We don’t usually like to play ‘buzzword bingo’, but we decided we’d have a look at a phrase which appeared in the financial press as they announced that Buddy Media had agreed to be acquired by Salersforce.com: The Marketing Cloud.
When we saw Salesforce.com (a product used at ISM) acquire Buddy Media (a product used at ISM) to sit next to Radian6 (a product used at ISM), we started to really think seriously about how far off the marketing cloud really might be in realistic and practical terms.
Afterall, we thought, how many times have we said to a potential client, “give us access to your web analytics, we’ll take a look around, audit the user journeys in place at present and the techniques you use to affect them”? Wow, we thought, think how rapidly the strategic and tactical thinking could evolve to fast-cycle branded content testing if the advertiser’s digital reputation, content testing and analytics were all married up on a robust, single cloud. Speculative advertisers could commission campaigns (from wherever they chose) with the kind of targeted creative that would move the dials on the cloud dashboard far more frequently if they took a transparent approach with their data. How would this speed up the brand’s learning about how to stimulate their existing and target audiences?
Well, that utopian vision is not hard to comprehend and obviously Marc Benioff’s thinking goes along these lines……but what about the WPP investment in Buddy Media, how does that play out? Is Sir Martin, glad to be in or out of that deal? Is he going to stay in long enough that he’ll be able to look at the warehoused data of these stand-alone products? It sounds a little uncomfortable for WPP’s competitors.
At ISM, we try hard with our clients to pull data from any API we can lay our hands on, assembling automated data sources for the purposes of making the data more decision-ready more often, producing insight on a dynamic basis. For this reason, we string together a variety of software tools and services, assembling the data in dashboards in stand-alone reporting clouds for our clients. This sounds like the old days of server side middleware and stringing together applications of many sorts, the outcome of course, being the inevitable march of acquisition and consolidation by the biggest players. Now that merry dance has begun, it will get harder and harder to remain agnostic about your tools.
Written by Jonathan Brech