by: Francine Carb
You would think that creating and implementing marketing programs for technology companies would be easy. After all, they understand the advantages of email marketing, CRMs, and how news is disseminated in today’s digital age, so it should be a snap. Well, not so, and here’s why:
- Isn’t everyone like us?
Technology companies tend to think that everyone uses technology as adeptly as they do. The reality is that while their buying audience is getting younger and using more technology, technology isn’t the only, or necessarily, best way to reach buyers. Even twenty-somethings like to first meet or get a personal introduction to a service provider (see our last blog post), as a way to familiarize themselves with a company and get to know the person they’ll be working with. While electronic communications in the follow up stage are welcome and preferred, that first impression is best made in the flesh.
- Not all buyers are created equal.
I’ll be the first one to talk about consistent messaging; however the content—and delivery method—should be tweaked, depending on the audience. For instance, an ROI message might best be suited to the C-Suite; while the fewer headaches message is best for the administrator or manager. In addition, the C-Suite might only be receptive at high-level conferences and panels, while those overworked, underappreciated managers might prefer webinars, followed by a Q&A session.
- We’re moving quickly, so our marketing should too.
There’s no avoiding it – marketing is an art and a science. The “answer” in terms of marketing may take some time, trial and error, and refining to do its magic. The most expedient method may or may not be the best. Furthermore, just putting it out there may cause irreversible harm. That’s not to say, overthinking is the answer, but thinking through a solution definitely helps, even if it takes a little time.
- Our competitors are doing it.
It seems that all industries, not just technology, are guilty of wanting to blindly follow their competitors—especially when their competitors have a great idea. The problem is that a particular idea may become associated with another company, not yours. Bottom line: there is no substitute for original thinking, so try to work with your creative team, agency or consultant to brainstorm an approach that’s uniquely yours. A better idea may be to “borrow” from another industry and tweak that idea appropriately for your company.
- Don’t stop getting to know your audience.
While your technology product or service was most likely designed to solve a particular set of problems, your audience is evolving. Whether that is due to familiarity with your product or other companies entering the market and solving those same problems, the way your audience responds to marketing is most likely to change over time. Speak to them, meet them, attend their events and conferences, take their pulse through casual meetings and formal surveys, and just engage— however and whenever possible. What you learn will help inform your marketing, keep it relevant, and contribute to more and happier customers.
These five points are especially relevant for technology companies; however, much of it applies to other industries, as well. If you need to bounce your marketing ideas around, please give us a call.