In enterprise email marketing, the cloud has become nearly ubiquitous. That’s because it’s a huge asset for high-volume senders to get their emails out the door. But are retailers making the best use of the marketing cloud when it comes to managing sensitive customer data? Deciding which customer data to store in the cloud and which data to store on premises is a question every large B2C company has to grapple with.
For high-volume, data-centric companies that are managing large amounts of rapidly changing data, it may make sense to use a Hybrid email marketing model. This allows them to store sensitive customer data in house, behind a company firewall. And they can still making use of the cloud to handle resource-heavy tasks, such as message rendering and delivery. Below are four reasons you may want to use a Hybrid email marketing model to manage your sensitive customer data:
Enterprise B2C marketers face a common challenge of transitioning from disconnected customer interactions to a unified view of customer engagement. Years of fragmented marketing have resulted in companies having data silos that represent an incomplete view of customers. The high adoption of cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms has set businesses up to store and manage data in multiple locations.
With every new platform, marketing teams must create a new database that updates independently and allows little flexibility in the way they structure data. Overcoming these challenges means a shift in the way different departments coordinate. And also in the way they collect and store data.
If an enterprise company doesn’t store sensitive customer data in the cloud, they may still use the cloud otherwise. Allow the cloud to do the heavy lifting of tasks that don’t require data to be stored long term. This could include email deliverability and tracking. By being selective with how you use the marketing cloud, you benefit from maintaining its core functionality without replicating your data and sending it to multiple vendors.
If you were to ask different retail marketing disciplines which metrics are most important, their answers would likely vary. The email marketer would likely say opens and clicks. The social media coordinator measures Likes and follows, and the e-commerce manager looks at traffic and page views. These answers seem to share a common theme: “Get my message seen by as many people as possible.” But that often results in a customer experience that is less than desirable.
Large B2C organizations need to improve communication between departments. Those at the forefront began this process by creating roles, such as a Customer Experience Officer or CRM Director. These team members unified departments and coordinated activities to eliminate siloes. Other companies have even moved their data on premises to create a centralized database they can share with everyone.
Access to Up-to-Date Data
One of the biggest challenges in using big data is getting it to an ESP and keeping it in sync. As soon as teams replicate data and send it to the cloud, it’s out of date. In fact, in most scenarios, it takes hours for an ESP to sync. In worst-case scenarios, it can take days — an eternity in today’s fast-paced customer lifecycle. But even a half hour is enough to cause embarrassing mistakes. It can easily results in messages that are out of step with the customer’s current situation. No matter how quickly an ESP sends information back and forth (through FTP or APIs), it can never match the accuracy of using fresh data directly from your company’s internal systems.
By accessing data directly from the source on premises, you no longer have to replicate data and send it to the cloud. Instead, you can create personalized, relevant, and immediate messaging using the freshest data available from all consumer touch points. The outcome is true real-time access (not near real-time) to any and all customer data. And the best part is, you can say goodbye to painful and complex data integration, duplication, and syncing processes required for transferring your sensitive customer data to your ESP.
This Hybrid email marketing model, which allows for core functionality to be maintained in the cloud while accessing data from a centralized location, can help B2C marketers meet email challenges. With Hybrid, marketers can have the best of both worlds, combining the security of in-house, on-premises technology and pairing it with the convenience of the marketing cloud for sending. That will go a long way toward helping enterprise marketers communicate more effectively throughout the customer journey.