Now that consumers are using the digital format for everything from music to photos to magazine content, they will be looking to access the data anywhere, from any kind of device. Currently, not all devices and data formats are compatible. B2B operators have more experience with this dilemma and many of them have begun shifting their content to the cloud. But most consumers are unaware of the benefits of this option which means marketers have some legwork to do.
Research from GfK Business & Technology shows that about half of consumers have heard of cloud computing. The term describes the way that applications and services are hosted and centralized on servers maintained by businesses instead of by home-based computers. The term may be familiar to consumers but fewer than 10% understand what it means.
As consumers increasingly carry around tablets, laptops and smart phones, they’ll expect to store their data in the cloud in order to access it. GfK analysts point out that the anticipated growth of 4G networks will fuel demand as consumers digitize even more data. Currently, younger consumers, those between the ages of 18–35 have far more interest (60%) in storing data in the cloud. The interest rate drops to 25% for consumers over age 50. But even younger consumers have some concerns before they make such a move.
- Security of cloud-stored data: 61%
- Need simple and easy access: 47%
- Need to play cloud-stored content on a variety of devices: 39%
Rob Barrish, senior vice president of GfK Business & Technology, believes marketers have their work cut out for them. "Because security of the data within the cloud is the biggest concern across all age groups, marketers need to address this up front when communicating the benefits of using cloud-based apps and services.” Look for marketers in this space to begin embarking on educational and promotional campaigns as more consumers turn to the cloud to enable their digital lives.[Source: Cloud Computing Has the Power to Enhance Consumer Data Consumption. Gfkamerica.com. 24 Mar. 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2011]