Cloud Computing: How It Works And Why Businesses Are Into It

Cloud Computing- How it works and why businesses are into it

The internet proves to be more than just an vast reservoir of information – yet again – by offering a solution that makes business operations more efficient than ever.

Here comes cloud computing. Webopedia.com describes it as a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications.

Simply put, it is the use of the internet – instead of local hard drives – for managing files and running programs to be used in carrying out daily business tasks. Since time, money and people are the most important resources a company could possess, cloud computing offers a way to streamline processes and help achieve goals in the most cost-efficient manner.

This is obviously good for any business that has ample resources to acquire such a technology. But are there any other benefits that can make cloud computing really worth it?

Cloud computing usually comes with a provider, which means an outsourced firm would be taking care of the technology’s operations. This means less maintenance on the part of the client, since they don’t need to worry about hardware and bandwidth management.With that responsibility out of the way, the business would also reduce its spending on its IT since it would only pay for the services received.

Of course, this also means less expenses for training since there will be no need for extra personnel. Tasks would right away start running without having to wait for new people to get the hang of their responsibilities. Cloud computing providers are equipped with the right people and expertise to handle the job.

Then there’s the most significant gift of cloud computing: accessibility. Since all files and programs are stored in a dedicated cloud, accessibility is practically limitless regardless of location.

On the technical side, businesses would also benefit from the unlimited storage capacity that cloud computing services (typically) offer. Aside from that, they would also enjoy the ability to integrate multiple business software according to their preferences and operational needs. In case the data are compromised, backup and recovery services are available as part of the deal.

Perhaps the most important benefit of cloud computing is the fact that it boosts the efficiency level up to unprecedented heights. Business functions are carried out with less people involved, less time consumed and less worries on the manager’s plate.

B2B Lead Generation Techniques: How Much Information do you really need?

B2B Lead Generation Techniques - How Much Information do you really need

How do you gather data from your target market? Do you ask them to fill out forms? Do you send out email subscriptions? Do you conduct phone surveys? Do you draw together prospects in social media pages?

Whatever approach you have in lead generation, it’s important to understand the subtle art of collection information from your audience. When is data too little or too much?

There can be several repercussions to forcing people to divulge so many bits of information before they could appreciate your marketing message. Marketers need to determine the definition of “sufficient” data in order for them to stop wasting time on information they don’t really need.

But how?

Consider these several factors:

  • The basic data requirements for a good lead are: name, job title, company, and contact info (which could be in the form of phone numbers, email addresses, and/or social media profiles). Anything other than that already necessitates a sound reason to be added to the mix.
  • Other lead generation marketers usually extend their forms to include ‘qualifying’ data such as company size, industry type, and annual income. If you look at it, the first two are “Google-able” pieces of information, and annual income is something that prospects don’t really like to divulge.
  • Although these extra data could definitely offer more insight on how suited a company is to be offered your product or service, think of the hassle on the part of the prospect. Those could mean 3 extra fields on your blog sign-up form or website appointment scheduler.
  • Now, what marketers do is to make this additional information as ‘optional’ – meaning, prospects can still submit forms even these fields are left blank. This may look like a sound plan on the surface, but not quite. You see, even if these fields are not mandatory, there would still be 3 fields that make the form seem lengthy. That alone could cause a negative effect on the prospects’ willingness to fill them out.
  • Here’s how you can approach it: First, ask yourself if your lead qualification process involves a strict ruling out of leads based on these additional information such as company size, industry and income. If not, you can remove them from your forms and leave the discovery part to your lead nurturing team.
  • However, if the nature of your business is heavily based on reaching out to buyers that belong to a particular sector or to those that belong to a specific budget range, then that’s the time you would consider including extra ‘qualifiers’.

Bad Assumptions Can Destroy Your B2B Lead Generation Potential

Everyday people make assumptions on just about anything they encounter, and while it can help them gauge possibilities, it can also deter them from taking risks and jumping into opportunities that can make things better.

It’s the fear of failure and disappointment that usually triggers this tendency to assume without even considering the pros and cons of a given circumstance. The thing is, with these ‘unsubstantiated’ assumptions you are likely to be more wrong than right.

For business, this can be a fatally destructive thing. If you look at the success stories of most businesses in our mainstream culture, you will see that the best decisions were made out of sheer risk-taking. But we’re talking about calculated risks here.

Making conclusions without proof

Take for example the plight of social media marketing. Until now, a lot of businesses are still reluctant to engage themselves into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites. Why? Because they already assumed that it won’t work. Because they assumed that B2B prospects are not on social media. Because they assumed that it does not have a clear ROI.

