What’s the difference between S/4HANA in-memory and traditional marketing software?
As development lead for campaign management in SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud and SAP Hybris Marketing, I often get asked why SAP decided to build a completely new marketing suite based on SAP HANA instead of just enhancing the existing SAP solutions. The answer can be boiled down as follows:
- With the multiplication of communication channels and touchpoints for consumers via internet, web shops, social media, service center and brick-and-mortar stores also the number of marketing-related data streams have multiplied.Those marketing data streams are normally overlapping (e.g. browsing history), deeply related (e.g. read product review and buy product) and sometimes ambiguous (e.g. mail addresses). Only looking on one channel at a time does not cover the reality of consumers anymore nor will it allow personalized communication fitting to customers need and behavior
- It is way easier and powerful to have one central source of truth to store the golden record of consumers and interactions instead of having multiple cross connected systems which constantly try to stay in sync but still only tell a fraction of the truth.
- The availability of in-memory databases which can keep all consumer and interaction data in the main memory for millions of individuals at a time changes marketing fundamentally. This opens new ways of consumer identification and allows to personalize marketing based on past and future customer behavior.
Hear how MHP/Porsche provide a continuous experience for their customers across brands, format and devices with SAP Hybris Marketing:
If you want to have a good answer to all challenges above you can use the technology of the past and build a super-complex cluster of independent and cross connected marketing solutions which are permanently pushing data from one end to the other.
The more future-proof way is to use S/4HANA Marketing Cloud or Hybris Marketing on-premise which leverage SAP HANA as the platform to provide one scalable and in-memory solution. It acts as the single source of truth which receives marketing data from all front-end systems like web shops, CRM solutions or point-of-sales applications.This is the approach SAP has chosen to for S/4HANA Marketing Cloud and SAP Hybris Marketing. Here is a series of documents and demos which show that S/4HANA Marketing Cloud and SAP Hybris Marketing are a new category of marketing software:
- Marketing planning, segmentation, campaign execution and analytics – all in one box
- Segmentation with predictive analytics, scoring and product recommendation out-of-the-box
- Marketing permissions, subscriptions and landing pages in S/4HANA Marketing Cloud
- Context aware marketing content which receives context from omnichannel
- Cross channel marketing automation and execution
So after seeing the demos and reading the blogs, I hope you agree that SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud is really a different kind of beast and a new software category compared to the traditional marketing. It is probably the only end-to-end marketing suite on the market which truly offers the engine for a world in which data is the new oil.
If you want to learn more on how marketing has changed see the video below. Charles Nicholls explains in a great analysis why marketing needs more ears instead of talking just louder.