Historically, organisations have made big marketing technology investments to drive big marketing objectives. These new technologies were hosted on premise or at an agency, with a solution with technical and functional capabilities to support business requirements for many years to come.. One drawback with this model is that most organisations were not ready to utilise all of the capabilities that came with the purchase on day one. This meant, organisations were looking at a multi-year timeline to achieve an appropriate return on their investments.
Another challenge is the rapid rate of change in the marketing landscape. It has become difficult to anticipate all the business use cases to build big solutions upfront. With the advent of cloud solutions, organisations can take advantage of the built-in scalability to rethink the development model of marketing technology solutions. They can start small and scale to meet the demands of the emerging business use cases on demand in a nimble and efficient manner.
Built for Now
“Build for now” simply translates to building a solution focused on the current business need. The “Built for now” approach requires the prioritisation of use cases that deliver the most business value. The initial build focuses on developing the solution with the data, business rules, and cloud infrastructure to enable these use cases.
You may ask, how is this any different from what was done in the past?
Prior to the cloud, solutions would be implemented in the data center with data, business rules, and infrastructure that would support the client needs for years to come which resulted in longer implementation timelines and higher starting costs.
Let’s look at the four key advancements in the cloud and how Merkle has made “Build for now” possible and relevant today:
Scalable: Solutions can now be implemented with just enough infrastructure to solve the current needs and can be scaled as needed in the future. Organisations are no longer required to invest in big infrastructure costs upfront.
Agility: It is expensive to design a solution that can solve for today’s and tomorrow’s use cases out of the gate. Clients are adopting agile practices for implementing marketing use cases in reaction to ever changing landscape of digital and CRM platforms. It is far more important to have a solution that can enables clients to have quicker test and learn cycles and flexibility to add new use cases on demand.
Accelerators: Merkle has developed quick and cost-efficient data accelerators such as the Rapid Audience Layer (RAL), retail accelerator, Adobe accelerator, and Salesforce accelerator. These accelerators provide greater speed to market and functionally scale to enable new use cases in the future.
DevOps: New managed service models such as DevOps with Continuous Integration/ Continuous Development capabilities have transformed the way data, functionality, and infrastructure can be scaled on demand in the cloud. Managed service models have reduced the development timeline and they enable automation of solution development without compromising on quality and performance.
Flexibility for the Future
In summary, “Build for now” will be the key method used to drive cloud implementations going forward. It is built on the strategic and architectural concept of continual development. This approach can start delivering value quickly with lower starting costs. It gives marketers the flexibility to easily upscale their solution in an agile fashion to implement new use cases on demand.