All Posts By

Open-i Advisors

Finding Profit and Purpose Through Cloud Marketing Insights

By Insights

Last week, the web hosting community gathered for the first-ever Webpros Summit. This highly technical conference brought together some of the top experts in the field of web hosting, including Open-i Advisors Co-founder and Senior Partner, Christian Dawson.

At the event, Christian led a session covering the latest facts and figures on cloud hosting. He cited data from some of the most influential sources, especially data from our partners at Structure Research, explaining why the cloud should be the focus in today’s hosting economy. 

If you weren’t able to attend the session, you will have the opportunity to access Christian’s presentation, to find and utilize the facts and figures most relevant to the Internet infrastructure ecosystem today. This data is essential for identifying market opportunities, uncovering market threats, and discovering ways to differentiate your business in a complex landscape. 

The slides Christian put together for the presentation, and links to the resources he finds most helpful for recognizing market opportunities within the cloud industry, are located here

Some of the major takeaways from the presentation spoke to the projected growth of the industry. The cloud infrastructure industry is projected to grow at an exponential pace, according to Structure Research. As this industry continues to grow in the coming years, there are some potential threats to the competitive landscape.

The major threats include cybersecurity, platformification, and consolidation. In terms of cybersecurity, the success of the cloud infrastructure market in the long term relies largely on customers using the services and resources they purchase responsibly, rather than for spam or phishing. Platformification has a number of benefits, but also comes with the issues of lack of prioritization, among others. Consolidation of hypervisor and broadband markets also poses a major threat, and is putting pressure on small businesses to compete on price and scale.

When companies know the numbers surrounding their industry and their business, they are better able to defend against these threats, while continuing to take advantage of new market opportunities. Staying on top of cybersecurity and threat mitigation in this space can positively affect your bottom line, while increasing trust in the industry as a whole. In order to combat platformification, use data to get to know your customers better, especially small and medium-sized businesses. To compete against consolidation, it is important to know what your company excels at, before advertising to the specific audiences who can benefit most from your service and expertise. Having strong data about the success of your past client engagements can be a significant help. 

This is only a glimpse into the immense amount of data-driven insight available on cloud infrastructure. To find more industry data, look to the reports produced by some of the thought leaders in the cloud infrastructure space including:

While this information is helpful to understand the broader industry, understanding your company’s individual purpose in the market is the quickest path to success. Please reach out to our team, if you need assistance analyzing the market from your unique perspective. 

Get to Know our Consultants: Bree Dodd

By Get to Know our Consultants
Consultant Q&A

Commitment to personal and professional growth and makes for a well-balanced project manager

Bree Dodd brings extensive experience and expertise in the field of technical and operational project management for many notable organizations across multiple industries. When not guiding projects towards successful completion, Bree teaches yoga in Richmond, VA, and dotes on her Bernese Mountain Dog.

This Q&A will help you get to know what experiences Bree Dodd brings to the Open-i Advisors team.

We’ve all come to Open-i Advisors from diverse backgrounds. What are some of your career or personal highlights to date?

Bree Dodd: My greatest highlight to date was my jump into entrepreneurship. Over a year ago I moved to Richmond, Virginia and promptly opened a yoga studio. Experiencing the different roles of being an entrepreneur and owner in the yoga industry was thrilling (and equally as terrifying!). I recently decided to close the studio and shift the yoga concept/brand, however, the experience of owning a brick and mortar business was invaluable for my personal and professional growth. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to build an inclusive and kind community; a community that has outlasted the physical studio space.

Outside feedback is enormously important for businesses. What’s some feedback that you’ve received personally that helped you grow?

BD: “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not making decisions.” I think a shared human experience is fear of failure, and that fear becoming a barrier to making decisions and taking risks. This is something I have struggled with in the past, but with the help of mentors + personal experience, it is just that, a thing of the past. Being willing to make mistakes is what will elevate your work and your life.

We all try to bring a lot to the table at Open-i Advisors. On the Open-i Advisors team, what’s your superpower?

BD: I always joke with people that my job as a project manager is herding cats, but what that really means is I have a knack for balancing the emotions and needs of a diverse team.  

