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. 

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!

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.

New Whitepaper: Improving Your Domain Business & Driving More Sales with Data

By Insights

Want to know how to use domain data to drive more domain sales but don’t know where to start? You need to read this new whitepaper from Open-i Advisors and DomainsBot which provides crucial insights and practical suggestions.

Learn how to:

  • Use competitive analysis to discover new opportunities
  • Build realistic personas with data to improve your customer experience
  • Spend your marketing dollars more effectively
  • Drive loyalty and retention with reactivation campaigns


Transform your domain business by putting data at the root of it.

Download the Whitepaper Now

Getting Your Data Under Control Before the GDPR Deadline

By Insights

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation – comes into effect May 25, 2018, bringing with it new rules around data collection, storage and usage.

With data breaches making headlines on a regular basis, consumers are rightfully wondering how data is being collected, stored and used. The General Data Protection Regulation (or “GDPR”) is the European Union’s attempt at tackling this issue with a new rules around the collection, storage and processing of the information of EU Data Subjects – including end users, customers, and employees.

GDPR goes into effect May 25, 2018, and the penalties for GDPR non-compliance can amount to up to €20 million, or four percent annual global turnover – whichever is higher.

It’s very important to ensure your organization is compliant and this post will help you understand how to get your data under control before the GDPR deadline. Read More

3 Times Data Solved Real World Business Problems

By Insights

You might hear phrases like “data is the new oil”, but you might not know exactly how to make the most of data in your own organization. Being data-driven is more than just seeing a few canned reports at the start of each day or week. Over the past few months here at OiA, we’ve helped many companies and non-profits combine strategy with a data-focused approach to help them solve real business challenges.

Here are some examples of challenges that we helped solve using our data-oriented approach. Read More

5 Data Analysis & Machine Learning Trends your Business Should Know for 2018

By Insights

By David Hamilton, Consultant, Open-i Advisors

Data analytics and machine learning are among the most exciting fields in computer science – and the cutting-edge research going on in these fields is applicable to real-world business problems. With the new year upon us, we wanted to outline some of the interesting areas where big data and machine learning is having a major impact on businesses.

Here are the trends we think every business should be aware of. Read More