Cloud Computing is one of those phrases many businesses are warming up to in a big way. Cloud computing is simply a game-changer for construction equipment businesses because of its ability to truly cut costs and allow the business owner to focus on growth. When cloud computing is combined with marketing activities, though, that’s when the magic really starts to happen.

 
When companies large and small want to reach customers and prospects they rely on email marketing primarily because it’s fast and affordable. Today, construction equipment businesses are leveraging online marketing campaigns tied in to landing pages that are custom designed and programmed for easy distribution and powerful measurement. What’s more, savvy companies are now integrating social media marketing tactics into their email campaigns and leveraging powerful and geotargeted applications like Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook. What do all of these marketing practices have in common? The cloud is now the pre- ferred platform for distribution, measurement, and marketing campaign scalability.

To be certain, it’s still important for businesses to have a web presence that publishes the right content and photography, and takes the user through the buying process. Also, word-of-mouth marketing is still necessary to cultivate a healthy customer base that raves about the experience. And today, adding video to your website is quite simply the most engaging way to educate, inform and empower your audiences on your brand and influence their buying behaviors.

But why end there? Construction equipment businesses that have made investments in website and email marketing now have the opportunity to close the marketing loop and promote their products and services leveraging cloud technology. When this happens they’re able to undergo business expansion, and build lasting relationships with customers while lowering their operating costs.

“Cloud marketing” is a business development strategy that allows a construction equipment business owner to shift investments in IT and marketing communications from in-house to off-premises environments. This approach saves time and money, and gives the business owner all the control they need to make informed, cost-conscious decisions. It also allows small-to-mid-sized companies to focus on their core business, rather than their IT or their website.

 

Then & Now

Five years ago most construction outfits, as well as companies in just about any B2C or B2B industry were leveraging email marketing to reach customers, members and prospects. But this took a lot of “man hours” from staff to make happen and the measurement/reporting on the back side of the campaign left a lot to be desired. Business owners needed to figure who was going to create the campaign, distribute the email, store the campaign data, figure how to prepare for increased landing page and website traffic, and how to accurately measure bottom-line performance.

The cloud changes every aspect of this process from distribution, to scale, to measurement. Today, executing marketing campaigns that rely on cloud technologies allows equipment businesses the ability to build an email marketing campaign in less time and at a lower cost. Rather than undergo a series of labor-intensive activities such as campaign creation, list fulfillment and data convergence, the entire process is automated based on specific criteria loaded into the system. With cloud-based tools, business owners can send the email campaign, track who responds, scale the capacity of their landing pages on-demand, and measure real-time and post campaign performance without the need for costly creative, management, and IT experts.

Furthermore, equipment business owners can now do even more with their marketing campaigns. Determining what days are best for the delivery of your email campaigns (and even what times of day) are now standard reporting metrics. Also, discovering what types of devices (email clients, cell phones, tablets) your audiences use are analytics that will allow you to adjust your creative formats in future campaigns. Similarly, identifying exactly who is (and who is not) clicking will allow you to prioritize and segment your distribution lists accordingly. The true payoff, however, is that cloud marketing technology enables all of this activity in standard browser-based environments, and does so on off-premises servers — eliminating the need for dedicated infrastructure and specialized in-house staff. Bottom line – you can do all of this and still focus on equipment sales, not staff management activities.

 

Drastically Lower Costs

The cloud also drastically changes the way equipment companies pay for their website hosting activities, services and marketing campaigns. In a sense, the cloud allows companies to consume these services much like they consume electricity. Instead of having traditional fixed costs associated with website hosting, companies can now scale their hosting services up or down depending on various.

times of the year when more activity is needed or not needed. Because everything takes place in the cloud, they pay their cloud service provider accordingly, depending on whether it’s a month where more marketing activity has taken place. In much the same way a homeowner pays a higher utility cost to heat their home during the winter, a business owner would only pay a higher cost for email and website hosting services in a given day or month when there was a special promotion taking place, or the need for more bandwidth to handle increased web traffic during the peak build season or trade show.

Once implemented, construction equipment business owners will see the true payoff in more marketing results that lead to expanded sales, without added costs.

 

–by Mark Reino

Mark Reino is the CEO of Merit Mile Communications, a forward-thinking, technology-savvy marketing communications agency. The firm takes on business planning and consulting assignments, as well as creative services engagements such as branding and custom web development all designed to fast track the business growth of its client partners. For more information visit www.MeritMile.com.