We’re fond of the saying, “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.” What’s one thing you think an organization should immediately start measuring that they likely aren’t?

BD: Wellness! Most American adults spend half or more of their waking hours working. Where we work, how long we work, the conditions of our work and who we work with all impact our health. A wellness-focused culture makes a difference in improving productivity, eliminating burnout and decreasing turnover. 

What do you love doing in your spare time?

BD: I teach yoga and love being active myself. Whether it’s a spin class, CrossFit, or hiking, I try to get a good sweat in once a day. I also have a Bernese Mountain Dog that I’m a little (ok, a lot) obsessed with. I spend a decent amount of time with her making sure she gets plenty of screen time on Instagram stories.

Get to Know our Consultants: Nicole Howley

By Get to Know our Consultants
Consultant Q&A

Turning Data Into Fresh Insights

You might know Nicole Howley as our resident data and policy nerd who loves to make data accessible for decision makers to find new connections and insights.

Nicole has built Business Intelligence dashboards for organizations ranging from homeless service providers to rock climbing companies to ecommerce retailers. She also has extensive expertise in qualitative and quantitative research practices that she has put to use measuring the impact of business decisions and tracking grant progress for nonprofits. Additionally, she has published over 100 magazine articles and blog posts, planned multiple large scale events, and helped companies develop policies and programs to make long term improvements to organizational efficiency. She has a Master of Science Degree in Science, Technology and Public Policy from Rochester Institute of Technology.

This Q&A will help you get to know what experiences Nicole Howley brings to the Open-i Advisors team.

We’ve all come to Open-i Advisors from diverse backgrounds. What are some of your career or personal highlights to date?

Nicole Howley: Career-wise, one of the accomplishments I am most proud of is completing a year of service through AmeriCorps VISTA. In my role, I worked with the Office of Homelessness in Lexington, KY to help coordinate the response to homelessness throughout the city. While I did not work directly with clients, I worked with an amazing team of service providers to develop sustainable solutions to some of the barriers that were preventing people from obtaining housing and staying housed.

I’m incredibly proud of the work I accomplished there from organizing a city-wide count of people experiencing homelessness, establishing the first ID card scanning program at the second largest shelter in the city, to developing forms that helped people document their experience of homelessness so they could access housing resources more quickly. In this role, I felt incredibly motivated by the common goal of ending homelessness through housing and incredibly fulfilled from using my skills in data anlaysis and policy development to make a difference in people’s day to day lives. I am incredibly grateful for the experience and all that I learned professionally and on a personal level.

An additional personal highlight: winning first place in a women’s rock climbing competition in Louisville, KY last year!!

We all try to bring a lot to the table at Open-i Advisors. On the Open-i Advisors team, what’s your superpower?

NH: I wish it was flying. But really, I rock an Excel spreadsheet. I also build business intelligence dashboards that give people the power to make data driven decisions about their business. My goal is to help companies access their data to make better business decisions long term. Is there a cool super hero name for that power?

Outside feedback is enormously important for businesses. What’s some feedback that you’ve received personally that helped you grow?

NH: “If there is no right answer, there’s nothing left to do but decide.” As someone who loves data, reserach, and backing up my decisions, it is really easy for me to get caught up in trying to find the correct next step before moving forward, but in a lot of business, especially those that are incredibly innovative, there is no “right” answer – or at lease no known “right” answer.

Sometimes it can be tough for me to overcome by determination to find the right answer and to just jump into a project when I am not 100% confident in what I am doing. The friend who told me the quote above was encouraging me to get over that decision making hump and to dive in, try, and learn until I got it right by doing instead of getting caught in analysis paralysis. It was advice I really needed at the time and still think back to regularly.

We’re fond of the saying, “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.” What’s one thing you think an organization should immediately start measuring that they likely aren’t?

NH: I am very interested in measuring anything related to an organization’s goals, and I think those goals can vary greatly from organization to organization. However, I would encourage everyone to keep an eye out for the outliers and look into those instances more.

