Companies big and small are currently seen migrating their digital marketing efforts and lead nurturing software to a cloud-based platform.

Although not an entirely new concept, cloud marketing software has gained more popularity in recent times as companies are now more aware and certain of the benefits a cloud-based system or software as a service (SAAS) can offer.

The benefits of marketing cloud technology

As businesses are becoming more digitally focused, the benefits of cloud-based systems are becoming more and more important.

In our mobile and technologically savvy world, personalisation is expected as each person you are dealing with wants to be treated based on their individuality. By identifying all the personas you market to and understanding the customer cycle, it lets you develop content that speaks directly to individual prospects.

Most cloud services are hosted off-site, meaning that upgrades and maintenance are taken care of by a service provider, in turn eliminating the cost of implementing an in-house support and IT team.

When dealing with the masses of personal data you gather from individuals, data security is pertinent. Cloud-based software products ensure the security of data as it provides a large storage space in a centralised space. In addition, cloud based document storage services help paper intensive small businesses manage their paper and digital files by scanning and hosting the scanned documents in an online management system.

With cloud software, marketers are also always guaranteed of ‘always-on’ access: Cloud storage offers capacity, convenience and anywhere access, leading to better collaboration between customers, partners, employees etc.

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Virtual events platforms hosted in the cloud include webcasts and webinars but also full blown seminars and conferences. These have been traditionally used for online classes and training certifications but are now seen as marketing tools to showcase live product demos to clients and for hosting online marketing events.

Customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation software is a must-have for companies that want to keep in touch with their customers, and for SMBs, the most compelling products live in the cloud.

Cloud solutions are also great for website marketing. This includes the cloud based tools used for SEO and SEM, and usually consists of: Web analytics, pay-per-click management, keyword discovery tools, Keyword bid management systems and so forth.

Looking at the numbers

In October 2015, Cisco released its Global Cloud Index report for 2014-2019, indicating notable growth in the growth and traffic volumes of cloud technology.

Highlights from the updated research included the following:

From a regional perspective, the Global Cloud Index predicts that through 2019, the Middle East and Africa region is expected to have the highest cloud traffic growth rate (41%); followed by Central and Eastern Europe (38%); and North America (33%).

Currently 73% of data stored on client devices resides on PCs. However, by 2019, the majority of stored data around 51%, will move to non-PC devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, M2M modules, et al.). With the volume of stored data increasing, Cisco predicts a greater demand and use for consumer cloud storage. By 2019, 55% of the residential Internet population will use personal cloud storage (up from 42% in 2014). As an example, the forecast estimates that by 2017, global smartphone traffic (201 EB per year) will exceed the amount of data stored on those devices – necessitating the need for greater storage capabilities via the cloud.

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Public cloud, in which services are rendered over a network that is open for public use, is growing faster than private cloud, which includes cloud infrastructure operated for a single organisation, in terms of workloads. However, throughout the five-year forecast, private cloud will continue to outpace public cloud in its degree of virtualisation. With businesses increasingly assessing the cost associated with IT dedicated resources and demanding for more agility, public cloud adoption will rise.