What is Cloud Computing?
According to Wikipedia, Cloud Computing is: “A style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure “in the cloud” that supports them.”
Huh? And, what does this have to do with me?
In plain terms, Cloud Computing refers to working with a variety of software applications that are available online (for free or fee) to fit your specific business need. In the case of marketing, this means using a combination of online software (SaaS or Software as a Service) designed to help communicate with customers. This allows marketers to leverage the latest communication techniques that currently exists without having to rely on IT knowledge or investing to bring software in house.
By using free or low cost web-based software to build web sites, blogs, emails, etc., business owners and marketers have access to their own virtual workbench to design, build, deploy and measure their own communications and campaigns.
New social media, personalization technologies coupled with marketing automation, all available online, provide marketers with the power tools to cost-effectively create, manage and deploy communications that can adapt to new information, interactions and data. Especially in light of the recession, forward thinking organizations are seeing the large cost savings that can be realized from the cloud model.
Some of the self-serve technology available today include:
- Web sites and Blogs
- Social Networking
- Direct Mail
- Collaborative Workspace
- eTraining, Podcasts, Webinars
This self serve-model is so exciting for Marketers because it allows us to:
- Rely less on external factors outside our control – IT, budget process, etc.
- Spend less time upfront designing to get it “right”, but rather “build and evolve”
- Use the technology as our own “virtual sandbox” to create a blue print for communications and campaigns
- Explore new ideas and options with minimal risk as we create, see what works, adapt and learn as you go
- Customize to our requirements and those of our customer
- Frequently update of our content, which increases the value to our customers
- Maintain ongoing conversation to increase customer engagement
Who can benefit from Cloud Computing, more specifically Cloud Marketing?
Individuals and Professionals – whether for personal use or for those “Me Inc” individuals, the new Cloud Computing provides a great opportunity to creatively express themselves and explore new avenues.
Small and Medium Sized Businesses – Cloud Computing provides small business with the tools that have traditionally been the sole domain of large businesses, reducing barriers to entry in a lot of industries and sectors.
Large Organizations and Government – Cloud Computing offers larger organizations robust and secure technology outsourcing options to more cost-effectively generate awareness, attract members, communicate to customers or raise funds.
Posted by: Lianne Bridges
Lianne is President, CEO and a founding partner of Bridges Horizon, which provides transformation consulting services, specialized in helping
marketers and organizational leaders leverage the latest technologies
and techniques to realize their business, professional and personal
Lianne has spent the past 20+ years managing and consulting across an array of sectors from B2B to Not-for-Profit, including such world-class organizations as: Aeroplan, Bombardier, Pfizer, Nabisco, Southam News, United Technologies, the YMCA, Plan Canada and Alcan, to name a few.