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Turnkey Marketing Clouds Fall Short, Here's How You Can Build Your Own

by Sean Schroeder  |  
August 18, 2017

In the ever-expanding, technologically evolving marketing realm, marketers are expected to master more than ever before—multichannel automation, content personalization options, social sharing tools, and analytics, for starters. A marketing Cloud makes it possible to juggle those numerous and necessary tools without dedicating your every waking moment to the job.

But one question remains: Do you take an all-for-one approach and build a marketing Cloud around the specific needs of your business, or do you take a one-for-all approach and invest in a single vendor that meets as many requirements as possible?

Software providers have responded to the demand with "plug and play" marketing solutions that promise to handle everything at the push of a button. It might sound like a dream come true, but nothing's perfect. Those turnkey solutions are typically walled off to at least one key component of your marketing tool kit, which means you must sacrifice your ambitions because of software constraints.

No system will accommodate all your marketing needs—unless you build it yourself.

Turnkey Issues

Numerous advanced Cloud offerings have sprung up in recent years, but each of those turnkey solutions has its own unique issues. Whether it's a failure to integrate sales and customer relationship management functionalities, a lack of native content features, or mediocre analytics and ad tech tools, solutions from Adobe to Salesforce to Oracle haver their shortcomings.

Considering how fluid technology tends to be and how rapidly the marketing world can shift, asking a vendor to offer a definitive solution that evolves with the times is a tall order. Open marketing Clouds, however, allow you to substitute solutions with new technologies that best meet your company's needs on a regular basis, keeping pace with the constantly changing world around you.

Here's another concern with the one-suite-to-rule-them-all approach: Not everything needs to be interconnected. Your marketing automation system should integrate with your customer relationship management tool, and your content personalization, marketing automation, and Web analytics systems should be in sync. But beyond those major elements, you don't need every single piece of software working in tandem. That sort of overkill can unintentionally bog down your operation.

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Sean Schroeder is the CCO of Blue River and co-founder of the Mura Experience Platform. Sean's a self-confessed app junkie currently consumed with creating content-driven experiences.

LinkedIn: Sean Schroeder

Twitter: @Sean_Schroeder

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  • by Lindsey Tue Aug 22, 2017 via web

    The three steps mentioned are typically the approach taken by any implementation partner for any established marketing cloud. Goal setting, requirement gathering, and resourcing aren't unique to a DIY approach they're basic project management.

    The article doesn't convince me that marketers should fully DIY a solution. If anything it's more a case for being more proactive, engaged, and accountable during the process of any move to the cloud. Moreover, many established marketing cloud products offer open API's, so I'm not clear on what value the author is trying to convey here.

  • by Sean Schroeder Wed Sep 6, 2017 via web

    Lindsey, thanks for your comment. You are correct, the steps taken aren't unique to a DIY approach, but they are important. As an implementation partner, we're surprised at how often some of these steps are skipped. With a Build Your Own approach, you have to evaluate each piece in the stack on its own merits, rather than as a whole, so I think it's important to keep things basic and manageable. Hopefully, doing so it makes it easier to be proactive, engaged, and accountable during the process, as you wisely suggested.

    If you're not convinced building your own solution is the right choice for your organization, that's fair. It may not be. However, I believe that following the steps above and your advice is a great way to find out.

    Take care!

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