When I was working to address homelessness in Lexington, we would work day in and day out on creating policies and programs addressing the needs of as many people as we could as efficiently as possible and we knew from our numbers that we were making progress in reaching our goals.  But then we would look out the window of our office and see the same person day after day, month after month, still experiencing homelessness. We had our spreadsheets, our numbers, and our strategies that worked for the majority of our clients, but we got some of the best insight into how we could improve our system overall from noticing the people who’s needs weren’t being met.

I think finding outliers can help organizations find the nuggets of valuable feedback that might otherwise be overlooked. They can also help organizations determine their unique strengths and the areas that set them appart, as well as some of the areas they can improve efficiency that might otherwise go under the radar.

What do you love doing in your spare time?

NH: Rock climbing – I would rock climb everyday, all the time if my arms would physically let me. Biking – I used to bike everywhere and it’s actually incredibly fun to bike in the snow. Reading – I read more books than Bill Gates last year and it is still one of my favorite accomplishments.

Get to Know our Consultants: Stacey Servo

By Get to Know our Consultants

Open-i Advisors relies on the amazing talent of our consultants, whose experience and capabilities span the globe and a variety of industries. This blog post series is about helping you get to know a bit more about our consultants and where they come from.

Stacey Servo is the Founder of New2Lou, a social resource for newcomers and founding member of Wild Accelerator, a micro-accelerator and idea & early-stage startup initiative geared towards female entrepreneurs. She is an engineer by trade and natural problem solver specializing in marketing & growth strategy, community & brand engagement, thought leadership, social impact optimization, stakeholder engagement and partnership strategy. Never afraid of a new challenge, she dives deep into her work to discover not only solutions for her client’s toughest challenges, but also new opportunities.

This Q&A will help you get to know what experiences Stacey Servo brings to the Open-i Advisors team.

OiA: We’ve all come to Open-i Advisors from diverse backgrounds. What are some of your career or personal highlights to date?

Stacey Servo: One of the highlights on my engineering career was working on Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, who’s goal was to be the world’s first zero carbon, zero waste city. I worked on a team who built a custom application to track and analyze city-wide resources and predict future demand.

My second career highlight was as an entrepreneur. I built a social-driven startup called New2Lou to help and engage newcomers and expanded to multiple markets. In Louisville alone, we built up a network of over 15,000 active and engaged young professionals within 5 years. I always tell aspiring entrepreneurs to find a need and fill it, especially if it aligns with your personal experience and passion.

OiA: Outside feedback is enormously important for businesses. What’s some feedback that you’ve received personally that helped you grow?

Servo: Build a network of people with similar goals and aspirations and find mentors to help you achieve your goals. Work with companies that inspire you and are aligned with your goals and passions. Actively engage with your community. It not only builds long term relationships, but also feels great and helps connect you to your community – a win-win.

OiA: We all try to bring a lot to the table at Open-i Advisors. On the Open-i Advisors team, what’s your superpower?

Servo: I’m a super connector. I build long term relationships with people around the world and love making connections to help build teams, partnerships and products. I’m also great at identify gaps and coming up with creative solutions.

OiA: We’re fond of the saying, “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.” What’s one thing you think an organization should immediately start measuring that they likely aren’t?

Servo: Community engagement and social impact. These can be difficult to measure which is why many companies are struggle, but once you establish your goals and metrics and align these to your overall company goals, you quickly can see the impact.

OiA: What do you love doing in your spare time?

Servo: I grew up in Northwestern Montana just outside of Glacier Park, so love spending time outdoors. I enjoy hiking, paddle boarding, skiing, yoga, camping and reading a good book in a hammock in the trees.

Get to Know our Consultants: Brandon J. Roy

By Get to Know our Consultants

Open-i Advisors relies on the amazing talent of our consultants, whose experience and capabilities span the globe and a variety of industries. This blog post series is about helping you get to know a bit more about our consultants and where they come from.

This Q&A will help you get to know what experiences Brandon J. Roy brings to the Open-i Advisors team.

OiA: We’ve all come to Open-i Advisors from diverse backgrounds. What are some of your career or personal highlights to date?

