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Marketing the cloud

Only 13% of 27,000 people, across 22 countries agree completely that it is essential to store or access their created content in the cloud. Only? Really? I’m surprised the figure is so high! Remember, this is the percentage of people that gave the most extreme score (7, out of a 7-point scale) in indicating how strongly they agree with that statement. This increases to nearly a third of people, if you include those that scored it as a 6. Wow. Maybe the world really is becoming #super_digital.

But there’s more… it gets really interesting when you start to look at exactly who is driving this global attitude. It is early internet adopter countries that do not agree that cloud storage is essential, while later adoption countries are more likely to think it is essential.

My view on why this might be is that late adopter markets are more mobile internet orientated and, in some cases, almost entirely mobile orientated. They leapt straight into working only on mobile devices that have limited internal storage, rather than fixed line PCs (large internal storage), so find it natural to leverage the cloud to store and access their content. They didn’t develop the habit of storing all their material on their own devices, unlike early adopter countries. It can also be that using the cloud helps reduce the cost of hardware (have you seen the difference in price between an 8 GB iPhone and a 128 GB one?) – so that consumers in late adopter markets, who may have bigger financial constraints on device choice and ownership, find cloud storage more essential.

As internet usage matures in a market, so older age groups are likely to be brought into the fold and start to affect the average usage profile for that market.  It is these age groups as well that are less likely to feel the extreme attitude towards needing cloud storage. Their lives are less digital in general and their need for storage not so great.

The ‘so what’ for cloud-based products or services:

All well and good, but how is this relevant to marketers of cloud-based products or services?

My first piece of advice is look at the data for your market (not just your country). What is the situation and what is really driving it? (A good starting point is our free deck of 102 data charts, showing which countries and age groups are saying the cloud is essential to them.)

My second piece of advice is to focus on mobile, wherever you are. The cloud is about access everywhere, anytime – and the market for these services is more likely to be mobile natives, whoever they may be in your market.

In conclusion, this one question and the surprising results have shown me once more that the wonderful world of #digitalmarketing really does need to go beyond technical understanding and into the #consumerunderstanding .

For more information please contact Arno Hummerston at arno.hummerston@gfk.com.

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