Everything 'As-a-Service'--Even Marketing?Everything 'As-a-Service'--Even Marketing?
Recently I read a blog by a colleague about marketing-as-a-service (MaaS), which, if you’re not already familiar, is essentially the extension of marketing automation software that can help with activities like data mining, campaign design, landing page creation, content syndication, lead nurturing and analytics. My initial reaction is that this might be a stretch for the VAR/integrator community, but it might also be just the thing your marketing efforts have been missing.
September 8, 2015
Recently I read a blog by a colleague about marketing-as-a-service (MaaS), which, if you’re not already familiar, is essentially the extension of marketing automation software that can help with activities like data mining, campaign design, landing page creation, content syndication, lead nurturing and analytics. My initial reaction is that this might be a stretch for the VAR/integrator community, but it might also be just the thing your marketing efforts have been missing. With marketing-as-a-service, your organization may be able to more effectively develop a framework for marketing campaigns, then use the automation to develop the unique elements as the building blocks for each individual effort. In any case, since everything is becoming available “as-a-service,” I think it’s worth looking at.
Why MaaS may be right for you
Since MaaS vendors can help with automation and services that enable you to plan and manage marketing-intensive activities like landing page creation, campaigns, nurture marketing, lead scoring, lead distribution and marketing analytics, it could be a solution to the resource issue that many partners have when it comes to campaign development, execution and lead generation. However, you will still need a savvy marketing person to guide the integration between MaaS and your CRM system. If you’re already outsourcing marketing to an agency, adding a MaaS vendor could help round out your marketing arsenal. Whatever the case may be, there are a few key points to consider when seeking, identifying and implementing a MaaS vendor:
A MaaS vendor is not a magic wand
Don’t expect to hire a great MaaS vendor, then sit back and let the marketing magic happen. While it can help, much of your success still depends on … you. You still own the data, and you will still define the goals and targets. Setting the right tone and manner of a marketing organization takes time, even if you’re outsourcing to an agency and a MaaS vendor simultaneously.
Speaking of data …
The type of account-based marketing a MaaS vendor can provide for you largely depends on the quality of your data along with the ability to integrate with your CRM system. Leveraging social media, you’re likely stockpiling plenty of data points on prospects and combining that with profiles on your own customers. But it’s not the size of the database that counts. Remember: Garbage in, garbage out. When you’re reviewing potential vendors, ask them how they break down and analyze the data, what processes are used to determine the temperature of a lead, how it can be nurtured and how it will be integrated into your CRM system.
You don’t need a pain in the “aaS”
Two of the key components of any “as-a-service” business are flexibility and scale. The same should hold true for MaaS. Make sure your MaaS provider will be able to respond—quickly—to your changing and growing needs. The more nimble you can be, the more likely you are to hit your target audience with the current, correct messaging, and the more likely you will gain some traction with that potential customer.
Is MaaS the next big thing? It’s possible, and I am sure we’ll be hearing more on this topic. Whether it’s right for your organization largely depends on your marketing strategy, and whether you’re already using CRM to support your sales. MaaS could be the solution that augments your existing capabilities and takes your marketing (and business) to the next level.
Learn more about partnership opportunities at: http://www.sap.com/partners/.
Ira Simon is vice president, Partner Marketing & Communications, at SAP. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of The VAR Guy’s annual platinum sponsorship.
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