Brandon J. Roy: My major work experience to date has been B2C brand marketing management at the L’Oréal Group, with luxury fragrances being my segment and category; lots of great scents! My primary mandates were brand strategy and operational marketing; my role was to use local insights to devise optimal strategies to launch products within my portfolio of brands into the Canadian market. A rich experience that regularly exposed me to sales analysis, local sourcing & product development, demand planning, operations, retail merchandising design, experiential retail, sales management and digital strategy.

Prior to this, I had the opportunity to dabble within business development at a nonprofit and spent a summer learning the ins and outs of agency work for clients in the health sector. My current passion project is my personal brand, Happy Tears Accessories, with a mission to bring more positivity and happiness practices into everyday life through vibrant, daily accessories.

For every engagement I’ve pursued up until now, whether in my personal or professional life, I move towards opportunities that my intuition tells me I will enjoy and with people I will enjoy doing it with. This very same mindset has lead me to Open-i and I am so thrilled join this team.

OiA: Outside feedback is enormously important for businesses. What’s some feedback that you’ve received personally that helped you grow?

Roy: “Test and learn” and “fail fast.” As personal growth is a product of learning, for this reason, these two pieces of advice come to mind right away for me.

In a digital marketplace, consumers are incredibly dynamic which provides an exciting opportunity for businesses to test ideas very quickly and learn from them through real-time feedback. Sometimes these ideas take off and sometimes they don’t; this is where ‘fail fast’ comes in. The question we should ask ourselves is how can we quickly take the feedback received and carry on, knowing a little more than we did yesterday. The people working in any organization don’t want to be paralyzed by fear and so, the organizations who can perpetuate a mindset of experimentation and learning, have the best opportunity to grow their people, keep them around and reap the biggest rewards.

Taking it a step further, I would even take the word ‘fail’ completely off the table and say: ‘test and learn fast.’ 

When you “fail” in the traditional – something I tried did not meet my expectations – kind of way, there is always something to learn and carry forward. This pure fact of learning makes you better off than you were before and therefore, would we really stand to call it a failure? In my humble opinion, it simply cannot be!

OiA: We all try to bring a lot to the table at Open-i Advisors. On the Open-i Advisors team, what’s your superpower?

Roy: I self-identity as a creativity confetti cannon with the power to inspire people to think bigger and differently.

I am always primed for launch and thrive off of a collaborative brainstorming session or any opportunity to flex my creative muscles.

OiA: We’re fond of the saying, “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.” What’s one thing you think an organization should immediately start measuring that they likely aren’t?

Roy: HAPPINESS. Hands down!

We’re at a time where the world is more and more machine-driven, replacing the tasks traditionally performed by people. What this will continue to do is move these people into jobs where collaboration and these very human attributes grow in importance; attributes like feeling mentally well, feeling well in our daily work environments and well in our relationships with the people we see with each day.

I see organizations now catching a glimpse into the hard data that is looking closely at happiness and well-being indicators and seeing how they are proving to be not only a part of the formula for life, but also part of the formula that leads to increased productivity and ultimately, an organization’s financial success. 

OiA: What do you love doing in your spare time?

Roy: I am a spin instructor and teach 5 times per week! Energy is contagious and I feel lucky to go into a dark room for 45-minutes and leave it carrying that energy into my personal and professional lives. Plus, I get to take my loves for dance, music and personal growth learnings into that room, too, and that’s just the best.

Announcing Taylor Tricarico as Open-i Advisor’s Managing Partner

By Announcements

Our Newest Partner and One of Our Original Employees is Leading OiA’s Expansion

Open-i Advisors (OiA) is happy to announce the promotion of Taylor Tricarico to Managing Partner. Taylor has been with OiA since the beginning and has proven herself a valuable member of the team ever since through her problem-solving ability, her broad experience and understanding of business, her belief in the company and her proactive efforts to help OiA grow. She brings a valuable skill set to the current team of partners and has the vision to see OiA through our next stage of expansion.

“Taylor was the first person to really believe in Open-i Advisors; she’s been with us from the start.  She is passionate about helping our clients, and her knowledge of how to assess our clients’ challenges quickly, and then turn around a solution, is remarkable.  I am thrilled that we were able to have her join Open-i in this capacity, and I can’t wait to see what she can accomplish to assist it’s evolution.” – Hilary B. Osborne, Co-founder & Senior Partner

Taylor has the ability to understand the bigger picture and to quickly identify opportunities for improvement and growth for our diverse client base, and Open-i Advisors. Her breadth of skills and experience means she is both a smart strategist and a methodical tactician. A unique hybrid that makes her essential as Open-i Advisors plots their course for expansion. Taylor explains, “I am a high-level problem solver and ‘boots on the ground’ project manager at my core. Using these characteristics to help companies define and reach their own definition of success is my passion. Open-i Advisors is the perfect platform for me and I am thrilled to be in a position to take the organization to the next level so we can help even more organizations grow and thrive.”

Over the next few years, Taylor intends to assemble an expanded team of skilled, experienced consultants who share OiA’s values and passion for helping companies succeed. The team will engage a mix of early stage startups, established companies and non-profit clients. Taylor has experience working with clients in a wide range of industries throughout the world, but the prospect of working with more local, early-stage companies that need help building the company or organizational structure around their core ideas and values stands out in her mind. “I love the energy and passion that new leaders, innovators and start-ups exude,” said Taylor. “It energizes me.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Taylor Tricarico for many years, and there’s nobody I trust more to drive towards getting our clients the best solutions to their complex problems. She has been an integral part of Open-i Advisors since we onboarded our very first customers, and I am very proud to see her assume the role of Managing Partner at Open-i Advisors, Inc.” – Christian Dawson, Co-founder & Senior Partner

Taylor’s approach to OiA’s growth is purpose-focused and driven by her knowledge that  the services and expertise the OiA team can provide is truly transformational for companies and individuals. She has big plans for OiA and there is no one more ready to lead in our next chapter of expansion.

About Open-i Advisors:

Open-i Advisors mission is to empower businesses with data-driven, growth-focused strategies. To learn more about Open-i Advisors, go to https://openiadvisors.com/

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure

By Insights

Finding the Best Data to Drive Decision Making

“It’s all about the data and you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Listening to one’s gut is important when starting a new business, but I am a strong believer in using data to validate what the gut is saying.”

-Lance Crosby, CEO, StackPath

Data helped launch the first person to the moon, but it also nearly sank Coca Cola in 1985 when it launched New Coke after more than 200,000 taste tests. If you’re going to use data to make decisions, it’s essential that you use the most accurate and relevant data you can find.

From our extensive work in the cloud services industry, Open-i Advisors knows the best data sources to use for your business decisions. In this article, we want to share those data sources with you. But first…

Why Use Data-driven Decision Making?

As human beings make observations over time that help them make better decisions. But there are limits to our human cognition – whether it’s being able to accurately remember sales figures for the past 20 quarters, or to figure out what complex variety of conditions lead to different business outcomes. Data helps us essentially extend our natural decision making capabilities.

Data driven decision making is important for any company in any industry, but it is especially important for industries growing as quickly as cloud services. Trends are constantly changing and, in order to manage your company’s growth in the midst of change, you need to pay attention to your surroundings.

Luckily, when you are working in an industry that is technology-based, there is a significant amount of macro data available, including data about the entire industry down to the micro perspective on each data transfer. So, what data should you look towards in order to make the most informed decisions?

Collecting Data

Broadly speaking, you should be collecting and reviewing data from your company, your competitors, and your industry as a whole, to make sure that you have a full understanding of where you stand. Your company data helps you understand where you are right now, your competitors’ data helps you understand where you otherwise could be, and your industry data helps you understand trends and better plan for the future.

If you understand the trends, you understand the market opportunities. You also understand the threats to your industry and have a stronger sense of how to navigate them.

Data Sourcing Recommendations

When looking at data sources, it is important to consider the reliability of the data and its actionability. Without this combination, you will either be left staring at numbers without any next steps or left taking actions that might lead you down the wrong path.

Each of the below sources were selected because the underlying research and data-collecting methodology are strong and because the information is relevant to the decisions made within the cloud industry. As you examine other data sources, it is important to make sure that they meet the criteria of reliability and actionability as well.

