent Forbes report that said 83% of communications and marketing professionals report burnout, the worst rate among job functions.\n\nBy improving digital systems with universal AI to reduce grunt work and increase the strategic and creative component, employers will improve employee experience, resulting in less burnout, greater company loyalty and a reduced risk of staff churn. In times of scarce digital and marketing skills availability, this is a seriously important benefit.\n\nOptimising Marketing Performance within Constrained Budget Guidelines\n\nA unified cloud platform enables marketing leaders to empower their staff and partners to deliver more and better marketing. This enables greater ownership of marketing processes and reduces costly outsourcing to external agencies. This reduces cost, improves timeliness of campaign delivery, and most importantly increases marketing's ability to directly control its budget spend.\n\nMarketing performance is always the subject of management scrutiny. A unified cloud platform joins up systems and customer profile data to deliver consistent and accurate real-time marketing metrics. These metrics can be organised into a reporting hierarchy of real-time analytics usable by managers across your organisation, on demand, to democratise marketing performance assessment and improve enterprise-wide collaboration.\n\nMarketing managers can also use these metrics to evaluate real-time campaign performance analytics to justify additional investment and acceleration of successful campaigns, halt non-performing campaigns not meeting performance thresholds or adapt campaigns lagging in performance. \n\nIDC CX Research Director Gerry Brown will be discussing how both marketing and IT leaders can benefit from consolidating their cloud platforms and marketing application platforms in his presentation, "From Cloud to Customer" at the Microsoft and Adobe conference on March 15, 2023. In addition to the points made above, he will reveal brand new research from IDC that will provide further insights for the audience into this key topic. Please join us.