Cloud services, also known as Software as a service, allows companies to access and use services without a need to build their own infrastructure…or even install any applications on their computers. Corporates simply use their web browsers to use them. The term "cloud" is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on the cloud drawing used in the past to represent the telephone network.The history of cloud concepts date back all the way to 1960 where John McCarthy opined that "computation may someday be organized as a public utilityAmazon played a key role in modern development of cloud services by modernizing their data centers and launching Amazon Web Service in 2006Today, software as service is multi-billion business and expected to continue its rapid growth.
Cloud computing exhibits the following key characteristics: * Agility improves with users' ability to re-provision technological infrastructure resources. * Application programming interface (API) accessibility to software that enables machines to interact with cloud software in the same way the user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers. Cloud computing systems typically use REST-based APIs. * Cost is claimed to be reduced and in a public cloud delivery model capital expenditure is converted to operational expenditure. This is purported to lower barriers to entry, as infrastructure is typically provided by a third-party and does not need to be purchased for one-time or infrequent intensive computing tasks. Pricing on a utility computing basis is fine-grained with usage-based options and fewer IT skills are required for implementation (in-house). * Device and location independence enable users to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location or what device they are using (e.g., PC, mobile phone). As infrastructure is off-site (typically provided by a third-party) and accessed via the Internet, users can connect from anywhere. * Multi-tenancy enables sharing of resources and costs across a large pool of users thus allowing for: o Centralization of infrastructure in locations with lower costs (such as real estate, electricity, etc.) o Peak-load capacity increases (users need not engineer for highest possible load-levels) o Utilization and efficiency improvements for systems that are often only 10–20% utilized. * Reliability is improved if multiple redundant sites are used, which makes well-designed cloud computing suitable for business continuity and disaster recovery. * Scalability and Elasticity via dynamic ("on-demand") provisioning of resources on a fine-grained, self-service basis near real-time, without users having to engineer for peak loads. * Performance is monitored, and consistent and loosely coupled architectures are constructed using web services as the system interface. * Security could improve due to centralization of data, increased security-focused resources, etc., but concerns can persist about loss of control over certain sensitive data, and the lack of security for stored kernels. Security is often as good as or better than under traditional systems, in part because providers are able to devote resources to solving security issues that many customers cannot afford. However, the complexity of security is greatly increased when data is distributed over a wider area or greater number of devices and in multi-tenant systems that are being shared by unrelated users. In addition, user access to security audit logs may be difficult or impossible. Private cloud installations are in part motivated by users' desire to retain control over the infrastructure and avoid losing control of information security. * Maintenance of cloud computing applications is easier, because they do not need to be installed on each user's computer.
Taking the Cloud closer to our topic today, digital marketing and communications, let’s spend a minute to categorize different Media. Companies can use Cloud services on their own media, bought media and earned media, whereOwn media…Bought media…Earned media…Traditionally, companies have different teams running online campaigns from their website operations and social media channels, thus it allows different teams to focus on different competnecies
So the purpose is to discuss today some examples of Cloud service available for each of these domains and their touch points
Website is quickly becoming one of the most important communication channel to any company. It not only offers product information, but contact details, communication tools for consumers, eCOmmerce and social commerce, customer care…and so much more.Creating a company website has never ben easier. In early days you may have needed expensive software or external agency/people to develop your site. Now it is possible to create within minutes. This is roughly the process:Register the domainFind available URLBuy itAdd email accountsAdd server hostingSelect your preferred CMS systemCreate the page structureInsert text and imagesCustomize with themesGet the visual design you likeAdd slidersPortfoliosFontsPlug-insWidgetsAfter annual hosting package and bought theme you may be a few hundred pounds poorer, but you may have amazing site ready to go
There are soon, if not already, more mobile subscriptions than people in the world. Limiting your company’s reach to fixed internet would just be silly. There are different ways to optimize your mobile presence.Apps boom has been very strong in the past years and the downloads continue to grow with the help of Apple, Google Android and Nokia Stores. Today there are tens of Cloud services which allow you to build apps for mobile in minutes without coding a single line of code. Many of them also allow to publish the apps in different mobile platforms so you are not even limited to OSMobile Sites equally have many service providers. You can create original content, copy/paste content or integrate your site feeds into the mobile site. This way you may match your fixed web content in a optimized format, or slect a sub-set of content to your mobile visitorsFinally, more and more CMS allow you to identify visitors with mobile device and you can automatically apply mobile theme to make the content clear and crisp.
