1. What is Cloud Marketing?
Cloud marketing is the process of an organizations efforts to market their goods and services online through integrated digital experiences, by which they are specialized for every single end user. The aim is to use advertising methods to target customers via online applications through social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and various online portals to target consumers. The marketers targeting clients need to ensure their material is compatible with all electronic media devices.
Image above displays the Cloud Marketing Model, alongside the work flow diagram of the platform.
2. The Benefits Of Cloud Marketing
Data And The Cloud
Hosting data on the cloud means moving it off-premises, to file storage facilities provided online. This may be done by a third party (for a monthly fee), or using specialist software within an organisation’s own IT resources.
Access to information is granted through security passwords and IP allowances, making data available only to those who have permission to see it. Data security can be augmented by using security features like IP locking to limit server access, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocols for communication security over the internet.
All the information is stored in one centralised location that automatically synchronises across all platforms (e.g. PC, laptop, or mobile). For marketers, this gives the freedom to not be reliant on a particular device or location.
Types of Cloud Marketing
Businesses have to be creative when it comes to marketing resources. Using low-cost cloud marketing tools, even smaller scale enterprises can engage in the following without breaking the bank:
1. Social Media & PR
Companies can connect and receive direct feedback from their customers and targeted markets via social media cloud platforms like Twitter and Facebook. There’s no need to hire external market research companies.
2. Website Marketing
Web analytics, pay-per-click management, keyword discovery tools, keyword bid management systems, and other strategies may be implemented with cloud-based tools used for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
3. CRM & Marketing Automation
Especially for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the cloud hosts a wealth of products to help companies keep in touch with consumers via customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation software.
4. Virtual Events
Webcasts, webinars and conferences can be hosted in the cloud on virtual events platforms. They can serve as marketing tools to showcase live product demos and for online marketing events.
5. Document Storage
Cloud-based document storage services will scan and host scanned documents and digital files in an online management system, relieving organisations of the burden of storing advertising materials and related files.
For companies straining to afford a PR agency, large marketing/IT staff or in-house marketing resources, cloud computing resources in general offer several benefits.
With cloud computing, resources, storage capacity or application as a service can be deployed and used within minutes, rather than the weeks or months it traditionally takes. And by placing marketing assets in the cloud, it’s easy for all parties involved to create, modify, use and share them.
Having resources so readily available can significantly reduce the time-to-market for IT projects and their overall costs.
Cloud technology can be paid for incrementally on a subscription basis, saving organisations money. The “pay as you go” cost structure helps reduce IT costs by moving away from capital expenses (enterprise software licenses, servers and networking equipment) to less expensive operational charges.
Some services are even free. Google Analytics, a free web analytics service from Google, helps marketers gather data about website visitors and determine the sources of website traffic, the keywords that produce the most conversions, and which marketing elements produce the highest return on investment (ROI).
Cloud marketing software can be put online without the need to purchase hardware, software licenses or implementation IT services. It’s accessible in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, where all you need is an internet connection.
Less Need for IT Resources
Cloud storage and services shift the burden from in-house IT teams to a third-party provider. In-house IT departments can then focus on business-critical tasks.
Cloud services allow businesses to hide some of the intricacies of their operations from end-users – be they staff members or customers. Companies can expand and develop their ranges without increasing the level of user knowledge necessary to use or maintain their products or services.
Marketing staff can access cloud-based assets wherever they are, rather than having to remain at their desks. This lowers transportation costs, and increases productivity.
The cloud enables businesses to rapidly alter products, processes, and services to align with shifts in customer preferences. Organisations can respond quickly to changing customer needs and market demands.
With the ability to store more information online comes greater opportunities for customisation of products and services. By analysing and responding to feedback and user-defined content, businesses can create more customer-centric experiences.
Economies Of Scale
In general, cloud service providers use physical resources more efficiently and reduce energy consumption when compared to a traditional IT approach. Cloud resources can be provided without scale limitations, allowing companies to grow and exploit greater options.
Cloud services can even be used to create new and innovative business models, generating new revenue streams. Some (like Spotify, and BitCasa) have been built solely using cloud services.
Scope to Build
By providing a platform on which disparate groups can share information, resources, and processes, the cloud enables collaboration with partners, customers, and the community at large.
Beyond the technology, the cloud and its marketing facilities can mean real growth and profit for your business.
Source: Wiki, IMATS