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What is Cloud Marketing? - Definition & Examples

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Cloud marketing stretches from a brand's website to social media channels to mobile strategies. In this lesson, we'll learn more about cloud marketing, why its beneficial and some companies that are successfully doing it.

In the Clouds

Someone's head is in the clouds. You're on cloud nine. Every cloud has a silver lining. We use the idea of clouds all the time to represent our thoughts and feelings. But, more and more, we hear chatter about things happening ''in the cloud,'' and that doesn't mean in the sky. At work, you may work in the cloud, which serves as a place to store shared documents. At home, you may keep your music and photos in a cloud storage program like Dropbox.

But, the ''cloud'' has also come to be known as something else in the marketing community - a concept known as cloud marketing.

What is Cloud Marketing?

Cloud marketing is all of a business' digital marketing efforts, personalized and integrated to improve a buyer's experience. The goal is to reach buyers where they are, whether it's on social media, checking their email, or visiting a website.

The concept of cloud marketing has evolved thanks to the rapid growth of the internet, and a society that has become more mobile in terms of consuming data and engaging in two-way conversations with brands. Cloud marketing is a shift from more traditional forms of marketing, done through print publications, television ads, and radio ads. If a brand isn't connecting with shoppers through cloud marketing, chances are it's struggling. Cloud marketing - the act of personalizing content through search engines, blogs, digital ads and email - is the new way of doing business.

Particularly important to cloud marketing is the marketer's ability to customize content for each consumer. That means a marketer, by gathering details about its audience base, can send personalized emails, create targeted ads and develop relevant email campaigns that take into account a shopper's needs, preferences and previous buying behaviors (among other characteristics).

Benefits of Cloud Marketing

By now, some of the benefits of cloud marketing should be obvious, but there are scores of other positives that make cloud marketing a common-sense choice. Let's look at a few:

  1. It's cheap. Well, it's cheaper, anyway. Gone are the days of printing and mailing promotions to consumers or running expensive television ads. The opportunities with cloud marketing range from totally free (your social media channels) to relatively low-cost (implementing an email newsletter program).
  2. It's quick. Think about it: which is faster to reach a customer - an email newsletter or a newsletter shipped through the mail? Cloud marketing technologies allow you to connect with customers almost instantaneously, without them ever having to go to their mailbox.
  3. It's custom-made. Cloud marketing enables you to not only gather information about your customers, but use that to reach them with more targeted, relevant information. For example, if you have a loyalty program at your store that requires members to input a birthday, you can send a birthday greeting and special offer to each member on his or her birthday. Neat, right?

Cloud Marketing Components

When you're talking about cloud marketing, you're examining two critical components: channels and tools. Channels include all the way a company gets its message out, like a website or social media account. Tools are programs and software that help make communicating with online consumers easier - products like Constant Contact for sending emails and Google Analytics for measuring numbers of website visitors and the success of online advertisements.

Cloud Marketing Champions

If you think about a few of the businesses you like to frequent online, you can probably quickly remember different places you've engaged with that brand online - part of that brand's cloud marketing strategy. Here are a couple at the head of the class.

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