Customer Relationship management moved into the Cloud largely impacted by Salesforce. They created very appealing toolset to manage entire customer lifecycle management combining different Cloud services under on holistic experience and dashboards. Later Microsoft started to offer Cloud based services, which must have been internal nightmare as company is known form their application driven offer like Office toolset.There are also lightweight solutions available. PHPList is an open source software that you can use as hosted service. It allows you to manage and run newsletters for email subscribers. Companies can easily create templates, add,remove users, track the campaign efficiencies and much more
Customer care is having a newcoming thanks to the Cloud. Phone support has seen expensiveSocial networks are increasingly seeing support pages from brandsDiscussion boardsContact informationLinks to downloadsmoreSalesforce offers:Instant messaging clients for internal commsExternal tools for contact centersSocial communities for self-helpCase tracking, contracts and settlements
Moving on from Own media into the bought media. Service Providers like double-click and Google have opened access to all companies, making advertising accessiable to also small size companies. They offer tools likeResearch and analysisSearch ManagementKeywordsTraffic estimatorsPlacementsVisualisators for adsFacebook and Groupon on the other hand, are bypassing even these players and offering direct advertising opportunities in their pages. Their tools are simple to use and often comes with great resultsImpact of thisSmall budget campaigns without agency commissionsResearch made available so clients can brief agencies betterResult driven models from reach to action
Affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for their referrals. In the simplest form, it’s a revenue share model compensating for sales leads. The well known affiliate networks include big player like Google with their AdSense service. However, there are various categories of affiliate networksAffiliate websites are often categorized by merchants (i.e., advertisers) and affiliate networks. There are currently no industry-wide accepted standards for the categorization. The following types of websites are generic, yet are commonly understood and used by affiliate marketers. * Search affiliates that utilize pay per click search engines to promote the advertisers' offers (i.e., search arbitrage) * Comparison shopping websites and directories * Loyalty websites, typically characterized by providing a reward system for purchases via points back, cash back * CRM sites that offer charitable donations * Coupon and rebate websites that focus on sales promotions * Content and niche market websites, including product review sites * Personal websites * Weblogs and website syndication feeds * E-mail list affiliates (i.e., owners of large opt-in -mail lists that typically employ e-mail drip marketing) and newsletter list affiliates, which are typically more content-heavy * Registration path or co-registration affiliates who include offers from other merchants during the registration process on their own website * Shopping bthat list merchants by categories without providing coupons, price comparisons, or other features based on information that changes frequently, thus requiring continual updates * Cost per action networks (i.e., top-tier affiliates) that expose offers from the advertiser with which they are affiliated to their own network of affiliates * busing adbars (e.g. Adsense) to display context-sensitive, highly relevant ads for products on the site * Virtual Currency: a new type of publisher that utilizes the social media space to couple an advertiser's offer with a handout of "virtual currency" in a game or virtual platform. * Video Blog: Video content that allows viewers to click on and purchase products related to the video's subject. * File-Sharing: Web sites that host directories of music, movies, games and other software. Users upload content (usually in violation of copyright) to file-hosting sites, and then post descriptions of the material and their download links on directory sites. Uploaders are paid by the file-hosting sites based on the number of times their files are downloaded. The file-hosting sites sell premium download access to the files to the general public. The web sites that host the directory services sell advertising and do not host the files themselves.The key benefit for companies is of course that they can utilize and target high traffic (OR relevant traffic) sites to get sales leads. Some companies would never be able to attract this many visitors to their own site. On the other hand it stays affordable as you do not pay unless the deal is closed (valid for pay per acquisition model only)
Like websites, Blog platforms are reaching mature functionalities. They come with state-of-art content management systems allowing you to manage the strcutures, appearances, functionalities, feeds and plug-ins. IN many ways, the best platforms are serving both blogs and websites today.