The cloud industry is wide ranging. There are many segments of the industry that are important to examine and the following recommendations should give you a strong jumping off point:

See a more in depth overview of these sources and some suggestions on how to interpret the data in the first 20 minutes of the video below:

Hank Shocklee, Producer of Public Enemy, Coming at You Live from CloudFest 2019!

What is the frequency of the future? Just as hip-hop transformed music and popular culture, so has the internet transformed the way we listen to music, and how culture propagates. Today’s new hardware would have been sci-fi in the Eighties, and emerging distribution platforms bring your music in the ears of millions with a click. Where does that leave artists, labels, and the audience?Hank Shocklee, producer of Public Enemy, was instrumental in the hip-hop revolution—and he’s been at the forefront of the digital revolution as well. Live from CloudFest 2019, hear from a legend what that future frequency will bring.

Posted by CloudFest on Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Using Your Data

How you use your data is as important as the data itself. The relationship between your goals and your data should be circular. Your goals should inform how you interpret data and in turn data should influence your goals. Don’t just track any key performance indicators (KPIs), first  make sure that they are the right KPIs to track.

Use the data you collect to answer questions that you have about your business and the future. Compare how you are doing to other companies and the industry as a whole and see if the data available can help you predict what your numbers might look like, if you stay on course or if you attempt a new strategy.

What you learn from the data you collect will inform not just your decisions, but your overall direction.

If you lean into the data, you can see where the market is heading.

Innovate, execute, grow.

Be mission driven, but do it by the numbers.

At Open-i Advisors, we provide our clients with data-driven growth strategies, action-oriented insights, and go-to-market plans that lead to business transformation. We specialize in helping companies navigate growth and change.

Learn How to Unleash the Power of Domain Data

By Insights, Uncategorized

We teamed up with our friends at DomainsBot to share our best tips and highlight a few simple things anyone can do to use domain data more effectively.

The result is a whitepaper that you can download from here right now. We have tried to keep it simple and accessible, suggesting a few “low hanging fruit” steps that we believe would give positive results quickly, and be the starting point for a broader adoption of BI and stronger, data-driven growth.

In this whitepaper you will find inspiration to:

  • Discover new opportunities through competitive analysis
  • Use data to build personas and improve your customer experience
  • Find the real value of your marketing spending
  • Drive loyalty and retention with reactivation campaigns

DomainsBot and Open-i Advisors have helped some of the most successful companies in the domain and hosting industry use data more effectively to gain a better understanding of their market and customers, and to make smarter business decisions.

 

Download the Whitepaper today!

how to cut expenses

7 Cost-Cutting Tips for Cloud or Internet Businesses

By Business by the Numbers

Cloud services have grown exponentially, and software as a service led in 2017. This sector registered almost 30 percent growth last year alone.

With growth comes competition. The market for SaaS and other cloud services has become much more crowded in the past few years. To compete, you have to be lean and flexible.

That’s why you want to know how to cut expenses. Not only will it help you compete more effectively, it will also help you grow and maximize earnings.

If you’re looking for ways to cut costs in your business, try one of these seven tips on for size.

1. Focus on Your Design

Have you given much thought to what your interface looks like lately? If your customers are always calling in for help, you may have a poor design.

You can save yourself some time, money, and frustration by putting a little bit more into your UX/UI efforts. A good design is intuitive for your clients. In turn, they need less training and support to use your product or service efficiently.

Just how much is better design worth? Experts estimate each extra dollar you put into your design now will yield $10 to $100 in savings later on.

The reason for this? Fixing a problematic design is going to cost more than creating a great design at the start.

2. Think about Energy When Asking How to Cut Expenses

When Bitcoin took off, one of the most interesting stories was how much energy the company was using. Some reported it was using as much power as Denmark.

You might wonder how a company could use up so much energy. The answer lies in the inefficiency of the network and equipment.

You might not be using as much power as a small European country, but you should take a good look at any equipment you buy. Also, think about how you configure your network.

If you rent from someone else, ask about how efficient their network is. The price you pay reflects their costs.

3. Question the Budget Breakdown

How much do you spend on any one budget item line? Some think they must invest a particular percentage into sales and marketing.

