The News: Zoho launches Zoho Marketing Plus, its unified marketing platform designed to help customers increase marketing effectiveness by unifying marketing activities across the entire marketing organization. Read the full release from Zoho Corp. on the Zoho blog.
Zoho Launches Zoho Marketing Plus, a Unified Marketing Platform Designed to Increase Effectiveness of Marketing Strategies
Analyst Take: Zoho’s launch of the new Zoho Marketing Plus, a platform designed to unify the many moving parts of marketing orchestration across an organization, is more good news from a company that keeps delivering.
I had an opportunity to get a sneak peak of the Zoho Marketing Plus platform and will admit that I walked away excited about what I saw. Marketing is more complex than ever before, marketers are more stretched than ever before, and often operating with lean teams. That aside, the effectiveness of digital marketing strategies is foundational to business success, and CMOs must deliver on that front. But the challenge is that that’s often easier said than done.
CMOs must deliver the personalized marketing campaigns that customers desire (and respond to) and must also execute on campaigns designed to help drive business value and revenue. A perpetual challenge is the need to find reliable ways to measure the success of those campaigns — and quickly. Other stakeholders within organizations rely on marketing to deliver business value and, let’s face it, relying on our guts or waiting for long periods of time to be able to gather/measure results in terms of evaluating the success of marketing initiatives is no longer an option. The challenges today’s CMOs face most closely resemble a continuous juggling act. They must of course focus on accelerating revenue for the organization, but must also balance the ability to scale, keep their fingers firmly on pulse of the impact of marketing campaigns, and concurrently be able to effectively and efficiently manage their internal resources, which means that collaboration is key. Here’s a look at some of the common concerns facing today’s CMOs —
Image Credit: Zoho
If you’re in marketing, chances are good you’re nodding, because this is the reality you’re living on a daily basis. In order to deliver — and to successfully juggle those many balls perpetually in the air — marketing teams need to be able to quickly and effectively collaborate, have access to the information they need, in real time, when they need it. That requires a shared view of the customer and easily accessible visibility for all into the progress of the team. That’s where the Zoho Marketing Plus Platform delivers.
The Goals of Zoho’s Marketing Plus Marketing Platform: Simplifying the Experience Economy for Every Stakeholder
Business operates at the speed of light today, and marketers and other stakeholders within organizations who rely on marketers to drive business success must also be able to move at the rapid pace required. And that? It’s not easy.
As the Zoho team built out Zoho Marketing Plus platform, they focused on solving the three biggest challenges to marketers and their teams. These three challenges are:
- Simplifying marketing,
- Integrating marketing with go-to-market strategies, and
- Increasing the impact of marketing overall
Why these three things? It’s obvious that it’s the keeping track of everything that poses the biggest challenges to marketers today, and CMO’s butts are on the line when it comes to delivering concrete business results. Here’s a snapshot of what those many balls that CMOs are juggling are comprised of:
Image Credit: Zoho
As you can see, that’s a very large bucket of responsibilities, and getting complete visibility into the team’s work, and work focus, is becoming increasingly difficult. In many instances, it’s complicated by the fact that it’s not unusual for each team to use their own set of tools to track progress, and there’s no continuity or visibility across the board. Silos abound, as do inefficiencies, which means marketing leaders are often operating in the dark. Add to that the reality that pretty much everything marketing does has multiple stakeholders, and it not only makes collaboration more difficult it can impede the progress of the team as a whole. But one thing we know to be true: getting visibility and access into all aspects of marketing operations is critical to success.
Key Features of the Zoho Marketing Plus Platform
The Zoho Marketing Plus platform endeavors to solve these challenges, with dashboards that allow marketers to better see and plan their activities. The platform also brings creation and collab capabilities to a single suite that allows teams to do their work on a single platform. Everything is designed to be easy to organize, access, and use.