Whatever you decide to do in digital marketing, should be monitored. It includes Cloud services just as well. If you understand the traffic details of your own media, or the cost per click actions of your bought media, or the key influencers in your social sites, THEN you can also start to improve your performance. Most Cloud services come with a good set of APIs so you can integrate your service with analytics services.
Social Sites started as personal networks but quickly evolved to incorporate brand pages too. This was of course driven by the revenue models. Today there are growing number of social sites that allow companies to engage with their customers by using just web browser. Most famous and obvious ones are Facebook, Orkut, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Vimeo, Flickr, Foursquare and the list goes on. When moving to this space brands must understand and appreciate the right ethics and tactics. One cannot enter social media without proper resourcing and preparation. Because once you start the conversion, you cannot just stop it. It’s not a project. It’s a process. Like with any dialogue, you start a conversion, you let other party to comment and add views, you then return and engage based on the other parties staements. It’s not propaganda and unfortunately not all companies are up to this task. Way too often you see brands replicating their PR announcements (unedited) in social channels.When done correctly you can see the benefits very clearly. Red Bull example shows that they haveOver 22 million followers on FacebookThere are over 330 thousand Twitter followers200 million Youtube views & 240k subscribers440k Flickr photo tags80k Foursquare followersAnd the list goes on.So if you have resources or right knowledge, you can then educate, inspire and engage with people. Again, just using the sites available in the cloud
Professional networks are nothing new. But they are opening up in an unseen manner. Not long ago, very few companies would allow you track company employees, their experience, networks, friends, contact details. In the old world it was asking for other companies to recruit your best talent. Well, in a way that concern is still valid What this demonstrates is the power of individuals. We, as individuals have the right to connect to other likje-minded people and only way to find like-minded people is to have authentic information about yourself and your background.If we forget the recruiting point for a second let’s think about the benefits of these networks for a company. You can find decision makers of your prospect companies, you can find advisory and crowdsourcing contributors to your projects, you can share and collaborate beyond your company phonebook. These networks can be much more than just bragging rights and competing on the coolest job title.With the growing use of social networking by business professionals, there is a growing number of social networking sites focused on business users and meeting their needsBiznik – A community of entrepreneurs and small businesses dedicated to helping each other succeed.cmypitch.com– A business website for UK entrepreneurs to get quotes, advice and more.Cofoundr – A community for entrepreneurs, programmers, designers, investors, and other individuals involved with starting new ventures.E.Factor– An online community and virtual marketplace designed for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.Ecademy –A business network for creating contacts and sharing knowledge.Entrepreneur Connect – A community by Entrepreneur.com where professionals can network, communicate, and collaborate with others.Fast Pitch – A business network where professionals can market their business and make connections.fast pitchFocus – A community focused on helping business decision makers and IT professionals make decisions.focusJASEzone – A professional community where you can find potential clients and business partners.jasezoneLinkedIn – A professional network that allows you to be introduced to and collaborate with other professionals.linkedinNetworking for Professionals – A business network that combines online business networking and real-life events.networkingforprofessionalsPartnerUp – A community connecting small business owners and entrepreneurs.partnerupPerfectBusiness – A network of entrepreneurs, investors and business experts that encourages entrepreneurship and mutual success.perfectbusinessPlaxo – An enhanced address book tool for networking and staying in contact.plaxoRyze – A business networking community that allows users to organize themselves by interests, location, and current and past employers.ryzeStartupNation – A community focused on the exchange of ideas between entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners.
