Cloud-Based Startups Face Tough Marketing Challenges

Cloud-Based Startups Face Tough Marketing Challenges

“Digital marketing will become more attuned to consumers’ lives,” said Deepa Miglani, senior vice-president of U.S. marketing at Babbel, a language learning app. "This is a tremendous challenge for marketers and something that marketing technology and SaaS will continue to help address over the next several years. Technology will, of course, continue to get smarter, and as a result, consumers will get savvier in what they consider a great digital experience. Today’s cloud technology allows retailers and online businesses to target at a much more granular and personal level, while still retaining a great deal of automation. In the future, this will be even more difficult, as search moves from a text-based search engine to a voice-based one. But, with semantic voice search you might ask your virtual assistant, 'what’s the best coffee shop near me?' The clear majority of websites gear their SEO strategy toward traditional search engine keyword searches carried out by typing. However, typing is slowly being replaced by spoken voice search.

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Cloud-Based Startups Face Tough Marketing Challenges

More than a decade after the dotcom bubble collapsed, the world has entered an emerging post-dotcom era known as “dotcloud.” Doing business now requires a higher level of entrepreneurial skills and strategies, and today’s new class of born-in-the-cloud startups are driven by an imperative for speed, convenience and personalization. What worked a few years ago is now irrelevant. Marketing in this aggressive startup environment requires a new approach.

My book, “Born in the Cloud Marketing: Transformative Strategies for the Next Generation of Cloud-Based Businesses,” tackles how new, born-in-the-cloud startups have to pivot on marketing, address new realities and experiment with new marketing strategies to succeed in this agile marketplace. Following is an excerpt from my book.

Related: Why Alexa Will Soon Be Handling Customer Support Calls — and What Businesses Should Do to Prepare

The first wave of dotcom technology made a critical error in deploying an overly mechanized and automated customer service approach. Customers would dial into the call center only to be greeted by a voicemail tree — otherwise known as “voicemail hell” — with no option to talk to a human, and sometimes with options that were limited to only the most common problems. Callers with an issue that was out of the ordinary would be at a loss.

“Digital marketing will become more attuned to consumers’ lives,” said Deepa Miglani, senior vice-president of U.S. marketing at Babbel, a language learning app. “With a bounty of data and smarter analytics, marketing will better understand what we like, what we don’t like and what we want. This trend to make content more personal and more relevant will shape digital marketing to be less product-driven and more emotionally driven.”

In a report from Autopilot that surveyed more than 500 U.S. marketers, it was predicted that scalable personalization would be big in 2017. “Netflix and Amazon are paving the way for contextualized content. Eighty-one percent of marketers today personalize marketing, but only 13 percent take things a step further by leveraging app and service context. Expect to see more behavior-based personalization come into focus next year.”

Craig Bloem, founder and CEO of, expands on this school of thought. “Personalization will be taken to a whole new level in both small and large businesses, in that marketing will be personalized to the individual,” he said. “Personalization will continue to develop for businesses that do not have personalized product offerings as well. Digital marketing will progress so that all emails include personal information about a customer, such as their name, as well as personalized promotional offers based on products in which they have previously shown interest.”

Chatbots and personalized automation.

“Very soon, maybe even by the end of next year, a lot of online transactions and ordering products and services will be done online through chatbots,” said Alex Bar, owner of Third Temple Digital. “Progress made in natural language processing now makes it available for people to literally chat to the IM bots in the same way they would…