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With the brandnew release of the 1608 version of the SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud, I want to quickly address some common misconceptions about the SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud.  To clarify the positioning of the Marketing Cloud both within the S/4HANA portfolio and as a Marketing solution within the overall SAP portfolio of offerings.

Take a look at the Mythbuster video below, You can also find the main points of the video in this blog.

Myth # 1

“The marketing cloud is a set of marketing functions that is part of the overall S/4HANA Suite.”

This one probably stems from the name and close association with S/4HANA. It is assumed that Marketing is a kind of „module“ of the S/4HANA Suite, to complete the offering with some core Marketing functionality.


The Marketing Cloud is a standalone and full featured Marketing solution that is most often purchased and used independently of any other S/4HANA functionality. Actually, the S/4HANA Marketing Cloud is the Marketing solution by SAP. Period.

(But: Of course it can be activated together with another S/4HANA Cloud edition.)

Myth #2

“If I want a feature rich Marketing Solution from SAP I surely need to go with the on prem version.”

This one is hard to get your head around if you know how both versions are made. Since both are actually based on the very same basic business logic.


You can do everything in the Cloud that you can do on premise. You may have to change your approach slightly to get the desired results, but ultimately you can perform the same marketing functions:

  • segment your customers based on actual and predictive criteria
  • bring together data from various channels to create 360 degree marketing profiles
  • plan and execute campaigns in your channel of choice. Email, text message, Google-Ads, Newsletters, lead integration with Cloud4Customer
  • set up your own external channels via open interfaces.

You can do all this in B2C, B2B and B2B2C marketing scenarios. All on one platform.

Myth #3

I have no catchy phrase for this one, it boils down to the notion that you are stuck with a standard process in the cloud with no means of tailoring it to your needs.

This myth sticks to a lot of cloud solutions. But in a marketing context it is quite critical. A marketing solution absolutely needs the ability to adapt to one’s individual needs and to the very different and specific views of customers, contacts and the interactions between them and your company. And that is why we have worked so hard to make the Marketing Cloud flexible.


To start, we have the ability to load data into the Marketing Cloud from many different channels. You can load data initially but also on an ongoing basis, as interactions happen on Facebook, Twitter, or any other channel the system is connected to.

But of course the data and the process itself need to be configurable. And here I am happy to say that with 1608 all necessary customizing is self-service enabled through so called Self Service Configuration UI‘s. They exist for tasks such as creating market definitions, enabling approval workflow, activating campaign categories and actions, changing marketing permissions, and many more. Remember, this is in the cloud, so all the settings changed will be included in the solution‘s lifecycle!

In addition, there is a full extensibility concept in place. To add custom fields and objects to your data to use within the marketing process. Let‘s say you‘re in the automotive industry and you are looking to load dealership data including the car a customer purchased or the car a prospect currently drives as an additional object. To complete your 360 degree view of the customer.

To do this your administrator would go into the system and add a custom object. You could already load the data now and use it in the system, for example include it in your campaign content. But, to take full advantage of the new information we need to make the new object known to our segmentation engine. Once that is done the marketing expert can use it in segmentation when creating target groups for campaigns.

All of this is possible. In the cloud. And in cloudlike fashion. For a short video demonstration click below.

Let‘s review.

The SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud is:

  • standalone
  • full featured
  • highly configurable

I think we can safely consider all 3 myths as busted and focus on some of the amazing features and functions of the Marketing Cloud next time.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more, why not sign up for a trial?


Thank you and

Happy Marketing!

Henrik Kiessler

Edition Owner SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud