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3 ways the cloud should be changing your marketing decisions

Many of us commonly use the cloud for file sharing programs, such as Google docs or Dropbox. And, let’s be honest, we’re a little tired with the hype around the cloud. Sharing documents on a server isn’t exactly a Jetson-esq breakthrough in 2015.

But, we can push the boundaries of the cloud to change our business and better connect with our community. Google docs and Dropbox don’t even scratch the surface of its capabilities. With the cloud, we can stop wasting our time on tired campaigns.

New trends in cloud technology enable you to:

1) Get personal

According to a recent study, 74% of enterprises say they use the cloud for data analytics market research. This data helps you learn about your customers, enabling you to personalize your marketing campaigns. Marketing personalization has the opposite effect that we’d assume; customers LIKE that you know more than just their name, and end up feeling like your product is catering directly to them (putting a smile on their faces and increasing your chance of a sale all at once!)

2) Take on more risks

Trying new methods of marketing automation or engagement platforms shouldn’t keep you up at night, because all you need to get started is an internet connection. Gone are the days when a company would have to send an IT guy to your door before you could even really begin your relationship with them, when signing up for a service felt like signing a marriage contract.

In fact, this is even true for cloud based accounting software. Most provide risk-free monthly trials, with automatic maintenance updates and an added bonus of greater transparency and collaboration. Probably why 46% of EU enterprises that use the cloud do so for their accounting needs.

3) Only pay for what you consume

Many services are beginning to offer payments based off of what you use, taking flexible payment options to the extreme. This payment method enables you to try new services since you don’t have to worry about wasting money.

When you wave goodbye to licensing, you can add employees on to your service charges more easily. Just ask Microsoft, who successfully added pay-as-you-go to their pricing options for Microsoft Azure. Similarly some alternative small business financing solutions only charge for capital used for purchases, so you’re paying for what you need, when you need it. The cloud also allows vendors to offer their customers direct financing. This results in customers paying less per purchase amount, as the vendors  don’t need to upfront any costs on added-value services.

But, is there a downside?

True, the cloud poses some disadvantages, be aware of:

1) Too many choices

The ability to easily try new platforms often results in a lot of indecision. While you try to figure out which company is right for your business, you’re losing time that could be used more productively.

2) Money going fast

The pay-as-you-go platform gives you the flexibility to only pay for what you need, but, this does come at a price. If you end up using a lot of a service you’ll end up being nickle and dimed for a lot more than you would originally have spent on an all encompassing package.

3) A learning curve

Each platform has its own set of rules and styles, and If you’re constantly jumping between a few you’ll wind up spending most of your days simply learning and unlearning each one’s rules. Businesses need to balance between the benefit of flexibility, and the temptation to always look for something better.

Breaking the rules

If you think about it, the world of George Jetson might not be as far off as we thought. Yet, there is one thing that can hold us back, and that’s fear of change. Just as the fear of using Google docs seems ridiculous today, managing your company’s finances online might seem like regular practice a few years from now.

In the B2B space companies are beginning to move away from the paper trail to using the cloud for their finance abilities. This cuts the labor costs  of handling checks and makes payments more accountable. With the click of a button, you’re easily able to track payments and ensure they’re going to the intended place. There’s also the added bonus that financing decisions move faster with the cloud. You can now qualify for purchase financing, or get your customers approved for terms to buy more, within a matter of minutes.

Take your head out of the clouds and keep your eyes open for all the new and evolving ways you can use the cloud to ramp up the ways you do business.