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Marketing & Cloud Technology: better together. Takeaways for marketers at Google Cloud Next '18

by Liesbeth Hermans, on Jul 25, 2018 3:55:42 PM

What is Cloud marketing and how can your marketing make full use of the power of Cloud technology? How can you leverage the Cloud to improve your results as a marketer and as a company? The answer was given yesterday at Google Cloud Next '18 in San Francisco, a huge conference on Google Cloud technologies. With 25.000 attendees it is the biggest Google event ever. Here are some key takeaways that you can start using, or that will at least inspire you as an innovative marketer.

"At the core, marketing is all about getting a deep understanding of your customer" - Fausto Ibarra (Director Product Management of Google Marketing Platform)

Delivering the right message at the right time, to the right audience is indeed something we all aim for as marketers. Doing that is challenging, because of the huge amount of data that we dispose of nowadays. Most of the time this data is spread across different platforms. Sometimes we don't even realise we have this data, let alone we'd know how to use it. So where to start? How to get the right, relevant insights? And how to use these insights to get more out of your next marketing campaigns?

Best practices from leading marketers

Fausto Ibarra at Google Cloud Next '18

First, let's take a look at what makes marketing campaigns successful. Research into best practices of leading marketers distills some interesting revelations, says Fausto Ibarra - Director Product Management of Google Marketing Platform. He highlights them in his keynote, yesterday at Google Cloud Next '18. It appears that leading marketers all have some similar ways of working. Ways that are different to how their less successful counterparts work:

  1. They take control of the technology decisions. These marketers decide for themselves over which tools and technology they will use for their marketing activities. They are the decision makers, not the IT departments of their companies.
  2. They are more likely to prioritise the integration of those different tools and platforms. They understand the huge advantage of integrating all the different marketing platforms into a cohesive solution.
  3. They refresh their collected data at least weekly, but often even daily or in real time.

Integrate for success

So how can you learn from these best practices? How can you choose the right, integrated technology for your marketing efforts? This is where the Cloud comes into play.

An amazing Cloud Marketing platform that integrates different platforms and tools, and enables you to leverage integrated real time data is the new Google Marketing Platform. The launch of Google Marketing Platform 2 weeks ago is exciting as it is useful for you to get started with Cloud Marketing. It's the new Google solution to help marketers plan, buy, measure and optimise digital media and customer experiences. All in one place, and all in the Cloud. It brings together ads and analytics with tools you might already know - like DoubleClick Digital Marketing and the Google Analytics 360 Suite.

One of the highlighted tools that are added to the new Platform is the Integration Center. This is where data from all Google marketing tools can be viewed in one place. Remember the ways leading marketers work? Right, the Google Marketing Platform is designed to set you up for success.

Power up your marketing with Cloud

Now where lies the power of Cloud exactly in this story? The answer is simple: you can take it one step further and combine Google Marketing Platform, which has already advanced functionalities for you as a marketer, with other powerful Google Cloud technologies.

How so? You can for example integrate data from your Marketing Platform with a Google Cloud technology like BigQuery Data Analytics. I won't get technical in this post, but you can basically run a very deep and blazingly fast analysis of all your data when you combine these platforms.

Another thing you (or a partner - see the end of this post) can do, is to power up your Marketing Platform with machine learning. To do that, you can use any of the Google machine learning tools like Cloud Machine Learning Engine.

These technologies can build new models and predict your customer lifetime value for example, or forecast which website or app visitors will convert into customers. With this info you can then start creating new audiences or audience segments. Very useful to use this again in many different places, like back in Google Analytics. The possibilities are endless.

Google Marketing Platform + Google Cloud = a winning combination

You can read about a fictional use case in this blog post by the Google Cloud team. But as we said before, the possibilities are nearly endless.

Intelligence is key

Analytics 360, the enterprise version of Google Analytics, uses machine learning already for a lot of functionalities that we can use out of the box in the tool. One feature that is super interesting for us marketers is for example the 'Intelligence' functionality that was launched last year inside of Analytics 360. It enables you to ask questions about your website data in natural language, and instantly get a response -in most cases even links, charts or tables- right away.

Gone are the days where you had to dive deep into different sheets, formulas and filters to find an answer to your marketing data questions. Now you can simply ask Intelligence for example: "what is my month to month bounce rate?" and get an answer in a few seconds time.

Find the Intelligence functionality in your Analytics 360 dashboard, in the upper right corner.

Analytics on steroids 

Actually the integration of Google Analytics 360 with BigQuery seems to be one of the most popular Google Marketing + Cloud combinations. BigQuery is able to process huge amounts of data in a blink, and it's the best at breaking down data silos. Combining BigQuery with Analytics data and other Google Cloud products data has proven to be very powerful.

Customers like for example Domino's Pizza, the world leader in pizza delivery, have been very successful in the integration of their data in combination with Google Cloud technology. In return, they get a more complete, holistic understanding of their customers across multiple channels. This way they continuously improve their marketing campaigns across different channels.

Reporting the right way 

Data Studio Possibilities

"What does the data say?" again is one of the most frequently asked questions of successful marketers. It's important to gain insights from data, insights that can even be more powerful and useful if combined with Cloud technology. But reporting on these insights can be challenging. It's not easy to get a clear report of all this data, less one that everyone on a team or across teams can use.

That's why Data Studio was created by Google. The functionalities of Data Studio go from collecting data to getting insights from it and creating beautiful reports on it. It's built to get data from wherever, also outside of Google like from Salesforce, social media channels, public data,... All with the goal to build interactive, beautiful reports that as a bonus update in realtime.

How to start?

As a marketer without technical knowledge of Google's data and machine learning technologies, you can perfectly start playing around with Google's comprehensive and accessible marketing tools like Google Analytics 360 and Google Marketing Platform. That is, if you haven't done this already.

But do you also want to take your marketing one step further and unleash the power of Google's machine learning and AI to

  • get a more holistic view on your customers or leads?
  • gain advanced insight into your customers?
  • segment your customers better?
  • significantly improve your marketing campaigns and ROI?
  • give your customers a better experience across different channels?
  • drive innovation in your company, starting from the marketing department?

It can be challenging or time consuming to start such a project on your own or with an internal team without the appropriate knowledge or experience. Depending on your needs and the scope of the project, it's probably a good idea to get help from a Google Service partner to get you up and running with a Cloud Marketing project.

At Fourcast, as a premier Google Cloud partner, we are specialised in taking your marketing and customer experience to the next level. Our Google Cloud certified engineers have experience using cutting edge Google technologies and the power of machine learning & AI in our client's marketing projects. We have a proven track record of optimising the customer experience with brands and giving companies the power of using their data in an advanced way.

Contact us now, we'd be delighted to have a chat about your needs and map the possibilities of Cloud technology for your company. We're curious to hear about your projects and to see how we can help!

Note: this blog post is based on this keynote by Fausto Ibarra & Mary Pishny, 24th of July 2018 at Google Cloud Next '18.

Topics:CloudInnovationMarketingBig DataGoogle Cloud Next

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