Brightalk Cloud and the marketing minefield


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  • Cloud and the marketing minefield: As Cloud adoption continues to grow is channel marketing really rising to the challenge?Draft Synopsis (213 words) Cloud adoption is huge for the channel right now – fact. From 2008 to 2013 there has been an impressive 25% growth in cloud sales and it shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. The question is, what affect is this growth having on channel marketing approaches and have you adopted your strategy not only to make the most from this opportunity but to overcome any issues it poses?Cloud as a term has been incredibly hyped and over-marketed in the past 24 months and as such it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate ourselves using such a generic term. However the name ‘cloud’ does undeniably carry some weight and credibility, with the word’s ability to quickly identify what can be seen as a trend setting use of technology.   So, if you are marketing cloud solutions in today’s industry what do you need to know? What approaches should you consider and do the same old marketing techniques and approaches really work or do they need a modern twist?  Are customer buying profiles the same and if not how do you market successfully to these changes? This impactful session will deliver insight into the realities of end user and channel buying approaches, their feelings towards cloud and what marketing approaches will best gain their attention.
  • Ian Moyse has over 25 years of experience in the IT Sector, with nine of these specialising in security and over 23 years of channel experience Starting as a Systems Programmer at IBM in the mainframe environment, he has held senior positions in both large and smaller organisations including Senior Vice President for EMEA at CA and Managing Director of several UK companies. For the last 7 years he has been focused in Cloud Computing and has become a thought leader in this arena. Moyse has been keynote speaker at many events and runs one of the largest Channel Groups worldwide on LinkedIn. He sits on the board of Eurocloud UK and the Governance Board of the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and in early 2012 was appointed to the advisory board of SaaSMAX. Moyse was recently awarded global ‘AllBusiness Sales AllStar Award for 2010’ and The ‘European Channel Personality of the Year Award for 2011’  and was named by TalkinCloud as one of the global top 200 cloud channel experts in 2011 and listed on the MSPMentor top 250 list for 2011 which tracks the world's top managed services experts, entrepreneurs and executives. He has also recently been awarded the accolade of Channelnomics 2011 Influencer of the year for Europe.  In early 2012 Ian was the first in the UK to pass the CompTIA Cloud Essentials specialty certification exam, was appointed as a Thought Leader to Compare The Cloud and was listed in the worldwide SMB Nation 150 Channel Influencers list and appointed as Cloud Advisory Director to the Board of Evoco, a client transformation specialist company. Widely published on subjects of Cloud, Internet Security and Channel matters and an author at sites such as,, those wishing to connect to this Technology Cloud Thought Leader his linkedin profile is at and he can be followed on Twitter @imoyse SourcesChannel Personality of the year 2011 - 2011 Influencer of the year for Europe - Sales AllStar Award for 2010 - 200 cloud channel experts in 2011 - top 250 list for 2011 - UK Board Member - of Cloud Industry Forum Governance Board - Advisory Board - Advisory Director to Evoco - Compare The Cloud Thought Leader - SMB 150 2012 -
  • So – Effective message marketing is key to not only helping cloud businesses grow but reducing the confusion over cloud definitions and ensuring your customers know exactly what you do! Say it on the tin, what your selling should not be an elaborate secret.
  • The word ‘cloud’ seems to be tagged on to every new service hitting the channel as a term that automatically is expected to garner attention and be synonymous with modern IT.
  • Cut the jargon – technical expertise is undoubtedly impressive and helps instil confidence in the buyer and display the professionalism and knowledge of the business and team. However, make sure you are having the appropriate discussions and sending the correct messaging to the relevant person. Don’t make a less technically minded customer feel inferior by bombarding them with tech jargon they don’t understand. Likewise simplifying information can have a patronising effect on those customers who want the reassurance of detail and advance technical information - My advice is to ensure your collateral pot caters appropriately for your various customer types – don’t assume the same set of pdfs will work for everyone and prepare both customer facing and partner facing versions as well as market specific types.
  • Getting your messaging on target is the first check – then its making sure that messaging is turning up in the right places for maximum return
  • As cloud adoption hits the mass market there has been a huge increase in the number of avenues and platforms available for marketing and advertising options. This has also brought with it more niche exposure opportunities, so thankfully the days of throwing enough mud in the hope that some sticks is well and truly behind us – or at least they should be!
