According to a report from 451 Market Monitor, the cloud computing marketplace will reach $16.7B in revenue by 2013. There is no denying that cloud computing is growing at an incredibly rapid pace, so why is there still apprehension in its adoption? “Cloud” is a broad term that covers a variety of markets and services. There are private clouds, public clouds, and hybrid clouds. Along with those options, there are software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, etc. Even though “cloud” is a general term, the fear experienced is the same for technology decision-makers approaching the unknown when choosing a cloud solution. It’s up to marketers to provide adequate information during the research phase of the cloud purchase cycle. Cloud marketers must establish trust and value among first-time implementers and trial users.
1) Understand your audience. Gartner’s prediction that every budget is becoming an IT budget has been one of the most discussed trends for tech marketers in 2012. No longer are you reaching out to the IT department to make enterprise technology decisions, but more often decision-makers across the company are involved. In North America, more business end-users (48.9%) are involved in the cloud purchase decision than IT (46%). There are different concerns and questions that need to be resolved for each member of the decision-making team. For example, IT buyers may be concerned with malware outbreak, hacker data theft, and rogue cloud use, while business buyers are concerned with cost and performance. Researching your audience’s specific pain points is vital in developing relevant online content. Ultimately, answering their questions in their own language will help you establish trust.
2) Communicate benefits clearly. So what are the key drivers of cloud adoption? These may vary depending on what type of solution your company is offering. According to Capgemini’s “Business Cloud: The State of Play Shifts Rapidly” survey, the major drivers for the move to cloud are reduced cost (52%), reduced time to market (41%), and operational efficiencies (39%). This information should be easy to find during a decision-maker’s research phase. Marketing automation can facilitate in communicating your cloud company’s benefits to trial users or trial abandoners. Remember to answer the number one cloud question – does this service provide the maximum benefit for the minimum risk?
3) Prove your worth with specific examples. Case studies can be powerful. Give your audience examples where your company has found success previously. Also, try to avoid being vague because specific numbers and results can be another way to build a trustworthy relationship. After you have done thorough research on your audience, create case studies about customers with similar concerns and how your solution overcame them.
As a cloud company, providing valuable information during decision-makers’ research process will help them overcome their apprehension and they will remember your company when they move into their final purchase stage.