Uses of cloud computing in marketing
Now that cloud computing technology has already gone past the infancy stages, many industries have already realized the benefits it provides, and have already started adopting and integrating the technology to their businesses. One key sector that stands to benefit a lot from the cloud is marketing, as it has the ability to drastically change the ways in which they reach and engage their audience, particularly with regard to distributing and storing mission-critical data.
Here are a few cloud tools that have had the greatest impact on the marketing industry:
- Cloud ERP – There used to be a time when ERP was a software solely deployed by the Fortune 500s. The average cost of implementing ERP used to be as high as $500,000 on average and still, there was a probability for the deployment failing the objectives. Cloud has brought ERP to the masses. Small businesses today regularly turn to ERP systems to help them bring greater efficiency into their system. The sales module of ERP, called the Customer Relationship Management (CRM), is a massive business in itself today with companies like Salesforce leading the pack.
- Marketing automation – Digital marketing has been around for a while. Despite the advantages that digital marketing has to offer, the process still involves laborious tasks which are time consuming. Marketing automation is a cloud based service that massively reduces the time that business owners need to spend on such routine tasks, thereby ensuring precision and optimization of business resources. Some of the leading marketing automation services include Eloqua and Marketo.
- Inbound marketing – Traditional marketing has always been outbound: advertising, trade shows, cold calls, etc. But with the cloud, inbound marketing has taken off exponentially. Blogging, Video tutorials, social media marketing, and self-published books are all examples of inbound marketing techniques that have been possible due to the ease of use of cloud based tools. HubSpot, YouTube and Facebook are all examples of cloud hosted services that have enabled the rise of inbound marketing.
- Lead tracking – It seems like a long time ago, but there used to be a time when visitor tracking on websites needed to be done using server log files. Over the past decade, cloud based analytics services have virtually eliminated the need to have hosted solutions. Google Analytics is without doubt the most popular service for businesses to track leads on their website platform.
- Sales cycle management – Depending on your industry and the product you sell, the sales cycle can be anywhere between days and several months. Managing multiple prospects that are in various stages of the cycle can be a pretty painful and complex process. Before cloud computing, sales managers used regular spreadsheet documents like MS Excel to keep track of this information. But for a profession that requires people to constantly be on the move, this is hardly the optimal solution. Sales cycle management today is done primarily through cloud-based tools starting with Office 365 to dedicated tools from Zoho and Salesforce.
As a person who advises companies on their technology deployment strategies, nothing has excited me more than the growth of cloud computing and the impact it has had in the way different businesses function. And marketing is surely one of the top industries when it comes to changes from cloud computing.
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