As data has become the most coveted business asset that can be efficiently and cost-effectively stored in the cloud, there is a big push for B2B marketers to capitalize on the database, integration and analytics markets to understand how to harness this seismic shift 'to the cloud' throughout all aspects of business.
As the complexity of reaching customers across a swath of digital options increases, brands are more willing to spend money on technology that will take some of the guesswork off their hands, automating their marketing across different channels, engaging customers on social, and using analytics to be more efficient in their targeting. But, options are changing and evolving as large and small businesses- alike move to the cloud, and marketers need to know what is coming down the pipe.
In a recent report by Tableau, a list of 10 business trends in 2016 indicates that data assets stored in the cloud have become something of a land grab, with companies vying for increasingly connected analytics of both a company's resources and customers. This could include everything from Internet of Things (IoT) assets to social media metrics - all gold nuggets to a smart B2B marketer.
A second important trend for marketers according to the report is how the competition for cloud services means that big cloud-service providers are deepening relationships and forging stronger partnerships at the outset or on boarding of customers onto preferential cloud platforms. With the rise of the connected consumer, and the importance of search and social media in their decision making, the traditional path to purchase has been enveloped by cloud technology and partnerships are reportedly the most effective way to compete.
Increasingly, and particularly important for B2B marketers is that the study finds that big companies are transitioning their entire infrastructure and data ecosystems to the cloud. Recognizing that the cloud can improve their business in a variety of ways and cut cost and risk, even the most resistant sectors are seeing the writing on the wall. The lure of cloud technology means that with IT leaders adopting powerful analytics solutions that are on-hand all the time enabling companies to establish or spot potential services and/or prevent budget overruns. This data will be readily available on mobile devices. So, in the middle of meetings or on the go, B2B marketers must be prepared to anticipate the immense amount of information that is influencing and shaping a brand.
Additionally, the cloud revolution means that the deep ties to kingpins like Dell-EMC or HP are breaking down with an increased dependence on business from companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. However, the stalwarts of the server, networking, and chip supplier industry refuse to go quietly into the night. The report notes that interesting alliances are now developing where these leviathans are strengthening their positions to renew their value to their customer bases. Underestimating the genius these companies are capable of would be a huge mistake, the report notes, as they have fully-staffed labs and innovation centers designed to help them think outside of the box.
Also, non-technical individuals are increasingly able to quickly move data into the cloud ecosystem. For B2B marketers, this means the possibility of more integration of information between sales and marketing and a more informed approach to potential customers, new businesses and amongst the sales and marketing teams.
Cloud computing may also be getting easier with a solution that can be considered an IT roadmap. Although compliance, legacy solutions and other issues can keep a portion of a companies IT roadmap anchored to traditional approaches, there are a lot of signs that for big companies, there is more support of smaller solutions players entering the marketplace, which in turn gives more options for B2B marketers pushing for cloud marketing software solutions
Finally, with mobile and cloud analytics becoming increasingly one and the same, the report notes that the “how” of cloud and mobile analytics will quickly become invisible as the simplicity of a unified solution makes these distinctions irrelevant.