Does Cloud Computing Really Need Marketers?

Think about the engineering behind something like a cell phone. Most people see the value and use the technology every day, yet have little interest in the complex underpinnings that enable their devices. Beyond the science, even the execution of the technology is an elaborate undertaking. Consider this:

Alexander Graham Bell received his patent on the telephone in 1876. Then in 1900, an inventor named Reginald Fessenden made the first wireless telephone call. He was the first to transmit the human voice via radio waves, sending a signal from one radio tower to another. Fessenden’s work paved the way for broadcast radio, but it also provided the foundation for cell phones and networks.

In 1947, an engineer named William Rae Young proposed that radio towers arranged in a hexagonal pattern could support a telephone network. Young’s design allowed for low-power transmitters to carry calls across the network. Although the theory was sound, the technology to make it happen was lacking.

By the 1960s, Bell Labs engineers Richard H. Frenkiel and Joel S. Engel developed the technology that could support Young’s design of a cellular network. But as AT&T sought permission from the Federal Communications Commission to develop a cellular network, a competitor made a bold move.

The year was 1973 and that competitor was Martin Cooper. At the time, Cooper was an executive with Motorola, one of AT&T’s competitors. Cooper led a team that designed the first practical cell phone. It was called the Motorola DynaTAC, and it wasn’t exactly a tiny device—it was 9 inches long and weighed 2.5 pounds. Cooper decided to make one of the first cellular telephone calls to his professional rival, Joel Engel, at Bell Labs.1

What happened after that first cell phone call in 1973 is, as they say, history. But that was nearly 100 years from wired communication to wire-free innovation. Today, technology moves a lot faster.

Let’s take cloud computing for example. The MIT Technology Review traced the coining of the phrase cloud computing to the year 1996. “Inside the offices of Compaq Computer, a small group of technology executives was plotting the future of the Internet business and calling it ‘cloud computing‘.” From that original concept, we’re only 17 years along and the progress seems light years ahead of other historically significant technologies.

Like the cell phone, the engineering behind cloud computing is complicated. This August, Forbes announced that most Americans don’t understand cloud computing. The good news is that the average worker doesn’t need to understand the intricacies of cloud computing to be able to use it—that’s for IT departments and software engineers to ponder. But beyond the tubes and wires, many more people do want to understand the value of cloud computing.

So back to the original question: Does the cloud industry really need marketers? The short answer is yes. Technology companies—and specifically cloud computing companies—need more than engineers and product managers to support their product and customers. Tech-savvy marketers are able to communicate the complex aspects of products by interpreting them into practical features and benefits that customers can understand quickly. Good marketing helps customers at every stage of the decision making process—building and strengthening customer relationships.

In a recent Forbes article, Danny Turnbull explained “The rate of change, the rapidly changing influence of technology, the upward spiral of competition and continued recessionary pressure have not eroded the role of marketing but elevated it—and restored it to its rightful place in business. Our principal remit is to drive business strategy—to ensure that businesses are producing the products and services that match their customers’ needs, not just today but next year, and in the next 10 years.”

So, are you ready to help bring cloud computing into the mainstream of enterprise? To help drive business strategy and bridge the gap between product and customer? If so, Skytap may be looking for you. We are currently adding two vital roles to our marketing team:

Marketing Campaigns Manager – We are looking for a positive, high energy individual with a strong working knowledge of the tech industry. The primary responsibility of this role will be lead/demand generation, pipeline building, marketing development and increasing the involvement and expansion of the performance of our lead generation outbound campaign efforts. This will be accomplished through tight coordination with our internal lead generation sales team. Knowledge of marketing automation platforms such as Exact Target, Eloqua, and Marketo is a big plus.

Senior Technical Marketing Manager – We are looking for a creative, analytical, and energetic senior technical marketing manager who is passionate about new products/technology and has strong people skills. The primary responsibility of this role will be to enable the Skytap sales team with tools, expertise, and knowledge about the Skytap Cloud™ product, unique capabilities, customer use cases, and competitive advantages. This role will also be responsible for content on the product and technology sections of the corporate web site, product and technology content in product collateral, and maintaining an online set of materials available on the internal marketing/sales portal.

You can see all of our current openings on our careers page. And if you’d like to put yourself forward as a candidate for any of these positions, please email your cover letter and resume to

1. April 27, 2012: Who Invented the Cellphone by Jonathon Strickland for

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