Sure, it sounds like jargon. And it sounds more nebulous than not, and perhaps even overwhelming in an era of constant upgrades to software and modes of communication. But Cloud Computing is the next step up on Web 2.0.
The term carries many different connotations for many different people, including IT departments everywhere; simplified, cloud computing brings together all the components of your digital and interactive life for easy access on the go. For people not involved in IT, think of “the cloud” as an app to access your life – pictures, music, documents and videos – with mobility.
Fact is, you’ve been in the cloud for a longer than you might have realized. Did you sign up for Gmail? You’re in “the cloud”. Did you accept that Spotify invite? Check. Does your smart phone have apps that do more than store pictures, access email and make calls? You’re in “the cloud”.
Of course, the technical details are much more complicated, but the fundamental concept to remember when thinking about Cloud Computing is that it’s not a buzz word in communication – it’s a paradigm shift.
What it means for Marketing
Google AdWords, Pandora and Spotify are some of the services that immediately come to mind. Real-time accessibility on the go seems to be the mantra here, and all three services have either proved or are proving their mettle.
While the complete benefits of cloud advertising remain to be seen and developed some companies have already been making a foray into cloud marketing, which shouldn’t be confused with marketing “the cloud”.
But there’s good news for business analysts and number crunchers everywhere.
From the gurus at Cloudcomputingworld.org comes a collective sigh of relief:
The sales and marketing staff need not outsource marketing research, since the data of the cloud computing software provides sufficient information, that can reflect which market segments are buying which products at which times. This kind of organized data storage has done wonders for market segmentation.
Marketers can then analyze the data, and develop sales and marketing strategies that are specifically tailored to reach particular groups of customers, or market segments. Instead of general promotion and advertising, Companies can speak to their customers in a way that appeals to them, and, thus, the messages are well-received by consumers, who appreciate the convenience of a company getting to know them and trying to meet their needs and demands.
Definitely a leg-up on field data collection.
What are your thoughts on cloud computing? Do you anticipate adopting “the cloud” to streamline your marketing operations? How will prepare for the shift? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!