The challenge of engaging with customers has extended beyond just selling them on product cost and quality. To maximize business opportunities, companies need to understand their customers and establish long-term relationships that incorporate their needs and expectations.
To do this, most firms have turned to technology. They have started with campaign management, analysis, and digital marketing solutions, typically in the form of licensed, customized, and on-premises solutions. But often they encountered problems with everything from installation to maintenance to the high costs of implementation, rendering many solutions inefficient.
The emergence of software as a service (SaaS) and hosted technologies made on-demand technology a more practical option. This led to the development of cloud-based computing solutions, which simplified the delivery mechanism: Nothing to install meant nothing for IT departments to struggle with.
Initially, SaaS was slow to catch on. This was due, in part, to the fact that some technologies were not yet available via the cloud—customer experience management (CXM) among them. There were also comfort issues around data security, system performance, data location, and a general lack of educomforcation on the benefits and definition of cloud computing. As a result, companies were slow to commit to a cloud solution for CXM—arguably one of their most critical front-facing and visible efforts.
As more organizations found success with early SaaS solutions for platforms such as email, they began to see its value. The acceptance of SaaS solutions coincided with the rise of cloud infrastructure, and as cloud acceptance grew, so did the importance of the solutions that organizations sought from it. Before long, vendors were offering more and more SaaS solutions over cloud computing infrastructures.
As cloud solutions have matured, marketers have begun to recognize how cost-effectively, efficiently, and flexibly these solutions could help them engage with customers. They have found that the cloud enabled their organizations to effectively operate the technologies that optimize multichannel customer experiences from any device, understand brand health and product perception in real time, and