Marketing a business in an economy that’s increasingly relying on cloud-based technology brings with it new possibilities, yet also new challenges. In days gone by, marketing campaigns were typically designed to communicate the value of a product, service or brand to consumers, telling them what they should be looking for and why they need it.
Now, however, consumers are well-versed in ‘traditional’ marketing approaches. They don’t wait to be seduced by the right advert – instead, they actively seek out the services they need and choose which companies they want to work with based on their own criteria. They know what they want, and they know how to get it.
This phenomena, loosely known as ‘inbound marketing’, is largely due to the introduction of the web, which has made businesses much more accessible, particularly through search platforms. This change in consumer behaviour has led companies to reassess their marketing strategies.
Read on for the five key ways that the introduction of cloud computing has changed marketing practices (for the better!).
1. Different pricing models and reduced costs
The Cloud isn’t a physical entity, so to use it, you don’t need to spend money on unnecessary infrastructure. Most cloud vendors offer packages on flexible subscription plans, eliminating the need for companies to pay significant upfront fees when getting their marketing systems in place. There’s also no need to house bulky and expensive hardware, such as servers, in the office. This means that more than ever before can be achieved within even the most modest marketing budget.
2. Flexible working ensures no opportunities are missed
Modern marketing is becoming increasingly fast-paced and unpredictable, but cloud-based services are ensuring that staff can be tuned-in to their efforts 24/7. Wherever they are in the world, marketers can log in on practically any device and monitor their campaign because all data is hosted virtually, in a secure location, and available on demand.
3. Tedious marketing tasks can be automated
Formulating a campaign can be an exciting process; day to day marketing activities, however, can be far from stimulating. Cloud services have evolved to automate many of the boring tasks often associated with the job. Gone are the days of painstakingly collating mailing lists – cloud email marketing software has made it easy for marketers to collect and segment sets of data, then send out highly targeted content at the click of a button.
4. Opening up new marketing channels
Thanks to the Cloud, marketers are now able to explore different avenues which make marketing cheaper and more effective. Cloud technology has played a vital part in allowing companies to keep up with the changing demands of their audience; they’re able to invest in new, exciting channels and reach potential customers in increasingly innovative ways.
For example, 20 years ago, marketers would have been screaming out for a platform that could enable them to connect and engage with their audience in real-time, for free. It’s no wonder, then, that social media has had an unprecedented influence on 21st century marketing. With 46% of web users looking towards social media when making a purchase, it’s no wonder that 8 out of 10 SMBs use social media to drive growth in their business. (Take a look at this piece from Marketing Tech blog for more interesting stats that demonstrate the importance of social marketing).
5. Bringing big-budget technology to smaller businesses
Integrating the latest cloud technology into a marketing strategy has never been more affordable for businesses. Whether a company wants to get to grips with the latest cloud-based email marketing software, or wants to use comprehensive project management software to plan and execute an entire campaign, these types of services are all available in the Cloud at reasonable rates, making them fully accessible for large and small companies alike. This in itself is creating fiercer competition from firms that in previous decades may not have had the money or the resources to make a real splash in their industry.
And as more and more businesses move away from the old fashioned marketing techniques, the practice will continue to evolve at a rapid rate.
Gary Gould is the Co-Founder of Compare Cloudware, one of the leading cloudware comparisons websites. Gary wants to help small business owners and start-ups to enter the world of cloud computing that will help them grow, including cloud-based financial tools, project management and CRM.
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