The business of Marketing Clouds — can this Indian company change the game?

Which Indian company, you asked? I’ll get to that in a bit. Let me tell you about “Marketing Clouds” first.

Salesforce, the company all of us know for its CRM products, makes its revenue in the manner below..

Source: Statista

Adobe, the maker of Photoshop and other media publishing products, makes its revenue in the manner below.

Source: Statista

Every large software maker you know of has something to do in this category called “marketing cloud”. Nearly all of them make 25% or more of their revenues from this category, growing ~20% CAGR. Some call it experience cloud, others, marketing cloud. However, like all things marketing tech, this is widely misunderstood too.

Why misunderstood? Well, take a look at the marketing tech landscape chart below. That’s billions of dollars of venture capital and 10s of Billions of dollars in revenue — all in this giant mishmash and a sea of 5,000 logos. It’s impossible to comprehend what’s really going on in these categories. Most importantly, it is impossible to make out who does what!

Source: Chiefmartec.com

Every year, when this chart comes out, we order a new microscope with magnification bigger than the previous one and play treasure hunt.

Easter Egg : Locate WebEngage in the chart above. Let me know how many times it appears and where. Get it right and win a FREE WebEngage subscription for 1 year. Conditions apply*

Okay, so Marketing Clouds..

Marketing tech stack for the B2B world has always been very simple. The problems there are easy to formulate — generate leads, nurture leads and close deals. If you look at any b2b/saas company which is trying to automate its marketing stack, those are the three large problem buckets to solve for. Hence, products in the b2b marketing automation category are usually single products, priced sweetly and easy to use etc. Some great companies like Marketo, Hubspot etc have been built on this thesis over the years.

Now, think of a B2C company — an e-commerce or retail business, a fin-tech startup or a financial services company, an online travel aggregator, an ed-tech company, an OTT app etc.

The marketing problems in the B2C world are harder to formulate. To start with, the concept of “leads” don’t apply to most of these businesses. You are talking about dealing with a top of the funnel that comprises anonymous website visitors and inactive app installs. By the millions, if you will. Unlike B2B businesses, where you can easily design a marketing strategy for, say, 10,000 leads at any given time; in this world you don’t even know who your users are. There comes in the need to have a better understanding of data, analytics, funnels etc. Of course, there are products for that.

Since every consumer business has a bunch of products to sell, there comes in need for rolling out personalized recommendations at scale which consumes the product catalog and serves recommendations in different forms — on the web, inside mobile apps, as push notifications or emails, over APIs, as advertisement units etc. Of course, there are products for each one of that.

Needless to say, these problems are 10x more amplified when you have a business to do via a combination of mobile apps, mobile websites, desktop websites and CRMs (say, a customer care software or a LMS). Being able to stitch customer data across all these sources and have a unified view of customers as single source of truth, is a very hard problem to solve for these companies. Especially, mid-sized ones who don’t have the resources to do so. Some say, there are products for that too. Well..

I can go on at the risk of putting you to sleep. So, I’ll take a pause and quickly summarize.

As you can make out by now, B2C companies end up using a lot of point solutions trying to address needs in each of those complex buckets. You know what happens next. More data silos and more problems.

To their credit, all the big software makers saw this coming decades ago. They acquired companies and built products aggressively in the last 10-15 years to put together their respective Marketing Clouds. They usually have a stack of software products under that umbrella which has a composition like the below-

  1. A digital media advertising product
  2. A customer data platform
  3. An analytics product
  4. A campaign manager (with huge emphasis on email marketing)
  5. An A/B testing tool for web personalization
  6. A CMS for web publishing and media resource management

Most of these companies have acquired products and built their marketing cloud portfolio on top of those. Their customers are usually large enterprises for the reasons of price and complexity in adoption. There’s a thriving ecosystem of SI’s (System Integrators) who actually make these products work. Ah, not to mention, these products are not just an eye sore, but, also an experience sore (whatever that means).

The Indian company you have been waiting to hear about, is, .. hold your breath .. WebEngage!

We took it upon us to solve #3 and #4 for the mid-sized companies. We built a massively loved product with rave reviews and traction. Here’s a newspaper article from 4+ years ago when we launched our iconic Journey Designer as a highly differentiated product to run campaign-led user engagement and orchestration.

Source: The Economic Times

Fast forward to today — after 4+ years of building and getting a deeper understanding of the problem statement, I am super excited to share this update with you - at WebEngage, we have now solved for #2 and #5 in the stack as well. And that too, in a refreshing new way — with core focus on usability and keeping the product DIY.

We have taken the complexity out of this “cloud” business in marketing tools. Built all of these grounds up with a single product thesis and designed it for the new age businesses with new age consumers. You can now say NO to the scary and also move on from the clumsy world of half-baked tools/point solutions. Say hello to the new. Say hello to #WebEngageRetentionOS!

The WebEngage Retention Operation System — an (un)marketing suite for B2C businesses.

Sounds too good to be true? I hear you. It’s not been done before. Take a look at the screenshot below highlighting how we have bundled this in a single dashboard — 3 best of the breed products. Fully integrated with each other and one dashboard to rule em all.

3-in-1 WebEngage Dashboard

I posted an elaborate twitter thread about this 👇

A quick primer on the third product in our portfolio — Web & App Personalization (we are taking beta customers for this).

WebEngage’s product is 10x more powerful to achieve personalization use-cases than a/b testing products
A/B Testing Tools Vs WebEngage’s Personalization Product

I was pleasantly surprised to find ourselves in these two rankings — Financial Times Asia Pacific 500 Fastest Growing Companies 2021 and India’s Growth Champions 2021 — by The Economic Times. These rankings are a testimony to our rapid scale up in recent years. Kudos to the relentless team at WebEngage.

Our new marketing websites are being revamped currently. You will see us in our new avatar in 3–4 weeks. The product, however, has been rolled out and we are taking beta customers. If you wish to explore the product stack for your business, please reach out here.

All of us at WebEngage are super kicked about what lies ahead of us. If you wish to join us in our journey of building the world’s most loved marketing tech platform, we are hiring.

Until next..
Avlesh

Co-founder and CEO, @WebEngage