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Cloud Marketing: Keep It Simple

Twice in as many weeks, I have gotten the same surprising reaction during lunch conversations from friends who work in technology-related professions. When I asked them what they were doing with the cloud, each one of them said, "The cloud? I keep hearing that term and am afraid to sound stupid, but I don't think I understand what it really means."

If we say the word enough, will everyone understand? Maybe. In the meantime, there are a plenty of smart people out there, including your clients, that don't know what "the cloud" means and are afraid to ask for fear of sounding stupid. And if they don't understand it, they sure aren't going to adopt it.

Sounds Like an Opportunity for You To Help
There is a school of thought that webinars and seminars with titles like "Embrace the Cloud" and "Cloud Power" will intrigue prospects to want to find out more. Certainly, there are many professionals -- especially IT buyers -- that understand the cloud and all its variations very clearly. But what about your target prospects?

If your current and potential client contacts are non-technical people, you may have the perfect opportunity to help them "not feel stupid." Take it down a notch and educate your audience on the basics first. You will earn points and trust.

Keep It Simple
Part of the challenge in keeping the message simple is that "the cloud" is used to describe a pretty wide range of applications, services and combinations of the two. For your audience, start simple and expand from there.

Something like this: At the basic level, "the cloud" or "cloud computing" refers to software -- from e-mail to accounting to customer relationship management -- that users access through the Internet. Cloud computing allows small companies to use powerful applications, including Exchange, SharePoint, Live Meeting, CRM and Office without expensive hardware or extensive IT support.

Shed Some Light
Now that you have their attention and appreciation for clearing the fog, take the opportunity to explain the value-add that you bring. Bullet-point the benefits that they get from working with you if they decide to transition to the cloud, but don't get too deep too fast. Adoption for many companies will take years. Help your clients understand the variations and options offered through the cloud over time.

However you introduce the cloud to your customers, whether it's through your monthly newsletter, webinars or seminars, start with the basics and build from there. Our industry is notorious for talking over people's heads about the latest advances in technology. Keep it simple.

Do you have a good cloud story? Tell me about it and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on April 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM