Cloud based technologies have fundamentally changed the way marketing teams work. They are now able to show measurable results much more easily and affordably. However at the same time the disconnected nature of current cloud based technologies is making it near impossible to imagine a connected customer journey.
Lack of Industry Standards
The current marketing landscape is filled with a lot of players in each marketing category. Be it CRM systems or email automation systems, or the hundred other variety of systems, today you have a cloud based marketing product that fulfills your needs and fits in your budget. The problem however is that none of these products follow any particular standard. As a result, as a company grows, or starts using multiple marketing products, managing marketing campaigns that span across channels becomes near impossible.
Siloes of Innovation
There's lot of innovation going on each area of marketing but the focus remains on solving one particular challenge – not looking at how it'd impact other pieces of the puzzle. A typical example is how we have so many loyalty platforms that don't fully interact with existing CRM systems and vice versa. In similar manner we have so many email marketing tools that hardly share segments data with web analytics technologies, etc. For marketing technologists, this creates an enormous challenge when they try to create truly seamless and connected customer journeys.
Data and Privacy Concerns
Technologists are not completely to blame here; It's also about how we as a society consider data and privacy. The laws governing data handling and sharing are often extremely fuzzy. User's privacy concerns causes many technologies to be unable to seamlessly share information. It's not just about how the data is shared and what amount of data is shared, but exactly how it's used (and many times exploited). What instead we need is common set of standards regarding data and privacy that all marketing technologies should comply with.
Until all these concerns (and for that matter, many, many more) are addressed, marketing technologists will have to live in a World of semi or fully disconnected clouds and go through painful technology integrations to make seamless customer journeys happen.