The concept of cloud technology has been around for approximately two decades and, with data pointing to business efficiencies, cost benefits, and competitive advantages, it’s quickly become a crucial tool for firms of all sizes in every industry.
According to research from the International Data Group, 73 percent of businesses are already using cloud technology in one capacity or another, and 17 percent say they plan to implement cloud solutions in the next year. An increasing number of tech-savvy businesses are recognizing the many benefits of the cloud. Companies like Oracle for example, who’s reported recent success in its cloud-based Oracle applications, are using cloud technology to more efficiently run their organizations, better serve their customers, and increase their overall profit margins. From manufacturing to real estate, the cloud offers a myriad of benefits that allow businesses to run as efficiently as possible.
One discipline that’s experienced great benefits from using cloud technologies is marketing. As Mark Yolton, Vice President of digital strategy and enablement at Cisco, states, "Marketing toolsets, especially those that are interacting with digital channels anyway, make great sense to be cloud-based.” For marketers, the cloud makes it simpler than ever to align teams, consistently publish content, and deliver compelling marketing experiences.
Here are four of the top benefits today’s marketing teams can glean from the cloud:
Optimizes Social Engagement
An integrated cloud platform helps businesses manage and optimize social engagement by enabling social listening, which allows marketers to gather more information about sentiment from niche communities. Enabling social listening can help teams identify common threads or trends in sentiment for a particular brand, product, or corporation. Insights ranging from industry, brand, and competitive intelligence can help marketing teams make more data-driven decisions, while also ensuring they provide relevant experiences to their customers, who constantly evolve in their ways of interacting and communicating with a brand.
Cloud technology has created a streamlined method for sentiment analysis and social listening, which previously would have been mundane and time-consuming tasks. With the many social media platforms and peer review sites available for consumers today, searching for related text and identifying patterns would have otherwise taken a huge amount of time. However, using the cloud to gather this information has allowed marketers to centralize data into useful insights and quickly implement campaigns.
Fosters Team Collaboration and Communication
Marketers have the cloud to thank for many of their workflow efficiencies, which have been shaped by the many collaborative tools established by cloud technologies. Because the cloud operates through the internet, it allows users to access data anywhere they can access an internet connection. As a result, a paperless business environment is quickly becoming the new norm. Using applications like Google Drive, Dropbox, or a host of others has made it easier for marketing professionals to share documents, whether they’re working remotely, in the office, or on the go. In turn, collaboration processes have become much more efficient. Rather than sending files back and forth over email or exchanging information through lengthy phone calls, team members can collaboratively update shared files in real time. This reduces the time it takes to collaborate on new campaign materials, in-house presentations, or client-facing deliverables and allows teams to efficiently accomplish daily tasks.
Improves Cost Efficiencies
As cost effectiveness continues to be at the forefront of decision making for teams across all industries, many will be happy to learn that cloud-based technologies can be immensely cost efficient. Because access to cloud-based systems is typically offered on a per-month, per-user basis, front-end investments can be minimal, and the business is only required to pay for the resources they use. In addition to eliminating the high costs of hardware, many cloud systems run on subscription-style pricing, which can cost less over time. Additionally, cloud-based systems can easily scale up or down, so as businesses grow or shrink, they can easily “rent” storage as needed. This ensures a marketing budget isn’t being spent where it’s not necessary.
Streamlines Operational Productivity
Aside from the productivity offered by collaboration efficiencies, another tool powered by the cloud that offers operational efficiencies is marketing automation. Marketing automation tools, whether they be for sending emails, managing leads, or scheduling social media posts, are designed to help marketers prioritize and timely execute their daily tasks. Implementing automation into a marketing strategy will free up some of marketers’ time, allowing you to accomplish more throughout the day. Additionally, marketers can use automation to scale processes and campaigns to reach more people, without the additional effort. As Chris Davis from ActiveCampaign states, “Because [automation] allows you to track every interaction and score engagement, you can be more personalized and targeted with your messaging, while still maintaining efficiencies.”
As business technologies continue to grow, the cloud will continue to gain momentum as a vital component for business success. The cloud and its many functions provide marketing teams with the flexibility, scalability, and intelligence their business needs to optimize every customer interaction, drive greater internal efficiencies, and increase conversion rates to generate favorable business results.