“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” -- Benjamin Franklin

If Benjamin Franklin were alive today and he spoke at a data center conference, many in the audience would likely be curious about how his legendary kite experiment could be harnessed at scale for creating a source of sustainable energy.

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But on a more basic level, Franklin was a big proponent of planning. At some point, most marketing professionals in the data center industry are asked to create a demand generation plan. Here are a few thoughts -- a checklist of sorts -- on creating a data center marketing plan:

Key Issues to Think Through

  • Who are your ideal clients? (your primary and secondary buyer personas)

  • Conversely, who's not an ideal client? (negative buyer persona)

  • Where do your ideal clients hang out online? And offline?

  • What do your ideal clients worry about?

  • What do your ideal clients crave most? (their goals)

  • What do your ideal clients read? Listen to? Watch? Attend? Belong to?

  • How do your ideal clients evaluate a company like yours? (buyer's journey)

  • At what price points and frequency do they purchase?

  • What is the lifetime value of your ideal clients? (average client lifetime value/LTV)

  • What does it currently cost to get a new client? (average cost of client acquisition/COCA)

  • What is the average sales cycle length between initial contact and closed sale?

Sections to Cover in a Very Basic Data Center Marketing Plan

  • SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound)

  • Traffic generation (how to attract net new strangers) -- prioritize by where your buyer personas already hang out -- for example, blogging, social media, SEO, PPC, video, and PR

  • Lead generation (how to convert prospects to leads) -- for example, gated premium content that educates like eBooks, templates, and reports

  • Lead nurturing/sales cycle acceleration (how to educate and build trust to transform leads into sales opportunities and new clients) -- for example, segmented, high-personalized email and event-based nurturing

Why Planning is So Important for Data Center Marketing Professionals

Marketers are always contending with limited resources -- time and money. For example, the Data Center Sales & Marketing Institute has found a typically 10: 1 ratio between sales and marketing headcount at colocation and wholesale data center companies.

By setting goals (for traffic, leads, customers, and revenue), marketers can stay focused on ROI-driving (return on investment) activities.

With the number of hats/juggling most marketing professionals contend with, it's very easy to constantly push developing a marketing plan to the back burner.

However, in a digital-first world, where the modern buyer does extensive upfront research on search engines and social media, it's crucial to be proactive. Your marketing plan/calendar is an important part of staying ahead of your growth goals for your data center company.

What’s on your marketing plan checklist for your data center company? Let us know in the comments below.

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Learn more about Colocation Data Center Providers and Go-to-Market Strategy (GTM) for Growth.

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