Posted in February 5, 2014 - 4:31 pm.by Tami Demayo
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Cloud services providers: Missed opportunity may be the best opportunity of all

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With everyone from bakers to bank CIOs realizing the benefits of leveraging the cloud, the market for cloud services seems endlessly bountiful—a market so big even Amazon can’t swallow it all. IDC forecasts that between 2013 and 2017, the market for public cloud services will see a compound annual growth rate of 23.5 percent—five times that of the IT industry as a whole.*

Smaller cloud services providers that have plenty of opportunities, but not-so-plentiful budgets, may be tempted to cast a wide net in their marketing outreach. From a huge haul, the reasoning goes, they can cull the most lucrative opportunities.

But as one of our cloud services clients has found, a wider net doesn’t result in a bigger catch. That’s because, when it comes to marketing communications, one lure doesn’t attract all customers. General messages about your services speak to everyone’s needs, and thus, speak to no one’s needs in particular. The most effective messages will be those that target a very small segment of customers. Which means they ignore all the rest.

Choosing a niche is a painful process. Because by choosing one, you risk losing out on many other opportunities. But the good news is, there’s no one absolutely “best” niche. There is only the niche that’s right for your company. And when you find it, the whole marketing communications process becomes easier, because you can create—and prospects can respond to—content that speaks to specific, relevant pain points and solutions.

Another benefit to focusing: Once your company is established in one niche, you have more credentials with which to expand your outreach incrementally by targeting related niches.

If you’re mulling over how to define an appropriate target for your marketing content, here are some attributes to consider:

  • Company size
  • Growth stage (slow, rapid scale)
  • Geographical region
  • Industry
  • For profit vs. not-for-profit
  • Centralized vs. distributed IT management
  • Need for public, private, or hybrid cloud
  • Level of IT support required
  • Availability requirements
  • Sensitivity to security risks
  • Stability/predictability of workflows
  • Compliance hosting needs (PCI, FISMA, HIPPA…)

If you’ve already successfully identified the segment that is the perfect fit for your cloud services marketing communications, what attributes did you use?

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http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24298013, accessed on January 30, 2014.

 

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