What’s in your cloud?

Clouds by leolintang“If I had 189 companies in my data centre and only knew whom 30 were, I would be fired. Why are my websites or mobile apps any different?”

That is a direct quote from a senior technology architect of one of the largest online retailers in the world. What is he talking about? He’s talking about a new business practice: Marketing Cloud Management.

Several years ago, companies ran their websites with a site analytics tool, a content management partner, and maybe a couple of ad technologies. Today, they are reliant on hundreds of technologies to power their online customer experience across many devices, geographies and platforms. In other words, you no longer have a website, you have a marketing cloud.

From data analytics tools, to optimisation tools, data collection, and social media technologies – the list of partners in the marketing cloud gets longer every day. Ghostery has counted more than 1,800 companies in the space. Each company has an ever-changing complexion of partners in this cloud. Each enterprise’s cloud may contain the biggest companies in the marketing technology space (Google, Adobe, IBM, Oracle, Salesforce), as well as many smaller companies often unknown to the enterprise, and with whom they may not even have a direct relationship.

This matters because companies with out of control marketing clouds are at a huge disadvantage. Try these three statistics on for size:

  • $50 million in lost revenue for each extra second it takes for a leading retailer’s site to load.
  • Data being sold to competitors. Top retailers use the same Marketing Cloud Vendors 72% of the time.
  • Hundreds of hours of wasted time from lack of visibility. Without knowing who is in their cloud, sites cannot manage or optimise their vendor relationships.

But there’s good news for companies embracing the discipline of Marketing Cloud Management. For example, Telegraaf Media, working with Ghostery MCM technology, was able to identify and remove 76% of the technology on their sites from vendors they disapproved of, and set up a real-time alerting system to identify when companies they have blacklisted show up on their sites. This led to a 62% improvement in the performance of the marketing cloud technology on their sites.

Similarly, a leading US retailer was able to identify the advertising networks that were accessing their marketing cloud and using visitor data to power competitor marketing campaigns. Once they established a new and clear policy for how data can be collected and used from their marketing cloud, their data stopped leaking out to competitors and their conversions improved as a result.

Gaining control of this new phenomenon is essential for any business that values the online channel, and our work with more than 50 leading retailers, travel bookers, FMCG brands and publishers over the past year has shown significant benefits. The marketing cloud isn’t going away. It will continue to get more complex as marketers become more sophisticated in leveraging data across devices, and utilise proprietary and off-line data sets. There’s never been a better time to take control of your marketing cloud than right now.

Scott Meyer is chief executive and founder of Evidon