Best Practices for Colocation Marketing and Sales Generation

website server backupColocation companies use efficiency and adaptability to meet the needs of their customers. These attributes need to be communicated alongside other distinct value points for colocation inbound marketing, lead generation, and sales generation efforts.

Understanding The Colocation Market

Small, mid-sized and even large businesses are turning to colocation as the secure, cost-effective solution to unprecedented data demands. Increasing at a 12.26% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), the data center colocation market is predicted to grow to $50.18 billion by the end of 2020. That’s up from $25.07 billion in 2014, according to Mordor Intelligence.

A separate report from 451 Research expects the colocation data center market will reach $36 billion by end of 2017. Further, the global footprint will grow from 109 million closer to 150 million square feet.

Colocation is benefitting from factors such as:

  • Rapid expansion of data assets across industries
  • Awareness of costs, space and time required to develop proprietary data centers
  • Pressure to scale and ensure security even as IT budgets tighten
  • Increasing global interest in this data management solution

North America leads the colocation market with 1,294 colocation centers in the US alone. — Mordor

Inbound Sales: A Complete Guide for CMOs

Best Practices for Colocation Marketing and Sales Generation

While the market expands, driven by an increasing need for IT cost reduction and greater security, colocation companies will face certain challenges. Aside from issues of regulatory compliance and concerns about improper colocation site practices, buyers must be able to understand the unique provider capabilities in the context of their own needs. Additionally, there’s the obstacle of simply standing out from other colocation competitors. That’s where these best practices for colocation marketing and sales generation come into play.

The majority of colocation revenue is derived today from local providers with less than $500 million in annualized colocation revenue. — 451

Establish awareness early

Customers are less likely to “stumble” upon a brand today. Google processes as many as 3 billion searches daily. Plus, customers today are more informed and have more control of the buying process. The goal then is to create awareness and foster brand bias early. How?

  • Optimize content based on user activity and interests
  • Offer content and content offers based on a prospect’s stage in the sales pipeline
  • Focus on educating, inspiring, helping, and informing throughout the sales journey
  • Employ SEO best practices to drive traffic and build trust
  • Measure effectiveness based on which content assists in the conversion of IT sales leads

Take a permission-based approach

Don’t make relationship building even more difficult by trying to woo customers who have shown no interest in being contacted. Purchasing names and sending unsolicited communications is spam and puts the colocation company in league with other unsavory entities. Sending spam can harm future sales by hurting the brand’s reputation, eroding credibility, and negatively impacting email sender score.

Effective inbound marketers communicate with people who have an interest using relevant and appropriate content. Further, they use the data available to:

  • Build buyer personas and ideal customer profiles to make their efforts more relevant and targeted
  • Distinguish segments of audience based on who they are and where they are in their journey
  • Develop a content plan in which communications address target audiences in targeted ways that invite recipients to the desired action
  • Measure engagement to see what content resonates or design is most effective or CTA converts the best.

Related reading: Does Design Matter for Lead Generation?

Create content to attract the ideal customer

The colocation company should already have plenty of data about its ideal customers’ goals, challenges, pain points, and interests. Bring relevant teams together (marketing and sales in particular) to brainstorm relevant and educational content that speaks to that audience.

 

If marketing and sales work together, revenue could grow upwards of 10% annually
– IDC and HubSpot

The best content will:

  • Serve a specific, focused campaign goal
  • Communicate a clear, succinct value proposition — immediately
  • Facilitate easy conversion with mobile optimized, well-designed pages that make next steps clear
  • Convert prospects into leads by being relevant and valuable to the audience

Consider also that the IT buyer is typically divided into two groups: technology endorsers and IT decision makers. While endorsers need to specifically understand integration, cost, timing, enabling features, value for their role and support should something go wrong, the decision makers are more drawn to content contextualizing business value.

Channel preferences future marketing

State of Inbound 2016

Turn leads into paying customers

Sales enablement leverages email marketing, workflows, lead scoring, progressive profiling, and customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation software to turn leads into buyers. With the right tools you can:

  • Track interactions
  • Segment lists
  • Send helpful, targeted content based on customer interests, purchases, data shared through lead acquisition, and engagement within a website.

Aligning sales and marketing reporting tools helps close the gap between website and sales process activity. Studying sales trends using CRM can help both marketing and sales identify drivers for current conversion rates (or the lack of conversions).

Become part of the backdrop to the customer’s life

Simply publishing content isn’t enough. With so many variations of content type, the colo marketer needs to find the right fit for the right customer at the right time. Earn the customers’ time to view a video, read an article, or listen to a podcast with a good understanding of what different customers are looking for and when.

This includes continuing the marketing efforts even after the sale closes. Continue to delight customers with personalized content, new product recommendations, and social interactions to foster their continued satisfaction. Along with providing up- and cross-sell opportunities, this helps turn customers into loyal advocates. Also, it’s been proven cheaper to retain current customers than to try and bring in new ones.

North America houses about 43% of the world’s total operational space for colocation. — 451

Just as colocation companies offer efficiency and adaptability, the marketing team needs to be flexible to remain effective. These best practices for colocation marketing and sales generation are a great start.

Explore Ironpaper services: IT Marketing

Best Practices for Colocation Marketing Sources:
451 Research. (2015, April 17). Report: Colocation Data Center Market to Reach $36B by 2017. https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2015/04/17/colocation-data-center-market-to-reach-36b-by-2017/
Mordor Intelligence. (2016, August). Global Data Center Colocation Market- Growth, Trends And Forecast (2015-2020). https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/2536382/global-data-center-colocation-market-growth-trends-and-forecast-2015-2020.html




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