As technology grows increasingly complex and takes on more of the tasks necessary for executing digital business strategies, cloud service providers (CSPs) will concurrently see an uptick in demand. In looking to grow their businesses and acquire new clients in an increasingly crowded market, CSPs must optimize their problem-solving resources when it comes to both their technological architecture and digital marketing needs. Personalization is definitely going to be the path going forward for CSPs in 2018 and beyond.
When marketers were asked which facet of future marketing strategies was going to be the most important in the future, personalization was named by one-third of the participants.
Personalization is more than simply using customers’ names in email subject lines or giving them custom coupons based on past purchases. Personalizing content in real time needs to be a priority in a noisy world in which it’s increasingly difficult to get and hold prospects’ attention. While it’s not quite on the same page as a smoothie company sending select discounts and recipes to customers based on their purchase history, CSPs need to take a similar approach when it comes to attracting and retaining clients.
How Can CSPs Understand and Successfully Implement Personalization Strategies?
What personalization ultimately does in both inbound marketing and lead generation efforts is that it combats the pernicious feeling of being sold to. Seventy-four percent of customers get fed up with websites that they feel don’t make an effort to cater to their interests or the problems they need to solve. Additionally, customer experience is how companies are going to differentiate themselves in the future, and personalization compounds a fantastic experience that will keep them coming back – while a total lack thereof will lead to lukewarm results.
For existing clients, CSPs can easily apply personalization techniques by making use of the more robust CRM solutions currently on the market that lend a 360-degree view of each client. This unified view offers limitless opportunities for personalization and is a very cost-efficient method of doing so. Forty percent of customers will spend more money with businesses that offer personalized shopping experiences across the different channels, whether it’s in the form of personalized offers based on profiles and purchase data or giving the customers ways to filter out content and products that aren’t relevant to them. These types of offers are effective at increasing client retention since it costs so much more to get new clients in the first place.
In a heavily saturated IT market that’s getting harder to penetrate, personalization will play an important role in attracting new clients. CSPs with limited resources will face challenges when it comes to marketing with total reliance on just one in-house marketer or a freelance team, so those professionals will need to rely more on relationship-building than larger scale B2B tactics. Personalized offers and greetings in emails are a good place to start, but content specific to that prospect’s needs should be a priority along with news about their industry. This effort shows that you, the CSP, are taking an interest in them without making them feel like they’re being sold to.
Why CSPs Need to Make Personalization a Priority
Cloud technology has been a major boon to the digital marketing sphere, as have CRM solutions and the automated workflows that they’ve enabled. But while larger businesses have been benefiting from automated marketing, and SMBs can as well, the latter needs to focus on personalization in a more hands-on manner.
SMBs look to CSPs once they reach a certain friction point in growing their businesses. And the truth is that having a customized experience makes people feel special.
In prioritizing personalization through greetings, offers, smart usage of CRM tools, and automated email and content marketing, CSPs can provide as close to a “Siri-like” experience as possible. With customer experience being the main factor in how businesses will compete in the near future, it’s imperative that MSPs start getting to know their clients’ needs and industry norms on a more intimate level than before.
This includes, but is definitely not limited to, the high and low times for when they do business (as an industry and specifically as a company), business goals, technology directives, and other relevant information that demonstrates you’re customizing the experience for them and not just making a sales effort.
Keep the Effort Going
Personalization isn’t a single one-time marketing maneuver or campaign, such as a holiday season marketing push or a product launch campaign. It’s an ongoing strategy and investment that will only become even more crucial as business owners’ expectations and technology both continue to evolve.
CSPs need to effectively deliver value through personalization by creating a highly customized experience for both prospects and existing clients all the way from the discovery stage to retaining them as happy clients. Business owners who’ve reached the point of needing an CSP for their technology needs will appreciate relevant content, whether it’s created in-house or is referenced externally, that is curated for their particular needs and business cycles. Personalized offers and contact as part of an ongoing relationship-building strategy will also prove to be effective.
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