For marketers, almost nothing is as valuable as hearing the unvarnished, unfiltered point-of-view of buyers. At last week’s Massachusetts Tech Leadership Council’s “Cloud Seminar: Choosing the Right Cloud for Your Business,” marketers would have had a lot to listen to.
Speaking to a sophisticated, engineer-centric audience with over 20 years’ experience in development and operations, GitHub’s Mark Imbriaco didn’t pull any punches in presenting his perspective on the myths and realities of the benefits of the cloud.
- Cost savings? Myth.
- Means of avoiding IT bottlenecks? Myth.
- Driver of increased agility and speed to market? Definite reality.
From a value proposition perspective, the implications are clear: be wary of emphasizing cost and operational advantages of your cloud solution because they’ll like meet with skepticism.
A panel discussion featuring engineering executives from Carbonite, Ipswitch, Acquia, and Scribe built on Mr. Imbriaco’s perspective. In responding to questions about their infrastructure evolution, they said that decisions about when and how to deploy IaaS, PaaS, and S(torage)aaS would always be based on the strategic business needs for a given initiative or project: when time-to-market is critical or in which utilization is highly unpredictable, cloud is attractive; in a scenario with consistent demands and a need to control variable costs, cloud is a poor choice.
This nuanced view of the application of cloud services should point marketers towards the development of materials and campaigns that enable the customer to drive the buying process based on specific requirements for specific projects. Specifically, the following would likely be effective:
- Inbound marketing to allow prospective customers to pursue the information most useful to them
- Web-based self-diagnostics to help prospective customers learn which cloud solution may be the right one for them
- Sales enablement tools to facilitate sales’ role as a partner and helpful guide
- Cross/up-sell marketing based on utilization data to take advantage of natural evolution of needs