Now at some point they could be right – but to totally ignore the power of social media is definitely counter-productive to their business goals. Think of all the exposure and interaction they’re missing just because they don’t have any online presence. Clearly, those false assumptions have impacted the business dramatically.

(Mis)understanding the target market

Even seasoned businesses make the mistake of making bad assumptions. Whenever their sales numbers encounter a rocky road, they tend to scratch their heads out of confusion because they thought they had their target market all figured out.

Just because you’ve been offering the same set of products and services to your loyal customers doesn’t mean they won’t yearn for something fresh. Just because you’ve been sending the same marketing message since day one doesn’t mean it will not eventually lose it essence in the minds of the people. Marketers should never assume that they know their audience from head to toe. Lifestyles evolve and technologies develop. Hence, needs also change.

Research is the cure against false assumptions

If you’re not sure, why not employ the power of good old scientific method? We see a lot of sites that offer endless graphs and sheets of marketing statistics. Why? Because they know that false assumptions can mean the demise of businesses.

And that numbers don’t lie.

 

 

 

Top 3 Obstacles to Effective Multi-channel Marketing in the IT Industry

Top 3 Obstacles to Effective Multi-channel Marketing in the IT Industry

That integrated marketing is currently the best approach to IT lead generation is beyond question. However, there are certain factors that could keep you from effectively implementing an integrated or multi-channel marketing approach into your IT lead generation platform.

According to the 2013 Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing conducted by Econsultancy and Adobe last November 2013, the top 3 main obstacles to effective integrated marketing are:

  1. Organizational Structure
  2. Company Culture
  3. Disparate Data Resources

The results are not surprising. First, let’s talk about structure. Every company is built on a certain structure which facilitates communication and processes across different departments. Some organizations however are structured in a way that makes telemarketing, email, online, and social media marketing separate and isolated functions, each one to its own. In order to implement an effective multi-channel campaign to generate IT sales leads, there has to be some realignment made to allow everyone to work together.

Another factor which makes it difficult to effectively implement a multi-channel B2B lead generation campaign is company culture. This includes ingrained legacy practices which make some B2B marketers refuse to welcome new marketing practices due to fear of the unknown. So instead of adopting new strategies, they choose to stick with older tools that are more “proven”.

Lastly, differing results, opinions, and feedback about the effectiveness of combining various tools gives marketers another reason to doubt their decision to shift to multi-channel marketing.

Too many management layers, unclear accountability, and wrongly incentivized behaviors – all of this prevent organizations from creating a multi-channel lead generation and appointment setting strategy and improve customer experience. As a forward-thinking marketer, you must address these issues one-by-one in order to generate better results from your IT lead generation campaigns.

What It Takes To Boost Lead Generation In The IT Industry

What it takes to Boost Lead Generation in the IT Industry

IT lead generation is a bit trickier compared to other industry penetration efforts. It is important to know what strategies to use in getting the IT sales leads that your business needs to improve your profit margins.

There are some basics that you have to observe if you want to be successful in such a critical and fast-paced online environment:

  1. A website designed to kill. In business, especially online, image is everything. You can never attract prospects from the IT industry if your website looks like it’s been hand-drawn by a kindergarten student. Not only does it need to look good, it also needs to function well. IT people live and breathe technology, so to impress them should be a priority.
  2. Work on your SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) marketing is a dying science, so they say, thanks to Google and its seemingly endless parade of algorithm releases. But that doesn’t mean you should stop incorporating keywords and creating back links for your site. The basic principle still remains intact, and along with quality content, SEO must still be part of anyone’s strategy.
  3. Take advantage of email. A lot of businesses use email marketing, but only a few of them really use it in its maximum potential. It’s not just about sending prospects the stuff that they need; it’s also about expanding into new territories, exploring the possibilities of new age content and catering to the on-the-go email users. What’s great is that email marketing provides for countless tools to help marketers measure its effectiveness, so there’s no reason not to utilize it.
  4. Take social media seriously. And that’s despite of the fact that social media may not take you seriously. The thing about social media marketing is its incapacity to actually convert leads into sales, and that’s something everyone needs to accept for now, because face it: you need social media. You need to institute online presence in your market, and you can only achieve that by getting involved in social media circles.
  5. Be multifaceted. Using a singular approach to all your marketing efforts? You need to stroll around the block more often, especially in the neighborhood of IT products and services. This industry has the privilege of having the skill to produce and use an assortment of tools and methods to enhance their lead generation campaigns. Snoop around so you can get a taste of the goods.