So companies can digitally transform their company without installing servers or even writing too many lines of code!You can take charge on your own media tactics and create, manage and analyze its impact for your businessYou can run well planned bought media campaigns with clear ROI metricsYou can engage in earned media with people in rich ways to collaborate, educate and inspire each otherAll this is available just open your web browser. Now how amazing is that.But like with all things, you also have to plan the entry to the Cloud. Here’s some considerations to ask yourself:Functionality. Does the product do exactly the tasks you need to accomplish? If not, what is the cost of finding other ways to accomplish those tasks?Usability. Is the system easy to use or will it require extensive staff retraining and/or an increase in support staff?Price. Calculating the cost of a system involves more than just the initial outlay. Consider all parts of the total cost of ownership (TCO), including adding features, storage costs, and fees.“The ROI calculations are the trickster’s tool,” Drew Kraus (Research VP at Gartner) said. “What we are finding is that many organizations are looking at the software costs, but forget the administration costs. If they have personnel in charge of the care and feeding of this environment, and if that goes away by having someone else run the infrastructure, then that can really tip the scales.”Flexibility. Access through Web allows remote and mobile workers to participate easily. Most providers also have their own API, which permits further coordination between your company and the hosted software.Configuration and Integration. The rule of thumb is that the more closely you want to integrate CRM with other internal systems, the more likely on-premises will be preferable. However, SaaS CRM providers are increasingly able to share and transfer customer data easily and with low risk. Most providers have their own API to make it easy to integrate with a company’s current software applicationsCustomization and Interface. Define exactly what kinds of customization you require. If you do not, you risk finding out–with either an on-premises or a SaaS installation–that the chosen product does not meet your needs.Security. While security was once thought a “con” of cloud-based software, that has changed, according to Kraus. “When you talk to the providers of SaaS solutions, because they know security is an important issue, they over-invest in it. They tend to be better than many enterprises.’’Reporting. Analyze your reporting needs carefully and make sure that reporting functions are satisfactory, or that you can work with the CRM vendor to customize reports.Support. Customer support is a high priority with SaaS CRM providers. Since you can disconnect your company easily from a SaaS product that isn’t meeting expectations, SaaS companies tend to take customer service very seriously.Vendor Viability. Look at the company’s management and history to assess their credibility and business strategies. Talk to the principals and others on the team to help develop a profile of the company’s long-term health.Support and Administration. Hosted software has very low personnel, support, and administration costs as compared to on-premises solutions.
I hope you have enjoyed todays speech, Hopefully you learned something new or at least feel inspired to take a look at your company’s marketing practices. Now it’s time for some questions or you can also feel free to contact me after the event. Thanks
Introduction to Cloud marketing
Digital Marketing in the Cloud<br />Jussi Wacklin<br />Managing Director<br />Own. Bought. Earned.<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />
Today, there are extensive services available for companies to manage their digital communication without ever building up their own IT infrastructure. The Cloud services are changing the way companies can digitalize their communication… by using just the web browser.<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />Introduction<br />
Why Cloud? <br />Low overhead and no IT infrastructure<br />Affordable(low cost of ownership, lower training costs, lower financial risk, more predictable cash outlay)<br />No software installation (no maintenance or upgrades)<br />Ease and speed of deployment (configuration is faster and simpler than on-premises)<br />Ease of Integration<br />Easy access over an Internet browser.<br />Support and new features are included<br />Flexibility<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />
Digital Communication Framework<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />
Online Advertising in Cloud <br />Research, analyze, plan, execute, optimize digital campaigns<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />
Affiliates<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />Sign-up to advertise on affiliates or sell your own media against commission<br />
Blog Platforms in Cloud <br />World-class CMS systems with templates, plug-ins, widgets and APIs<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />
Analytics for all Digital Touchpoints<br />Google<br />Followerwonk<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />
Social Sites for Brands<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />
Professional Networks<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />
Considerations<br />Functionality IT Compliance Corporate Culture identity management system Right Cloud AppsPrice Usability Return on Investment Flexibility Integration User Interface Security Vendor Liability Support and Administration Competence<br />www.ownboughtearned.com<br />