The platform also tracks quantitative information, performance, and uses elements like heat maps and scroll maps and session recordings to track qualitative things. Here’s a look at one of the Zoho Marketing Plus dashboards, that allows a quick glimpse into a project, showing everything from social posts to blog articles written, to email campaigns, ad campaigns, surveys and events, as well as A/B testing. It also allows the tracking of tasks and affords easy and simple collaboration among the various teams working on campaigns.
Image Credit: Zoho
Here’s also a look at the heat map functionality that I mentioned earlier, which allows tracking of metrics so that teams can get a concrete look at marketing campaign performance.
Image Credit: Zoho
Other key features of the Zoho Marketing Plus platform are that it features both a common document repository (think branding standards, logos, customer testimonials, videos, team photos, travel guidelines, etc.), as well as a shared view of artifacts (think documents, spreadsheets, and decks), which lets marketing and sales teams and others find anything they need in a DIY, speedy fashion. This is great for not only existing marketing teams, but also for new team members.
From a sales standpoint, the Zoho Marketing Plus platform does not disappoint. The platform also offers easy visibility into sales activity, which is helpful for both the sales and marketing teams to gauge effectiveness. Here’s a peek at just one of the many dashboards available in the platform —
Image Credit: Zoho
Zoho Marketing Plus helps enable journey planning, content management, and experience design, all designed with the customer in mind — which can be a challenge for even the best teams out there. Do all roads lead to more growth? Not necessarily.
The challenge of helping drive and accelerating revenue is a big one and it sits squarely on the shoulders of today’s CMOs and their teams. That’s why marketing teams must ensure that the right projects and initiatives are prioritized, in order to make sure they can deliver the best impact on revenue and growth.
A shared understanding of the customer and customer base impacts the activities of the marketing team, and the historic disaggregation we’ve seen of this impacts the ecosystem of the company/stakeholders as a whole. That’s what a unified marketing platform can solve.
Beyond marketing, Zoho Marketing Plus not only offers visibility into sales activity, but also includes service activity, affording visibility into customer activity on social platforms and the actions the team has taken, or needs to take, on that front. The Zoho platform is designed to bring all marketing automation efforts into one place, which can help accelerate revenue goals.
Zoho Marketing Plus Integrations
The last thing I’ll mention about the Zoho Marketing Plus platform is what I’ve always felt was one of the best parts of the Zoho value proposition — and that’s the many integrations that it offers, giving Zoho customers the freedom to augment along the way, and use their preferred integrations as part of their workflow. This frees users to use the apps that they know and prefer rather than requiring them to use only vendor specific offerings. As a customer, I know this is always important to me and my team, and I’m guessing it’s important to you as well.
Image Credit: Zoho
Wrapping it up, I believe there’s much to be excited about when it comes to the Zoho Marketing Plus platform. For customers, it means unified everything and offering a consistent brand experience along with personalized engagement throughout their customer journeys. The platform connects marketing with adjacent functions, which means customers get the assistance they need when they need it because the platform ensures there is always an employee at arm’s length from the customer to help in any way needed. Who doesn’t like that?
Today’s CMOs and their marketing teams need to ensure that the right projects and initiatives are prioritized to deliver the best in customer experiences along with the most rapid impact on revenue and growth. For marketers, the Zoho Marketing Plus platform is designed to address pretty much every challenge they face, breaking down silos, facilitating collaboration, and putting data at the fingertips of every member of the team whose success depends on it.
For me, the Zoho Marketing Plus platform has it all. It brings analytics and optimization, omnichannel engagement, campaign orchestration and personalization, and customer data management to the fore. It facilitates planning and ideation, content creation and collaboration, document management and accessibility, and is easily extensible across any organization’s marketing stack. Even better, Zoho Marketing Plus starts at $25 per month and for existing Zoho customers, I see this as pretty much a no-brainer – and every reason for folks who haven’t yet explored Zoho’s CRM solution to do so. The price is right, the upside is incredible, and there’s every reason to dive in and get started, especially since Zoho is offering a 30-day free trial.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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Image Credit: Zoho
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”