Data Center Marketing Round-Table: Honesty is Best Way to Stand Out
by Josh Anderson
DENVER, CO — At our Denver Data Center Summit in August, we featured for the first time a panel titled Best Practices for Marketing the Data Center Using the Latest Digital Technologies that convened five data center marketing experts from the Mountain West region for a Q&A-style panel. Moderated by Jason Ferrara, Managing Partner, Callosum Partners, the panel kicked off with a discussion about the role of search engines in data center marketing. The transcription below chronicles the next topic of discussion.
Ferrara: How many providers does someone (an end-user) typically look for (on a search engine)?
David Liggitt, Founder/CEO, datacenterHawk: It is probably different for each firm, but I would say that generally speaking, three to five is a good range, where you can really understand the differences, where you can actually understand what Provider A does differently from Provider B. The good news about our industry is that it has matured over the last five to ten years. What data center operators are producing today, if you get a chance to tour, these are impressive, well-built, well-designed, and well-operated facilities. So I think that just the ability for a company to come in and compare those the way they need to, but also understand why one data center provider may be a better fit than another one [is important]—and there are definitely differences between data center operators. Some of them are fit for some customers and some are fit for others.
Ferrara: What advice would you give to a data center operator that wants to be found? How do they stand out today?
Liggit: There are a number of different ways, but – and I hope this doesn’t sound trite — the number one way I to just to be honest. One of the reasons that we do what we do is because a lot people, a lot of industries, don’t communicate the same. So when you say two megawatts of power here, some people might believe that that means something else. Or certain redundancies mean one thing to some companies and another thing to others. So I would just say do your best to really communicate. I have been on tours with end user where we’ve showed up, gotten a pitch, and the pitch that was received was not what was told to us before, and so all it did was burn the trust that was there, for a company that was going to invest tens of millions of dollars with that data center operator at the time. And obviously there is marketing that you need to push out there, but being honest is a really good approach.
Ferrara: What role does content marketing play in the due diligence of purchase decisions?
Adam Waitkunas, President and Founder, Milldam Public Relations: It plays a more important role now than ever, because there is so much content being thrown out all over the place. Back when I started in this business in 2005, there were fewer publications, there were fewer players in the space. And now you’re getting content from everyone within the space. So I think that what you’re putting in that content is very important, not necessarily the volume of content. Customer want to see that you have subject matter experts within the company, that you know what’s going on in the industry, how it works, what’s coming up on the horizon.