In all truth, the right amount varies for every company. Most experts say SaaS companies need to invest more in their sales and marketing. They look to SalesForce and others as examples, since they invest heavily in this area.

How does spending more on sales and marketing help you when it comes to cutting expenses? It helps you strategize.

If you want to invest 10 percent of revenue in an activity, you’ll need to adjust the budget accordingly. This encourages you to look for efficiencies and cost-cutting measures.

With a goal in mind, you’ll be able to find more ways to cut spending.

4. Embrace the IoT

As a SaaS company, you likely know about a bit about the Internet of Things (IoT). You may not have thought of IoT enabling smart devices to help cut costs and save money.

Smart devices can do things like sense low network traffic and engage in energy saving. This helps with utilities and associated overhead costs.

The IoT can help in other ways as well. You could use it to monitor your security or assist with network maintenance. It could assist with compliance tasks, which can be time-intensive and costly.

5. Think about Outsourcing

Outsourcing is considered one of the great ways to cut spending by most business leaders. It works for SaaS companies too.

Ask yourself if you have all the in-house experts you need. If not, consider sending part of a project out to another team who does have the expertise and skills. You might also consider getting access to technology you don’t have in-house.

Think about customer service as well. Could you deliver better service to your customers if you had around-the-clock care? Outsourcing can help you achieve this goal.

Other aspects of your business can also be outsourced, such as HR, payroll, IT, and so on. Outsourcing frees up your time to focus on your areas of expertise.

6. Look at Your Insurance Bill

Another of the tried and true ways to cut expenses is to revisit your insurance. Insurance can be a large cost for businesses. Some businesses will have to carry several types of insurance.

Depending on the state, you may need business property insurance or commercial auto insurance, for example.

As a provider of technological solutions, you also want liability insurance. If something goes wrong with the product, you’re protected from customers who were harmed and seek to sue you. This is important in a world where data breaches happen all the time.

Look at your insurance policy. Are you paying too much for what you have? Look to bundle different types of insurance to get the best deal. Don’t be afraid to shop around, especially if you’ve been with the same company for some time.

7. Move to Remote Work as Much as Possible

Take a page from your own book and work remotely as much as possible when cutting expenses. This reduces your investment in property or rent.

It’s cost-effective to rent a conference room as you need it than to own your own building or pay rent on a regular basis.

See also if you can save on space for your servers if you own your own. It may not always be possible, but cutting property costs can be a great way to keep overhead down.

There Are Many Ways to Cut Costs

Now you’ve seen how to cut expenses in a variety of ways for your business. These aren’t the only cost-saving measures you can take.

By taking cost-saving measures, you can free up capital and use it to reinvest in your business. This, in turn, can power your growth in a competitive market.

If you’re looking for additional ways to both grow and cut your costs, ask the experts. They can help you discover new ways to continue growing your business.

marketing strategy

10 Tips for Building a Marketing Strategy for a Cloud-Based Business

By Insights

Ads, ads, everywhere. To reach today’s consumer, you’ve got to get creative with your marketing strategy.

In fact, 71% of respondents said ads are more intrusive than they used to be. This means they’re not responding to traditional messaging.

It’s time to get creative to skyrocket your cloud-based business.

Here are the ten top tips to create a killer marketing strategy that’ll set you up for success.

1. Build a Brand

Step one: Create a brand worth remembering.

Your brand is the foundation for all your marketing messaging. It’s what will attract your target audience, give you a competitive edge, and make you memorable.

Here are the six steps to creating a successful brand:

  1. Determine your target niche audience
  2. Define your mission statement
  3. Do market research for your industry
  4. Ignite your brand’s differentiators
  5. Design your brand to match your mission and resonate with your audience

Follow these to a tee and you’ll build a brand worth following.

2. Find a Unique Voice

What’s your brand’s voice?

Define distinct adjectives that describe your brand’s voice. For example, is it:

  • Professional
  • Mature
  • Knowledgeable

Or is it:

  • Casual
  • Approachable
  • Fun

These are just ideas. Whatever you choose for your brand’s voice, make sure it matches the brand you created and your audience will get it.

