4 Ways to Successfully Market Cloud Solutions in a Flooded Market
October 25, 2017
Cloud computing is the most disruptive force in IT spending since the early days of the digital age — and, needless to say, the race to win and protect market share among cloud service providers (CSPs) is no joke. In fact, the three most recognizable solutions (we bet you can easily name them all) continue to dominate IaaS growth and adoption YoY, according to Gartner’s latest scorecard. But as new cloud applications emerge and the landscape evolves, moment between vendors will likely emerge as hybrid solutions unite public and private infrastructures under one management framework.
For marketers, these shifting buying habits will translate into untapped opportunity. Will you rise to the challenge? Ready or not, we’ve compiled a list of insights and tactics to help marketers take advantage of — and win over — the changing cloud marketplace.
Real Talk: What are Cloud Marketers Up Against?
Before diving into our strategies for cloud providers to succeed in their marketing efforts, here are a few unique challenges to consider when it comes to your customer’s shifting approaches to CSPs.
1. Strengthening decision-maker relationships
It’s extremely difficult to win over the entire buying committee. If your organization does not have existing relationships with primary decision-makers and influencers, breaking outside of the IT room can be difficult.
2. Meeting new security risks and demands
Cloud services have a bad reputation when it comes to security risk. It’s your responsibility to proactively address concerns early and often with prospective clients. Start by sharing exactly what measures your organization is taking to create a more secure cloud network.
The cloud technology market is flooded, and it’s tough to cut through those leading the pack to tell a differentiated story. You need to hone your pitch into a few pieces of engaging and concise content that is easily consumable. This also takes time, money, and bandwidth that many marketers do not always have. Keep in mind that the best content will be educational — cloud buyers span multiple verticals and levels of expertise and it’s your job to bring them up to speed.
4. Falling behind the curve
Times are changing in the market, and these shifts are not slowing down. For cloud-based companies that get caught behind the times, the results could be disastrous. It is in a marketer’s best interest to keep him or herself educated on the direction the industry is headed in order to stay ahead of the curve.
#Winning: Opportunities to Stand Out as a Cloud Marketer
How are great CSP marketers working to overcome these aforementioned challenges? Well, here are some ideas to help you stand out in a robust and ever-changing market:
1. Position your organization as more than a cloud vendor; position yourself as a differentiated IT partner
Consumer CSPs have done a great job making cloud computing a household name, but there is a lack of cross-model expertise when it comes to public, private, and hybrid solutions. As CSPs become an integral part of IT strategy, marketers must make known that they are more than just another vendor. Show how your product will lead to stronger, more successful IT organizations — and showcase your differentiating factors. Is it data encryption that is compliant with industry regulation? Is it speed and business availability when data recovery must be done quickly? Is it location and storage power? What about — most importantly — customer experience and transparency? Offering remote management and accessible support teams will put executives at ease (and satisfy IT pros who enjoy seeing the blinking lights in their server rooms).
2. Leverage Account Based Marketing (ABM) to target both prospects and customers to upsell and grow your business
Adopting an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy is one of the most powerful ways to increase your brand’s relevance and drive ROI from your marketing efforts. LinkedIn Account Targeting and Matched Audiences can help you get in front of the contacts and decision-makers that matter most, enabling you to become a stronger, more visible force within cloud’s competitive landscape.
3. Help customers understand the level of security your cloud service can provide
Many consumers still believe that cloud services do not have the same level of security that the data center does. Marketers should help customers understand that this is no longer the case. Educate them on the ways that your solution can provide enterprise-grade security that extends beyond the capabilities of the data center,
4. Fill in your customer's storage gaps
This relates back to positioning your organization as a strategic IT partner. Your customers have holes in their offerings around storage, and you can provide the platform for marketing and selling their data management and hosting services. By understanding their unique needs, you can fill the gaps and provide a more holistic service.
Cloud marketers have a huge responsibility ahead of them, which is only going to increase in complexity as new solutions are introduced to the market and competition continues to roar. As a cloud marketer, it’s up to you to stay ahead of the curve and to continually seek to understand the changing cloud market and find new and innovate ways to reach and educate your audience.
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