  • What opportunities are out there – Don’t dismiss the growers (shoestring) There’s an option for every budget – Ad/Editorial/Comments
  • Getting your messaging on target is the first check – then its making sure that messaging is turning up in the right places for maximum return
  • Modern marketing has shifted towards inbound and online – and as we witness the results and benefits it makes sense for the channel to follow suit
  • The social media phenomenon is going nowhere first so if you haven’t already started incorporating it into your marketing plans then I suggest you do.
  • Engagement is key – remember it is very unlikely you are speaking to your entire target market but rather the segment of that market (as I mentioned before) that are active on social media and interested in regular, short company updates and the ability to interact with you – so make the most of that. LinkedIn has two major features that are of particular use to businesses and their employees. The first feature you should examine is the Groups feature. The Groups feature allows LinkedIn users to create and participate in discussions around a topic within LinkedIn. Groups can be a great way to make potential business connections, but can also be a great place to share relevant blog content. LinkedIn Answers The second feature, LinkedIn Answers, allows you to find people publicly stating they have a specific problem or need that your product or service would solve. Identifying these questions and responding with a resources or a blog article of yours that answers that person‟s need can offer a great marketing opportunity for your business. Ultimately, you can generate high-quality traffic to your blog from LinkedIn Answers, and get some really qualified leads as well
  • An important part of leveraging social media for business is to understand what conversations are happening online related to your industry and recognizing where you should respond. Here are some great tools you can use to easily monitor your business and industry mentions in social media: Google Alerts: Set up multiple Google Alerts for your company, brand, products, leaders, industry terms, etc. The alerts will get delivered directly to your email inbox and is a great way to help you track mentions of your brand and relevant keywords on the web on news sites, in blogs, etc. Twitter: Monitor mentions of your brand on Twitter with tools like Twitter Search or HootSuite. Google Reader and RSS Feeds: Set up RSS feeds in Google Reader of searches of your brand or industry keywords in other popular social media sites such as Flickr, Digg, Delicious, etc. Scan the results in your reader daily for mentions. Facebook Insights: Stay on top of and participate in discussions occurring on your company‟s Facebook Fan Page. Use your Fan Page‟s Facebook Insights Dashboard (found in the left sidebar when you’re on your page as an admin) to show you stats such as fan growth
  • An Attention-Grabbing Article Title: Because your blog articles title is the first thing people will see Well Written & Formatted Text: The body of your article should be well-written and formatted in a way that makes it easy to read. Images/Videos: Relevant multimedia content can make a blog article more memorable and fun to read. Links: Include in-text links to relevant content. These can also point to landing pages to help you generate more leads for your content. Call-to-Action: Each and every blog article you publish should include a relevant call-to-action at the bottom of the article to help boost lead generation
  • Be smart – develop ‘key’ assets that can be reused for various functions – The whitepaper – that can be a PR piece –that then can be a blog and then can be used as a customer asset.
  • On-page SEO refers to how well your website's content is presented to search engines. This can often be improved immediately. Off-page SEO refers to your site‟s overall “authority” on the web, which is determined by what other websites say about your site. This can take time to improveMeta description is the text seen as the description of a site in Google search. These words attract a searcher’s attention and indicate if a search result is particularly relevant to the searcher. Web pages often include metadata in the form ofmeta tags. Description and keywords meta tags are commonly used to describe the Web page's content. Alt text for imahes is also key – esp if you’ve cool infographics
  • More and more consumers are finding businesses online through search engines. How do they find them? keywords. Fortunately, you can take advantage of this consumer habit by optimizing your website around the keywords that are relevant to your business and which keywords consumers are using to find you online. This will increase your chances of getting found by people searching with those keywords, which will drive more and better quality traffic to your business‟ website. Channel keywords – Cloud - numbers
  • In order to see where you are now and for any changes to have a big impact, you need to monitor several key factors and create a measuring mark that you can refer back to. Again, you’ll need analytics software to do this. Before diving into how to improve them, let’s first discuss what the relevant metrics are
  • Keywords: Try new keywords or variations of keywords to see if they help you get found better. Since each page on your site can incorporate different keywords, there are tons of ways to do this. On-Page SEO: See if changing a simple on-page factor can help boost visits. Examples of on-page factors are page title, meta description, and headings. As a simple test, try changing the page title of one of your web pages to see if you generate more traffic. Conversions: Try new things with your conversion forms or landing pages. For example, try making the conversion form more prominently located on your web page. Content Strategy: Determine which content is generating the most traffic. This could be an opportunity to either focus more on that kind of content, or refine your delivery of other content. Social Media Promotions: Evaluate which social media channels are generating the most site visitors and leads. Again, you can either focus on your successful social media platforms, or try improving your performance in your less successful ones. Lead Nurturing: Maybe you're sending emails too frequently -- or not frequently enough. Maybe the calls-to-action in your email
  • Getting your messaging on target is the first check – then its making sure that messaging is turning up in the right places for maximum return
  • Love your partner and make sure they love you back – that’s the marketing roleThe equation’s simple - the easier you make it to market and sell your service… the more your partner will market and sell it. To gain share of mind with your partners, make their life easier and ensure your service is the simplest way for their team to hit their targets.
