With new services and solutions being released rapidly, cloud marketing services are a hot topic in 2015. If you’re a marketing professional “of a certain age,” you no doubt remember the days when marketing involved creating brochures, placing ads in newspapers and magazines, and possibly purchasing air time on radio and TV stations to advertise the products or services of a brick-and-mortar company. But beginning with the advent of the Internet in 1995, and continuing with the advancement of technology over the last 20 years, marketing techniques have changed drastically. Today, in order to be truly competitive, a company’s marketing efforts need to involve 21st century computer technology – namely, the cloud.
Evolution of Cloud Marketing Services
Just as marketing techniques have evolved, so have the companies that marketers expend their energies trying to promote. While it’s entirely likely that today’s marketing professional is busy promoting a large corporation or a family-owned business with a small shop downtown, it’s just as likely that today’s marketer is promoting a company that does business strictly online. More and more of us are using our desktop computers or mobile apps to make purchases or secure services. In fact, one recent study suggests that by the year 2020 (only five short years from now) 85% of consumers will conduct their purchasing processes without ever speaking to another person. And, as of July 2014, people inside the US alone conduct an average of 12 billion Web searches per month, many of which involve searching for products or services to purchase.
Considering the booming popularity of online shopping, it’s no wonder that marketing professionals have followed suit by shifting their marketing efforts online as well. Not only does it simply make sense to focus your efforts where most of the potential customers are, but statistics show that online marketing works. Social media avenues – including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, individual company Web sites and more — have become some of the most valuable tools in the digital marketer’s arsenal. In fact, one recent study suggests that social media has an astounding 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing efforts.
Advantages of Cloud Marketing
By now, it’s probably pretty obvious why marketing in the cloud has become so popular with marketing professionals, but there are other advantages to online marketing that might not be so obvious:
- It’s cost-effective. Online marketing eliminates much of the cost involved in more traditional marketing efforts, including printing of marketing materials, cost of air time on radio and/or TV, and costs of mailing catalogs or brochures.
- It’s fast. Gone are the days of spending weeks and weeks implementing a detailed ad campaign that no doubt took just as long to plan in the first place. Thanks to the cloud, you can put your plan in action virtually instantly.
- It’s personal. Thanks to the variety of interactive mediums now open to marketers online, it’s possible to strategize the placement of your marketing materials, allowing your advertising to be more relevant and customized – and, as a result, much more effective.
Cloud Marketing Services
As you begin or advance your career in cloud marketing, remember to utilize some of the incredible marketing tools available, each of which can make your job so much easier. The list provided here is just a small sampling of what’s available to today’s cloud marketing professional:
- Google Analytics – monitors Web site traffic
- Constant Contact – only one of many cloud marketing services that will assist you with direct marketing campaigns, newsletters and more
- HootSuite – a great social media management tool for marketers that work for multiple clients
- DropBox – a cloud storage device that can be absolutely invaluable for safe storage, transfer and sharing of files
- Mavenlink – a great tool for project management and keeping track of expenses
Marketing in the cloud isn’t just an advantage – it’s a necessity for any company or marketing professional who wants to be competitive in today’s business world. Technology is changing all the time, and the variety of marketing tools and opportunities is virtually endless. Marketing in the 21st century – marketing in the cloud — is fast-paced, exciting and always evolving.