I’m a big fan of the cloud – and not because I live in the United Kingdom, which actually gets a lot more sunshine than people think. Seriously, I like the cloud because of the opportunities it brings for enterprise marketing technology deployment. Note that I said “opportunities,” as in potential; although Forrester’s research shows SaaS is the leading factor driving system replacements and net new investments in business applications, there is still work to do where marketing technology is concerned.

But what about all the so-called “marketing clouds” on the market? Surely, they offer cloud-based solutions, right? Cloud-based, yes; exclusively in the cloud, no. Of the eight modules in the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Campaign and Adobe Experience Manager remain largely hosted or on-premise solutions today. Within the Oracle Marketing Cloud, loyalty and marketing resource management (MRM) modules offer on-premise deployment options. Last week, IBM announced the IBM Marketing Cloud – based on the Silverpop acquisition, with IBM Campaign (formerly Unica) retaining a “marketing software” description. Even the majority of Salesforce Marketing Cloud customers employ a hybrid model for customer data management.

The continuing evolution of cloud-based enterprise marketing technology will address these gaps. In the meantime, customer insights (CI) professionals must be prepared to work with their business technology (BT) counterparts on hybrid deployment models – especially for customer data management and core functionality like traditional campaign management and MRM. Because of pervasive on-premise requirements, we limited the Forrester Wave™:  Cross-Channel Campaign Management, Q3 2014 to vendors that offer on-premise deployment options. To review vendors that we excluded, you should see my latest brief Three Reasons To Consider Alternatives For Cross-Channel Campaign Management, where we highlight 17 enterprise, midrange, and regional vendors who offer SaaS solutions for CCCM and digital marketing.

Looking beyond CCCM, we also saw hybrid deployment requirements when we conducted the Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Marketing Software Suites, Q4 2014. Though EMSS customers wish to simplify their technology ecosystems and work with vendors who offer multiple components, they don’t believe they can source a complete solution from a single vendor. That means working with BT resources to integrate best-of-breed technology from multiple vendors – which in turn requires a flexible approach to deployment. For more on EMSS requirements, see my report Fuel Your Contextual Marketing Engine With The Right Enterprise Marketing Software Suite, which provides customer reference feedback on the eight vendors included in the Forrester Wave™.

As always, feel free to send me an email or set up an inquiry to discuss the enterprise marketing technology landscape. If you are considering enterprise marketing software investments and want to discuss priorities, challenges or vendor capabilities, we’re here to help.