The point of this is to make your marketing messaging stand out. Remember it’s good to be polarizing — You want to niche yourself down.

3. Create a Content Plan

You’ve heard it before: Content is king. But why?

The fact is, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing… and generates 3x more leads.

So it definitely needs to be part of your cloud-based businesses marketing strategy.

Content marketing is so effective because it’s informative. Gone are the days of traditional outbound marketing…

In are the days of creating info-rich, stand out content.

Your marketing strategy needs a content plan. Here are the steps to make yours:

  1. Clarify your mission and goals
  2. Identify key performance indicators
  3. Get to know your audience
  4. Figure out where you’re currently at with content
  5. Decide on content types to focus on
  6. Allocate resources
  7. Create a content calendar
  8. Create the content
  9. Distribute and start marketing
  10. Track performance

This is a basic outline of everything you need. The most important thing is to create quality content and be consistent!

4. Be Consistent

If content is king, consistency is queen.

Your audience will need constant reminders of who you are and what you do. The only way to do this is to be consistent in your marketing strategy.

Marketing is about long-term gain — It rarely gets instant gratification or results.

So ask yourself: “How can I put systems in place for sustained consistency, no matter what else happens in my business?”

This might mean incorporating artificial intelligence. It could mean hiring a team.

Whatever solution you choose, make sure it’s going to give you the impact and ROI you need.

5. Focus on User Experience

Consumers are focused on getting exactly what they want in this world of endless options. And they expect you to deliver.

How can you provide as personalized of an experience as possible in your marketing strategy?

Here are the steps to take to ensure a personalized customer experience:

  1. Implement the right technology
  2. Gather as much data from your customers as possible
  3. Use the data to personalize across all marketing channels
  4. Always update and keep gathering data

Personalization is all about listening to the customer and acting on the insights.

6. Leverage Social Media

Let’s get social!

The best way to spread content organically, build an audience, and execute your marketing strategy is social media.

The key question to ask yourself here is: What social media channels are my target audience using?

Then identify what type of content they’re engaging with on these channels.

This will help you choose which channels to use. Then, how to create a content marketing strategy that will work on the platform.

Focus on one or two platforms when you first start your marketing strategy. This will ensure you can grow an audience and not spread your content thin.

7. Create a Feedback Loopback

How will you gather insights from your existing customers?

Make sure you have a feedback loop integrated into your marketing strategy. Here are the three steps to create a feedback loop:

  • Gather metrics. You can do this with surveys via email, on your website, or on social media
  • Learn from the metrics and get insights. This means identifying patterns
  • Apply the knowledge and insights to your marketing strategy

This will ensure you have continuous metrics to use for improving your marketing strategy.

8. Long-Term SEO Development

Search engine optimization will help your marketing strategy long-term by driving traffic to your site.

Naturally, conversions increase when you get more traffic!

To add SEO to your marketing strategy, you’ll need to:

  • Create page titles
  • Do keyword research and planning
  • Create meta tags
  • Submit your websites to directories

This will set you up for ongoing, long-term rankings in search engines to drive traffic to your site.

9. Build Your Website

Your cloud-based business needs a home base on the world wide web.

Build a website that is mobile first and focused on the user experience. This will be the end goal for your marketing efforts.

Driving traffic to your website and sales pages will increase brand awareness and conversions.

But your website needs to be on point and stand out from the competition.

Make sure it’s consistent with your brand, has a great load time, and the copywriting matches your unique brand voice.

10. Keep Testing and Improving

You can drive more sales with data than by staying in the dark. Make sure you have a plan in your marketing strategy to track relevant KPIs.

Remember, the best key performance indicators are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Relevant
  • Industry specific

Be picky when choosing your KPIs. Your marketing strategy will rely on their insights, so they need to give you the information you need.

Next Steps for a Killer Marketing Strategy

You are so ready!

You can now create your killer cloud-based marketing strategy. It’s all about building your brand, paying attention to your audience, and creating an amazing strategy based on feedback.

Still not sure where exactly to start? We’ve got you covered.

Check out our results-driven consulting to get support in building your cloud-based company’s marketing strategy.