How to use Google Cloud to supercharge your MarTech Stack
Google Cloud is awesome! Technology like the Google Cloud Platform performs a critical role in glueing together different MarTech stacks. Today, more than ever, companies need to use many digital marketing tools, and a key piece of the puzzle is getting different tech platforms to ‘talk’ to one another.
Moving data into your customer relationship management (CRM) platform from other systems cannot be done manually. That would mean someone needs to constantly import and export a spreadsheet on a regular basis.
Middleware is a classification of technology that unites data between two entirely different systems. Over the years many flavours of these systems have come to light, such as:
- API managers (application programming interfaces)
- Webhook systems
- Codeless API managers (e.g. Zapier, IFTTT)
- Google Cloud Platform
Google Cloud Platform: best in class middleware
GCP is a newer player to the middleware game, but it is easily one of the most affordable, balanced and powerful tools available in 2020.
Tools like custom webhooks or interfacing two APIs tend to be very developer heavy, requiring software engineers to be intimately familiar with the programs that need connecting.
Codeless managers like Zapier require zero code—anyone can have a simple connector up and running in minutes. The drawback of these systems is that you’re limited to functions that Zapier has pre-coded for you. Also, the costs of running your connectors often or in volume can quickly add up.
Google Cloud Platform strikes a great balance between these extremes. It does require coding, but it supports all major languages such as Python, Node.js, etc.—this makes its operation much more accessible to a wide range of developers. Configuration is also much more initiative, featuring a friendly user interface.
It is also free to get started, and offers highly competitive pricing.
Use cases: supercharging your tech stack with middleware
Transactional emails with Marketo
We’ve detailed a case study (along with the technical steps) for a client who needed to be able to send transactional emails with their marketing email provider (Marketo). Out of the box, Marketo is set up to send newsletter-style emails as opposed to ‘order confirmation’ and ‘your order has shipped’ style emails.
With middleware, our team at Macro was able to integrate data from several systems to supercharge Marketo to take on an entirely new and powerful function.
Developing single sources of truth
A common problem in many organizations is when different departments or people use different process, organization and storage technologies to get the work done. Important data about a client might exist in different versions across three platforms—none of it complete on its own.
Instead of overhauling these disparate systems and retraining a workforce, middleware can be programmed to automatically consolidate data into a centralized database—allowing the inputs to continue to be department specific but creating a ‘single source of truth’ for anyone who needs to obtain information.
Account based marketing syncing
For the smooth operation of account based marketing operations, both sales and marketing teams need to be on the same page—philosophically and technologically.
Tech stacks for sales and marketing can be quite different, however. And if they are incompatible, then a lot of time can be wasted in manually sharing information back and forth over email or instant messaging.
Middleware can eliminate much of this risk by cross-pollinating both systems and ensuring that relevant marketing data appears in a proper sales context and vice versa—leaving your reps and marketers to focus on their primary tasks.
With the pace of technological evolution in the modern world, it’s tough to imagine a state where there is any kind of universal tech language. There is too much diversity and innovation in play! Thankfully, middleware is a robust solution for bridging communication gaps between tech platforms. Solutions like Google Cloud Platform continue to make middleware programming and configuration more accessible. At Macro we love to tackle these challenges, so give us a shout if you need an extra hand in leveraging middleware at your organization.