  • You can’t discount any further on price – or you simply don’t want to devalue your product by going on a market price war – think outside of the box. Coinage isn’t all about money per se. What else can you offer partners that will help them out, show your support, put you above competitors – inhouse designer? Voiceover nominee, branded collateral, spot on the website, newsletter blast, physical support at show - Bespoke sales/marketing campaigns – Prep mailer templates in advance that allow for edits and are easily tailored to a variety of needs. Provide text, Imagery, assets so they don’t have to. Why wouldn’t they blast that to all their customers? – Videos, pre-used content or reports (back to key assets) Images - Want to get on a partners website fast and with the messaging you want the market to see? Then write it. Create bespoke content for your partner’s website and deliver this along with a selection of relevant images in whatever format makes it easier for them to upload. SEO value
  • Know your customers, Regular updates, Names on mailers, Note their key anniversary dates (New baby bib)The members only clubLogos, tshirts, help supportMilestones where appropriate – leverage social media relationship to gain insights or account manager information – birthday, new baby, sympathy
  • Created by Ian Moyse – Webroot EMEA Channel Director
  • Brightalk Cloud and the marketing minefield

    1. 1. Cloud & The Marketing Minefield
    2. 2. Cloud and the marketing minefield: Is the channel’s marketing approach rising to the challenge? Ian Moyse – Sales Director @imoyse Danielle Campbell Marketing Manager
    3. 3. Ian Moyse : Validity To Speak 26 yrs+ in IT, 9yrs in IT Security, 7yrs in Cloud Sales Director,, Cloud CRM Vendor Sit on Board of Eurocloud UK Sit on Governance Board of Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) Advisory Board Member SaaSMAX Advisor to Board for Evoco ‘Journey2Cloud’ Named by TalkinCloud one of the global top 200 cloud channel experts in 2011 Listed on the MSPMentor global top 250 list for 2011 Named ‘Channelnomics 2011 Influencer of the year for Europe’ Won ‘European Channel Personality of the year 2011’ Awarded global ‘AllBusiness Sales AllStar Award for 2010 Thought Leader to ‘Compare The Cloud’ Comptia Cloud Essentials Exam Certified 2012 Worldwide SMB Nation 150 Channel Influencers List 2012, 2013 Approved Speaker
    4. 4. Agenda How The IT World Is Changing & End User Realitiies Cloud Overhyped and Mismarketed So What Does All This Mean For Marketeers ? Marketing The Cloud
    5. 5. How The IT World Is Changing (& How IT Is Changing The World)
    6. 6. The World Is Changing : Movies
    7. 7. The World Is Changing : Music
    8. 8. The World Is Changing : Books
    9. 9. The World Is Changing : Photography
    10. 10. The World Is Changing : Postal
    11. 11. The World Is Changing : IT
    12. 12. End Customer Realities
    13. 13. End User Cloud Choice & Adoption “Enterprises are already devoting as much as one-third of their budgets to cloud services, and they are planning to increase cloud spending by as much as 15 percent CARG. At that rate, enterprises will have the bulk of their IT functions in the cloud within the next three years” IDC 2012
    14. 14. Mobility and Cloud Inherently Linked
    15. 15. Need For Non „Vendor Biased‟ Education
    16. 16. Different Perceptions Of What The Cloud Is
    17. 17. End User Concerns o Security still at #1! Security Privacy Sovereignty Internet access Reliability Some 70% of firms that have implemented cloud services have seen cost savings and higher levels of productivity KPMG's The cloud takes shape report.
