Who Are the Buyers of Cloud Infrastructure Solutions?
In account-based marketing (ABM), account prioritization determines your success or failure. When you focus on high-value accounts, you have a stronger chance of building lifetime customer value with a personalized experience. To do so you need to know who these accounts are, who the decision-makers are, and what they care about.
In our new ML Insights Data Series, we look at what data tells us about the organizations and buying committee members making the purchasing decisions for today’s top B2B technologies. We’ll leverage those insights to highlight the changes and more importantly share recommendations on how marketers can prioritize companies and content to yield higher engagement and conversions.
Why ML Insights?
ML Insights is the most sophisticated dataset available to B2B marketers today, enabling them to effortlessly identify in-market accounts, prioritize the right individuals to engage within the organization, and the content most likely to accelerate the sales cycle for that audience. We do this through the MLI Score, a holistic signal that unifies three key data sources to reveal who’s being targeted, who’s engaging with content, and who is researching solutions so you can go after the accounts with the highest propensity to purchase.
Those three key data sources include:
And when combined with the first-party customer data found in your CRM and MAP, marketers using ML Insights gain deeper insights to maximize their marketing spend and accelerate accounts through the buying journey.
The Sky’s the Limit: Cloud is Here to Stay
Businesses across every vertical and region have shifted to the cloud based on the financial benefit versus hardware storage, the scalability and elasticity allowed, and the opportunity to harness data to drive business outcomes.
Most organizations were forced to accelerate their cloud migration strategies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the switch to hybrid and fully remote working environments fueled its growth.
- Global businesses of all sizes see the advantages of storing data on a network rather than on a personal computer or local service.
- More than 92% of companies run or are connected to the cloud.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the cloud computing market was valued at $405.65 billion in 2021, and it reached a whopping $480.04 billion by the end of 2022. Growth doesn’t stop here; the market is expected to reach $1.712 trillion in 2029 with a very respectable compound annual growth rate of 19.9% from 2022-2029.
What Buyers Are Searching For
The value of cloud computing and cloud infrastructure adoption is apparent, but ML Insights data from Q4 2022 shows that businesses are still concerned about security. “Cloud security” was both a trending topic to talk about in media and a topic that many buyers engaged with.
When it comes to brands, “Microsoft Azure” is a top search topic for B2B buyer research, with a 15% lift in account engagement from 2021 to 2022. On the back of this, Microsoft reported that its cloud services revenue saw a 22% increase Y-o-Y driven by Azure in its Fiscal Year 2022 Results.
What Accounts to Target
Understanding how in-market accounts are engaging across multiple channels is a key part of a successful ABM strategy. ML Insights gives a granularity of specific account details, providing users with a clearer picture of exactly who to target.
Let’s take a closer look into who to target for cloud solutions:
While the adoption of cloud infrastructure solutions has occurred across nearly all industries, ML Insights data shows that in Q4 2022 Manufacturing picked up the pace in engagement and buyer research. However, marketers are also aware of this interest in the cloud among those in manufacturing. Our data also reveals a massive lift in media investment toward these buyers, at approximately 118%.
Cloud providers looking for an under-targeted vertical hungry for information should consider Agriculture, which saw a 16% increase in buyer research from 2021 to 2022. According to IDC, Agriculture “has trailed other industries even though it (cloud adoption) offers compelling benefits to users.”
Climate change and sustainability are hot-button issues for this industry. In a case study highlighting its work with CropX, Amazon Web Services (AWS) discusses how farmers can leverage cloud-based technology to use soil sensors and data to adjust their overhead costs and environmental footprint when using and conserving fertilizer and water.
By Company Size
While cloud operations already account for a sizeable chunk of IT spending among larger companies (1,000-10,000+ employees), in the past year, ML Insights reveals an increase in interest from Small to Medium businesses (1-999) (SMBs). These larger companies are being targeted and engaging with content proportionally, but SMBs are increasing their buyer research.
According to ML Insights, EMEA is the top region targeted by providers and shows the most engagement with cloud-related content. This is backed by a statement from the European Commission, which says that cloud computing is a critical objective to increase Europe’s data sovereignty and is expected to help in several areas including data portability, privacy, farming, mobility, and manufacturing. Engagement here is keeping up with cloud trends and infrastructure updates. Conversely, EMEA’s buyer research behavior declined by about 44% YoY.
If providers are looking for a hungry region, turn to APAC, which increased buyer research into cloud infrastructure content by 97% YoY. While APAC sees the same benefits as other regions using the cloud (data security, flexibility, cost savings, and scalability), the region is also under-targeted compared to EMEA.
Who are the buyers?
We know that the more IT-based roles are the most involved in the cloud purchase decisions, with the business-side decision-makers signing off and approving funds. The IT decision-makers (ITDMs) will be looking for product/spec sheets, guides, and demos, whereas business decision-makers (BDMs) look for peer reviews, analyst coverage, and case studies. ITDMs prefer to collect information independently, but BDMs don’t mind speaking to humans, or sales teams when making a purchase decision.
By Job Function/Department
According to ML Insights, IT, Technology, and Operations personnel are being targeted the most and engaging with cloud-related content the most. These departments have their hands in managing and maintaining cloud infrastructure. These areas need to be kept up to date with trends and cloud technologies, so they can optimize and maintain business continuity and digital environments.
The HR department shows an 8% lift in buyer research behavior for Q4 2022 and secured a top three spot for research as well. Cloud benefits HR processes and solutions in many ways, like improved recruiting with single-point tracking, and increased business efficiency with reduced paperwork. The most crucial factor that the cloud can provide is strengthened data security. HR handles private and sensitive information, so when they are investigating providers, that security aspect is a high point on their wish list.
We also see that the Legal and Maintenance departments show increased buyer research, but maintenance personnel had the highest lift in engagement, approximately 171%. This department typically sits in plants or facilities, and they maintain and repair equipment that breaks down or needs an upgrade. Cloud can benefit this department with preventative maintenance applications and computerized maintenance systems. While the Maintenance department is still relatively low on the targeting MLI Score compared to other departments, data reveals a 187% YoY increase in targeting, which tells us they are seeing more content and messaging geared toward their pain points.
By Seniority or Role
ML Insights reveals that the C-suite and Director are the top roles for targeting and engagement. Directors have been targeted more YoY, but C-suites are taking more of a background research role with a lift of 58% in buyer research behavior.
Interested in how to reach these buyers?
At Madison Logic, we’re dedicated to helping our customers convert their best accounts faster. Request a demo to learn how we can help you reach cloud buyers with the content and messaging they need.