William Toll - Marketing Pro in Boston and Berlin

My Blog About Cloud Computing and Marketing Readings From Around the Web

Category: Events

HostingCon 2012 – Web Hosting and Cloud Services Converge #HostingCon

HostingCon 2012  is a Conference and Trade Show For the Web Hosting and Cloud Services Industry

I am looking forward to HostingCon 2012.  This will be my eighth HostingCon – I remember the very first one very well!  For the second year in a row I am advisory board member and I can attest that this year the session selection process was very well organized.  We all collaborated to ensure that the conference is full of educational sessions.

I submitted two sessions, one talk and one panel.  I am pleased that both were selected.  Plus, I live in in Boston, just 4 blocks from the convention center. Please join us for the sessions below!

Sales and Marketing Track: Monday 7/16 3pm at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts

Session Title: Energize and Incentivize Your Employee Brand Ambassadors

I am super excited about this talk, and am looking forward to sharing the slides with a broad audience.  I have been thinking about a session like this since 2009 when I was running marketing for NaviSite’s SMB business unit.  It’s been great to participate in the explosion of B2B content and social media marketing, and I truly believe that employees are the most un-leveraged assets a company has.  I also feel that many traditional Web Hosters are far behind many of the pure Cloud Providers in this aspect of their marketing programs.  Hopefully we can have a great session and learn from each other!


2011 proved that even the smallest companies can have a giant voice. Whether your firm has one or 3,000 employees, there are simple ways you can activate your employees to engage online and produce content. The days of posting spammy articles and having a hard-sell approach are over. Many hosters lost significant traffic and SEO rankings in 2011. The future is socially influenced search results, and your team must be active, or your message and website won’t be found. In this session, William Toll will share his methods for activating and incentivizing employees, whether they are in marketing, operations, support, or beyond, to help drive traffic, visibility and ultimately sales in 2012 and beyond.

SaaS and ISV Panel At HostingCon 2012: Tuesday 3pm ET at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts

Having HostingCon in Boston this year is like having all of your worlds converge.  I am fortunate to live in Boston, home to over 900 startups in the region.  We have a rich and vibrant startup community here in Boston and I am fortunate to have participated in dozens of events, meetups, conferences and more.  I have met dozens of founders and had so many business case and ptich conversations that I often feel energized from the passion of community.

Many of these startups have relationships with Cloud and Web Hosting providers and at this session it all comes together.  I reached out to several startups and asked them to come to HostingCon and meet their infrastructure provider and share their thoughts on their vendors.  It’s going to be a great opportunity for hoster’s to learn what is working and what is not for their customers in the startup space.  Participants include:

Jeff Seibert, CEO and Founder of Crashlytics (Amazon Customer, based in Cambridge, MA)

Devon Hillard, Founder of Spark::red (SoftLayer Customer, based in Boston)

Claudia Santoro, CTO, Vsnap (Rackspace customer, based in Boston)

Michael Klett, Co-Founder & Technical Lead, Chargify (Managed Hosting Customer, based in Boston)

Phil Stanhope, VP, Engineering & Operations , Yottaa  (Amazon, Other Hosting Provivers, Colocation, based in Boston)

William Toll, Marketing Consultant, Hosting Industry Veteran and HostingCon Advisory Board Member

From the Front-Lines: Boston Area SaaS and ISV Leaders Share Wisdom With Their Hosting Providers


The Boston area is one of the top areas in the world for software innovation, from startups to established enterprises. The Boston area is full of companies that are building the next generation of SaaS and Cloud companies, designed, architected and built in the cloud. Every year, HostingCon brings together the world’s leading service providers of infrastructure and services that modern software and services are built on. This panel of Boston area technology leaders will share their insight into how they selected a cloud or hosting provider and what their ideal relationship is like or could be like. The panel will feature a mix of companies and cover topics such as: support and SLA agreements, security and compliance, APIs and marketing opportunities between hosting providers and their customers.

Be sure to follow the hashtag on Twitter #HostingCon  If you are at the show, be sure to say hi!  I’ll share the slide decks after the conference.


ProductCamp Boston 2012 Expectations

There are few events every year that exceed my expectations like ProductCamp Boston has two years in a row.

ProductCamp Boston 2011

ProductCamp Boston 2011 at Microsoft Research & Development Center

ProductCamp Boston is a great day of learning, exploring new ideas and ways of looking at things and meeting people that leave lasting impressions.  It’s an unconference for Product Managers and Product Marketers.  If you have not been to an unconference, be sure to look for one in your community.  (An unconference is a participant driven conference, with a crowdsource approach to topics and speakers).  If you live here in Boston, be sure to register for #PCampBoston 2012, it will be held on Saturday June 9th.


productcamp boston

At my first PCampBoston, I lead a talk on Product Management, Product Marketing, and Marcom, and the new fluidity in the roles and definitions.  I shared my experience in moving between the roles and how I was fortunate to have worked for employers that supported these roles.  Because I was leading a talk at an “unconference”, I invited audience members up to the front to share their experience and or how their organization is structured.  The participants shared their experiences – and it seemed that from consumer goods to chemicals to software, we were in a transitional phase – where strict Product Management roles and responsibilities were blended with those of Product Marketing.

Having run Product Management and Product Marketing teams I find the dynamic between the two roles fascinating as we move further into the age of the consumer.  There has never been a time where consumers were in more control of the message and buying process than we have today.  Social Media is opening the communication floodgates where Product Managers, Product Marketers and customers all meet.

The unprecedented ability we have to “listen” to the buyer is driving an increasing amount of the strategy and roadmaps that Product Managers are planning for their product lines.  No longer do we need to have the same level of obsession over surveys and expensive market research studies.  From simple Tweets to blog posts and comments – Product Managers can see into the minds and wishes of their target customers like never before.

Product Marketers are also gaining from a windfall of content being created both by customers, and other influencers.  From analysts who are more free to share some of their thoughts publicly to thought leaders in almost every field, Product Marketers have access to a great amount of dialog in their industry. Product Marketers and Managers are engaging in these conversations and shaping the future of their industry.  The natural language used by buyers to explain their problems and needs is being translated into the content that drives modern content marketing programs.

As the excitement builds around PCampBoston 2012, I look forward to wrapping up a talk I am preparing for it.  With any luck, :-) my talk will get voted in and we can have a dialog on the topic of Social Media and employee ambassadors.

(Disclosure, I am on the marketing team and running the social media programs for ProductCamp Boston 2012)

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