    18. 18. Cloud Overhyped and Mismarketed
    19. 19. What Customers Are Hearing From Cloud Providers Messaging Everything should go cloud Its right for everyone, for everything Cloud solves all your needs Cloud is always best no matter what You can‟t live without this “Cloud is big data” “Cloud is storage” „Everybody on‟ „Everyone In‟ ………………………………….
    20. 20. Cloud, Cloud, Cloud, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, SaaS, PaaS, Iaas…………..………
    21. 21. So what does this all mean for marketers?
    22. 22. Marketing the cloud – Is it really any different? What we’ll cover  How has the growth of cloud affected how we market it?  Cutting through the Jargon and clarity of message.  Knowing your market and better still knowing where to find them.  The marketing activities you shouldn‟t ignore.
    23. 23. Marketing Cloud - What your Customers should be hearing.
    24. 24. Cloud and the marketing minefield Cloud overhyped and „mis-marketed‟ leading to different perceptions of what the cloud really is. But it‟s within our power to take control Q. How can we avoid getting lost in the confusion? A. Clarity of message. Marketing is the business function responsible for creating messaging and as such has control of how the „business‟ speaks to customers, prospects and positions itself in the market. Effective message marketing is key to helping cloud businesses grow and reducing the confusion over cloud definitions.
    25. 25. Death to Jargon …and the thin line between clarity and patronisation
    26. 26. The importance of clarity • The power of „Cloud’ • Whilst „Cloud‟ is certainly an attractive premise for customers and potential partners it is important that when using the term as a marketing function we use it correctly and with clarity. • Transparency is key – customers want to be able to quickly and easily understand your offering and USPs.
    27. 27. The importance of clarity Are you getting through?
    28. 28. The importance of clarity Are you getting through? • Does your homepage and Introductory collateral state explicitly what you do? • Have you got content available for both the channel and end user customers? Does this content effectively communicate your offering to each party in a way that they both understand and is attractive to their needs? • Have your sales team got a clear and concise elevator pitch sewn up? • Is everyone answering a phone in your business able to sum up the essence of what you do in one or two sentences max?
    29. 29. The importance of clarity The thin line between clarity and dumbing down  Cut the jargon.  Use technical expertise to instil confidence in the buyer, not a bragging mechanism. People are proud – confusion or lack of understanding looses deals. So if one party has to swallow their pride….  Know your audience - make sure you are having the appropriate discussions and sending the correct messaging to the relevant person.  Kit out your collateral pot for all
    30. 30. Get Specific
    31. 31. Take advantage of the Clouds growing popularity to get more from your messaging. As cloud adoption hits the mass market - marketing and advertising options have not only increased but specific niche exposure opportunities have emerged.
    32. 32. Target the opportunities that work for you • Research then research some more. • Identify your target market and where possible segment further if possible for more precise marketing. • Sift out all opportunities not just the big players. • Where‟s your competition hanging out? • Where‟s your customer‟s hanging out?
    33. 33. Knowing your market and understanding your audience is absolutely crucial! Who‟s attention are you trying to attract and does your website and other marketing effectively address this audience? Question - Can you break down your target market into more segmented groups in order to market to them more effectively?
    34. 34. Getting Specific Effectiveness by Channel: What promotional channels or referring sources are sending you the most traffic? Focus on long-term results, not short-term traffic spurts that you might get from news coverage or press releases.
    35. 35. Marketing the cloud
    36. 36. Marketing the Cloud Marketing practices in the channel are changing. The increase in cloud adoption is undoubtedly a factor but this is dually a result of channel marketers embracing more modern marketing approaches. The modern marketer is intuitively inbound – focusing on getting found online. Search engines, social media, mobile platforms and more.
