When it comes to marketing, data center experts have to live by one premise: prepare to change.
Twenty years ago, being ‘online’ was purely optional and largely the purview of academics and the military. Now it is an essential business requirement. Digital marketing has undergone a similar transformation: as recently as a few years ago, it consisted primarily of banner ads and email campaigns.
Now the evolution of mobile technology and social media, combined with changes in buyer habits, has changed the way that businesses interact with and appeal to their customers.
Experts not only need to disrupt their status quo: they need to eliminate it entirely.
Change the Structure and Culture
For sales and marketing campaigns to succeed today, there needs to be buy-in from the entire organization and commitment from upper management to invest in the necessary resources.
Some data center managers don’t bother embracing or even trying to understand the organization’s digital marketing goals. They relegate such matters to the marketing department and its ‘digital experts. A change must be made to support the new generation of colocation clients. Doing business online has to be the focus of the entire company.
Colocation data centers set themselves up for success in the new marketplace by embracing change. The modern definition of best business practices is the ability to exceed customer expectations, adapt to evolving technologies, and do both in an open-minded and efficient manner.
Unfortunately, companies that have been around a long time and experienced high levels of success during the previous ‘wave’ can be myopic and focus on the present instead of the future. It’s an outlook that spelled the end of Sears, Blockbuster, and even MySpace. On the other hand, Netflix immediately embraced changes in both technology and consumer behavior, and the company continues to thrive as a result.
While data center experts should be respectful of traditional performance metrics, they should never be confined by them. Emphasis needs to be on innovative, customer-centric marketing initiatives that create measurable yet meaningful business value.
Become -and Stay- Customer-Centric
Data center clients have changed the way that they shop for new services. They go to extreme lengths to block out marketing messages that don’t interest them -or at least don’t interest them at this stage of the buyer journey. The old marketing playbook, which was driven by cold calls, mass mailings, and email campaigns, may have worked at one time, but now they’re primarily a waste of company resources and effort.
Data center experts must now reach customers by creating and publishing valuable content that draws them in voluntarily. Social media posts, blog entries, and free webinars or downloads are all proven assets for turning prospects into qualified leads. For maximum effectiveness, information should be tailored to buyers' stages, and at least one data center expert should position themselves as a trusted advisor to catch consumers early in the decision-making cycle.
The Bottom Line
Doing business in the digital marketplace requires a progressive and customer-oriented marketing agenda, an understanding how inbound marketing can drive business growth, and a willingness to react to the first signs of chance. Today's most successful data centers are those that take an attitude of innovation and experimentation and ingrain it in all aspects of the business.
If you are interested in changing your company’s status quo or are struggling to do so, let us know in the comments below.