Segmentation

Last Thursday I attended the first meeting of the Cloud 09 steering committee. As a consequence of the growing interest cloud computing has, there is a growing number of commercial initiatives for seminars on this topic. Will Cloud 09 be competition for CloudCamp, one could ask. Probably a bit, but probably not too much: commercial means bigger sponsorships, different content, different audiences. Will Cloud 09 be better than CloudCamp? I don’t know. It probably depends on who you are. For a marketing manager in need of hundred plus new leads, it probably will; for an attendee looking to have in depth discussions with other cloud enthusiast, it probably won’t. Nevertheless, some interesting initiatives were discussed to increase attendee interaction. An initiative like Cloud 09 probably confirms that Cloud Computing is no longer in its child years (but rather in its rebel teen years as someone of the organization pointed out).

One of the most interesting discussions in Thursday’s round table was whether the event should focus on the why or the how of cloud computing and if the event should target CxO’s or rather users of the clouds. Here, I already thought that “users” is way too general. Does this refer to end users of the Cloud services or datacenter operators? Or are users those folks who make cloud services available (Thursday referred to as “coders”). I believe there can be a better segmentation than CxO vs the rest. Darn, I should have pointed that out during the round table. After a healthy discussion, we seemed to agree though, that Cloud 09 should address a really wide audience, but that would make the job of defining the content even more complex:

People who want to hear more about “why Cloud Computing” vs. “how” Cloud Computing
Attendees interested in Apps vs. platforms vs. infrastructure providers
Users trying to find out what’s in it for them vs. providers who are looking how they can get more users using their services
Enterprise visitors looking to build a private cloud vs. Service Providers looking to build  public cloud vs. …

Also, the Cloud involves a lot of people within organizations: the people who care about the money, the people who use the services, the people who design the services, the people who maintain the services … and these are again a lot of people: storage experts, network and security specialists, the server guys, database admins etc.

So for all the good things that Cloud Computing has brought us (and will bring us), it has caused a lot of trouble in marketing land: how to segment target markets, how to approach target audiences. The funny thing is that the people who now struggle over segmenting markets and addressing target audiences are the very one who came up with the magic word.

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~ by tomleyden on January 27, 2009.

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