Inbound Marketing Tips for Data Centers

Those working in data centers or colocation businesses are likely to recognize the value of binaries. Here’s a marketing concept in those terms — inbound v. outbound marketing.

Technology marketing insights

With inbound focused on informing and educating potential customers during their buyer’s journey, while outbound shouts a disruptive sales message at all available targets, it’s no surprise inbound tactics have gained far more traction. Here then are inbound marketing tips for data centers.

Two times as many marketers say inbound delivers below average cost per lead than outbound methods. – HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014

Target Decision Makers

Data centers and colocation companies need to align theirmarketing and sales efforts by targeting the decision makers.

Develop a specific buyer persona drawing on marketing and sales teams’ understanding of the past, current and prospective client.

Marketing teams can audit social media interactions, review LinkedIn profiles, read RFI notes, review initial sales questions and revisit other prospect and cli
ent interactions to gain a true sense of what the buyer is looking to achieve and his or her pain points.
Value proposition - digital marketing and lead generation - buy persona
Your personas should include data points such as:

  • Relevant buying roles
  • Decision maker value points vs. influencer due diligence
  • Specific needs for storage, support, security, etc.
  • Pain points
  • Industries
  • Company size range
  • Blockers for decision making

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool, such as HubSpot, can help the brand better identify its target persona, track their activity and build campaign flows targeting each audience segment. The data points mentioned in the persona can be used within the CRM to measure and segment lead volume.

Align Sales and Marketing

The inbound approach helps to align sales and marketing with a common and specific understanding of the targeted buying group. Sales and marketing need to also develop common definitions of qualified sales leads, shared goals and common metrics. This can streamline process for both teams while fostering greater collaborative communication.

Marketing to sales alignment: buyer lifecycle stages

According to The B2B Lead, sales reps ignore 50% of marketing leads. We have seen this first hand, time and time again. However, sharing a common lead lifecycle definition between marketing and sales teams can help the marketing lead conversion rate and reduce.

When sales and marketing teams work together, companies see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates. — The TAS Group

Related reading: Benefits of Integrating Sales and Marketing.

Develop a Content Marketing Strategy

Data centers have a more complex message to communicate to their potential customers, especially in a time when AWS and other massive cloud players are disrupting the space. This makes it all the more important for the business to determine in advance its value proposition to specific businesses. Then plan a strategy for providing helpful, relevant content to prospects searching for the solution the data center service offers.

The data center content message will focus on security, reliability, robust connectivity, stability scalability, support, elasticity, physical security, flexibility on-premise, and more.

The question the inbound marketer must answer effectively and succinctly is how this particular data center is different from the competitors, and how it will deliver on its promises. Also, consider trust elements that will immediately help potential buyers believe in that value proposition–certifications, client testimonials, and case studies.

Apply a developer’s logic to the process of setting down a well-planned, persona-centric content marketing program that takes a step-by-step perspective to educating prospects while establishing authority and building trust.

Which pieces of content are most valuable to B2B technology buyers and at which stage of the customer journey?

content publishing schedule for B2B marketing


Inbound leads cost 60% less than outbound leads. – Search Engine Journal

Related reading: Inbound Marketing Statistics

Track Relevant Metrics

Just as data centers rely on application or network performance and troubleshooting metrics, inbound marketers focus on data to determine what is working or not for building awareness, lead generation, sales, or brand loyalty. And, yes, each of those would be measured using different metrics.

Relevant metrics might include:

  • Number of leads generated per month
  • Content assisting in the conversion of a lead
  • Total leads in the lead pool and the percentage of graduation of “old” leads from that pool
  • Sales qualified leads per month
  • Sales opportunities per month
  • Conversion rate site wide
  • Conversion rate by marketing channel
  • Referral rate — the number of leads originating from a referral website
  • Acquisition cost — what it costs to acquire a sales qualified lead
  • Overall ROI — Revenue divided by spend.

Data service centers know about business continuity, hosting and warehousing, environmental sustainability, cybersecurity and much more. Ideally this short introduction to inbound marketing helped the technologically minded look at marketing in another light.

Related reading: Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing – Which is Better?

Improve lead generation efforts. B2B lead generation agency.

Colocation Data Centers and Inbound Marketing. (n.d.).

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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.