For marketers, however, the conversation has never explicitly been about adopting cloud as a strategy -- except, perhaps, as a delivery mechanism.
Marketing is layered like never before. Consumers, businesses, and technology are all moving faster than ever. Brands have been trying to keep pace by creating always-on, personalized experiences. But many have found themselves unable to flex and evolve quickly enough. And now the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption by three to five years, adding to the urgency.
The result? Brands need speed and flexibility in their IT more than ever. But to break free of their legacy constraints, they’re going to need a new cloud-first mindset.
We’ve seen during this pandemic how those consumer brands that were more digital, who had integrated channels, who offered subscription packages and home delivery, who repurposed operations to adapt to variable demand patterns, were -- and still are -- at an advantage.
The marketing journey to cloud
Cloud computing has come a long way, from a concept as early as the 1960s to become the virtual lifeblood of many industries, including marketing. And while most marketers today use cloud storage channels, the cloud is much more than just a secure storage solution.
In the marketing industry, cloud computing is helping companies of all sizes find success and become more versatile than ever before. It has made it far more straightforward for marketers to put together customized campaigns, test ideas, run experiments and evaluate their efforts.
Marketers also appreciate the fluid nature of the cloud, which allows for growth and change as a company’s needs fluctuate. It allows them to capture and synthesize data so that they can solve common problems quickly, reducing risk and decreasing the material cost of failure, which in turn encourages smaller marketing departments and businesses to push the boundaries in a way that would not have been possible even five years ago.
One global beauty and luxury company's story illustrates the value of cloud. As its presence grew around the world, the business was facing operational and cost challenges due to its outdated IT systems. The company migrated to the cloud. It now a scalable and flexible technology infrastructure at a substantially lower cost.
Company executives say the systems can now comfortably cope with growth and quickly adjust to volatile changes, such as what COVID-19 wrought. The benefits of cloud showed up clearly in the company's outperforming its peers. It expanded its market capitalization over four months during the pandemic (mid-2020), while its competitors remained flat or declined.
Real business value comes from committing to cloud
The key point is that cloud isn’t just about migrating existing systems and applications to cloud platforms. It’s about using cloud flexibility to become a true digital brand, able to adapt, innovate and respond quickly -- and keep pace with what consumers want in a fast-changing and unpredictable world.