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Marketing cloud best practices for publishers

May 26, 2021 | By Jennifer Choo, Senior Marketing Manager — Theorem Inc. @theoreminc

The innovations in marketing technologies and platforms over the past decade have been transformational for the marketing industry. For publishers, the latest and greatest in MarTech and software can be both groundbreaking and challenging. Innovations in marketing automation have revolutionized the order-to-cash process for media organizations across the industry. However, other modern marketing tech — like most marketing cloud platforms — have posed challenges for marketers in the publishing world. 

Helping publishers or marketers

But why are these innovations so helpful to general marketing teams yet so challenging to publisher marketing?

In simple terms, many of the marketing platforms today are not built to accommodate the needs of publishers and their marketing teams. Lack of speed, minimal out of the box capabilities, and antiquated features and UX pose a challenge to publishing organizations in terms of marketing cloud set up, cost, reporting and continuity.  

It is those that allow media org marketers to follow the current marketing cloud best practices for publishers that are assisting in publisher marketing success. 

Choosing the right platform

In simple terms, many of the marketing platforms today are not built to accommodate the needs of publishers and their marketing teams. For instance, most marketing cloud platforms are created to host one main brand. However, media companies often have a dozen or more brands, under their parent company umbrella. These need to be housed together though they operate separately. This poses a challenge in terms of marketing cloud set up, cost, reporting and continuity.  

Many of the big names in marketing cloud software today cannot be used by media brand marketers without a stifling amount of customization in-terms of platform setup and integrations. Even with full scale custom integrations, most do not satisfy the needs of publishing organizations. The fact is that they can be somewhat antiquated and not optimized for the speed most publishing companies require.

However, it is important to note that there are marketing cloud platforms (like Saithru) that are configured to host publishing and media brands with ease. When selecting a marketing cloud platform, it is imperative to choose one that is built to allow media industry marketers to follow the current marketing cloud best practices for publishers.

Curated content capabilities

One of the most crucial aspects for marketers is publishing curating content. The ever-growing consumer demand for digital content has bolstered the need for publisher brands to aggregate their original content with curated content from reputable sources. This provides readers with the content they demand and develops trust between them and the publisher brand.  

Developing a strategy for curated content is a cornerstone for media brand marketing teams. However, it cannot be done without proper planning and technology that includes content curation capabilities. 

Excellent audience segmentation

Audience segmentation is a critical component of marketing strategies for all marketing teams. Yet this is even more true for publishers. Because of the breath of their brand audiences, marketers in publishing companies have another layer of segmentation to consider. This means that marketing cloud tech they employ must allow for in depth segmentation. It must also have the capability to automate that segmentation consistently.

Yes, audience segmentation enables marketing teams to create appropriate messaging. However, it also informs curated content, customization, and engagement strategies for both the publisher and their advertising clients. Without properly executed audience segmentation strategies and the marketing technology to enable it, publishers cannot succeed. 

Customization is crucial 

Just as important as segmentation is the customization that derives from it. As best practices go, customization has ranked in the top five for all marketing teams for years now. Enabling a customization strategy has become more and more crucial as customers inboxes and feeds become more and more cluttered.

In simple terms, aggregating customized messaging is the best way to bolster engagement with audiences. And that is the goal of all marketers. For publisher brand marketers, this is exponentially more important. That’s because they are striving for engagement of their brands for their parent company as well as their advertising clients. In other words, engagement by way of customization is at the heart of multiple ROI streams for media organizations. Ensuring the ability to plan, curate and implement customization strategies efficiently through marketing cloud technology is more important now than ever. 

Drip campaigns for consistency

Constant and consistent messaging is another best practice for marketing teams in the publishing world. The amount of content, both editorial and media, that publishers output lends well to drip campaigns. This approach enables ongoing communications with audiences and increase user engagement. The difference between a drip campaign in the media industry and a standard marketing org is the sheer volume.   

Tying directly back to the numerous child brands publishers house, advertising clients, curated outside content, and original content, the volume of drip campaigns publishers must output daily can seem staggering. It is imperative that the selected marketing cloud platform can handle the daily output. It also needs to simplify the process via automations and enablement of standardized, consistent template systems. 

In summary

For publishers using marketing cloud technologies, there are key components that must be considered to ensure success. From tech platform selection to curated content, audience segmentation, customization and engagement, the best practices for publishers are more complex and crucial than ever before. 

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