    37. 37. Marketing the Cloud Social Media Marketing: The Benefit of Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and so on in marketing practice. Benefits • Budget friendly • Easy Customer interaction • Real-time information and conversations • Follow industry conversations & trends • Size doesn‟t matter (to an extent) • Brand growth through mass exposure • Potential for brand new target market • Fresh, modern approach • Increase traffic impact
    38. 38. Marketing the Cloud *Warning* Simply creating a social presence is not enough. Do not underestimate the man hours required and it is imperative you have a plan. You are often competing with professional tweeters! Do not just force an untrained current staff member to create a profile and publish the odd piece of content. Engagement is key. LinkedIn: The Social Network for Business Professionals • Linkedin Groups • Linkedin Answers
    39. 39. Marketing the Cloud Monitoring Social Media An important part of leveraging social media for business is to understand what conversations are happening online related to your industry and recognizing where you should respond. • Google Alerts • Twitter • Google Reader and RSS Feeds • Facebook Insights • Analytics software
    40. 40. Marketing the Cloud Blogging and Content Blogging and creating other content like ebooks and webinars are powerful ways to help more of the right people discover your business online. Blogging Power • An Attention-Grabbing Article Title. • Well Written & Formatted Text. • Images/Videos. • Links. • Call-to-Action.
    41. 41. Marketing the Cloud Other Types of Content While it‟s a great place to start, blog content isn‟t the only type of content you can be creating. Consider producing longer-form content items like ebooks, whitepapers, or research reports that can be used as lead generation offers for your calls-to-action. Non-text based offerings such as how-to videos, webinars, slideshows and infographics help capture attention. Sound like a lot of work? It doesn‟t have to be
    42. 42. Marketing the Cloud Optimise your website - SEO SEO can be divided into two separate categories: • On-page SEO • Off-page SEO Never underestimate the importance of your Meta Description! An often overlooked opportunity to attract visitors from search. Interestingly, it does not directly influence search engine rankings. Nevertheless, it is a good practice to include keywords in your meta description.
    43. 43. Marketing the Cloud Key word strategy More and more consumers are finding businesses online through search engines. How do they find them? keywords
    44. 44. Marketing the Cloud The here and now Traffic: Overall, how many people are coming to your website? Leads: How much of this traffic are you converting into leads? Customers: How many sales did you close this month? Customer Acquisition Cost: How much are you investing to draw in each new customer? New vs. Repeat Visitors: Of your overall traffic, how many visitors are returning to your site, and how many new people are finding you?
    45. 45. Marketing the Cloud Steps for Improvement So to recap - While we all aim for long-term goals in online marketing, there are some short-term steps you should take to get there. • Keywords • On-Page SEO • Conversions • Content Strategy • Social Media Promotions • Lead Nurturing
    46. 46. Marketing to the channel: Never underestimate the importance of partner love
    47. 47. Partner Love Channel marketing objective : Gaining loyalty, support and respect among your partners and their customers. How? Business integrity, support, good technology yes. But marketing has the ability to bring this a step further and turn a commercial relationship into a true partnership. Make their life easier The easier you make it to market and sell your service… the more your partners will market and sell it. Gaining share of mind is key. You want to be the hassle-free, approachable and reliable option in their portfolio.
    48. 48. Partner Love What coinage have you to offer? - If your partners have limited marketing resources, it is probably an idea to develop a marketing resource library that partners can use to quickly and easily get your product information in front of customers. - Bespoke sales/marketing campaigns. Provide text, Imagery, assets so they don‟t have to. Why wouldn‟t they blast that to all their customers? - Want to get on a partners website fast and with the messaging you want the market to see? Then write it.
    49. 49. Partner Love Personalisation “Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language" - Dale Carnegie - Know your customers. - Names on communication. - Note their key anniversary dates - Personal milestones
    50. 50. “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” - Albert Einstein
    51. 51. Summary
    52. 52. Cloud is here to stay It‟s a tern generic over hyped term that in itself doesn‟t sell a solution There is a lot of misunderstanding, scepticism and fear our there still We need to be selling the positive business outcome‟s not the technology? Marketing plays a crucial role in quashing cloud misunderstandings and ensuring clarity of your business message For channel marketing to be effective knowing your market, your audience and further segmentation where possible is highly advisable. The benefits and ROI achievable through inbound and online marketing practices are undeniable. Channel marketing is no exception Summary
    53. 53. Questions
    54. 54. Cloud and the marketing minefield: Is the channel’s marketing approach rising to the challenge? Ian Moyse – Sales Director @imoyse Danielle Campbell Marketing Manager