SEO has remained an effective and important marketing strategy. As companies grow, they open up their businesses to a wider audience with “shareable content.”
But where does the monetization of that content take place? In the beginning it was simply part of the purchase-side-of-the-business-enterprise. This is still happening, but more and more companies are looking for ways to reduce their transaction costs by selling customer data, and there are also other opportunities, which can help with this, using services as an SEO company can help in this purpose.
A startup called Datawind announced at the recent Spark Summit that it has the solution for all of these problems. It wants to become a cloud-based company that doesn’t need servers to send people to websites. Instead, it’s looking to sell consumers’ personalized data to businesses.
That data includes search histories, web page views, e-commerce transactions, social media contacts, and more. It’s available for download to any company, whether it’s selling toothpaste, toys, or shoes.
Companies pay Datawind to rent out their data. When they sell that data they earn a revenue from it. This model can be understood as an open cloud for data (although it’s also cloud plus data which Datawind will allow its customers to do with additional pricing). Data to move the world, and free.
In an exciting new twist Datawind is considering a direct investment from Microsoft. In a recent blog post, the company said it is looking to secure the services of the Microsoft Azure platform, a new Microsoft cloud offering built on public cloud infrastructure and offering some of the same capabilities as the Microsoft Azure on-premises cloud.
That could mean Datawind is looking to use Azure to move in the very services and software it would like to offer.
Microsoft’s official blog post about the partnership seems to support that idea:
“We’re excited about the opportunity to work with Datawind and look forward to working with them in the future.”
Toward the end of the blog post Microsoft writes:
“The Datawind partner initiative offers a key step toward making the existing data on Azure available to a broad set of customers and leveraging that data to meet their business needs.”
While not a silver bullet, this partnership does seem to be a signal that Microsoft is intent on competing with Salesforce on the big data front.
I’m not sure if that will work, and whether Datawind will have a profitable end market for that data, but it’s a promising development. We should soon be hearing more about Datawind’s offerings.