10 things you need to know about B2B technology marketing
Anyone involved in marketing technology in the B2B environment already has a tough challenge on their hands. Right now, this is one of the most competitive, creative and high budget streams of marketing to be involved with, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.
Effective technology marketing requires an intimate knowledge of the products you are marketing, which can often be something of a challenge in itself. Not only that, but effective B2B tech marketing needs to be a cut above the competition too. We can’t help you understand your client’s products, but we can offer some worthwhile tips for making your marketing better.
It’s marketing, Jim, but not as we know it…
Over the past few years, we’ve seen some of the most innovative campaigns coming out of the stables of household names like Intel and GE, but they aren’t the only competition on the dancefloor. Smaller tech companies, such as Zendesk and Asana, have exploded onto the scene, growing at a frightening speed and undertaking some of the most creative campaigns we’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.
Did you hear about that amazing rock band, Zendesk Alternative? Probably not, but in fairness to you and your ‘not down with the kids’ attitude, they haven’t had a whole bunch of top 40 hits. In fact, they were a complete fabrication, borne out of the wit and innovation of the popular SaaS platform, Zendesk.
Marketers at Zendesk noticed that the search term ‘Zendesk Alternative’ was on the rise, and that all their efforts to promote their brand were starting to filter down to their competitors, who were ranking well for this particular term. Rather than taking the standard, well worn path of launching literature to say how they were better than their competitors, Zendesk did something quite different and, dare we say it, rather beautiful.
They launched a responsive website for a made-up rock band, who were called Zendesk Alternative. Backed by a Facebook page and Twitter account, Zendesk Alternative might never have been top of the pops, but was soon at the top of the SERPs instead. Customers found the idea charming, and soon the website was producing a better conversion rate than their own actual website.
This type of wonderful, awe inspiring, creative and out-of-the-box thinking is what is driving the current tech marketing industry, and if we’re all going to keep up with radical ideas like this, we need to jump on the ideas train and get ready to compete.
Ten top tips
Let’s optimise your approach to tech marketing; here’s how:
- Get the timing right: The technology industry is fast moving and fluid, and what was cutting edge last week is almost certainly old hat by now. Check the dates of surveys and research to make sure it’s current, and only cite the most recent and relevant information in your content.
- Check out the competition: See what the big names are doing, and learn from the best. Your budget might only be a fraction of theirs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take their examples and ideas into your own efforts too.
- Follow the industry: Keep tabs on what’s happening in the wider tech sector by signing up to newsletters from the very best content providers. Set up daily Google News alerts for essential keywords relating to your niche, and use your new-found insight to inform your content and marketing messages.
- Use case studies: Around 70 per cent of B2B buyers have used case studies to research their purchasing decisions, and you can learn from them too. You could even plan to use case studies as part of your marketing mix, as a way to demonstrate how the products have benefitted other customers.
- Integrate your marketing efforts: Integrated marketing means keeping a consistent voice across all channels. Marketing in this way will not only ensure your customers receive a clear and focussed message; it can also reduce your overheads by requiring materials to be developed only once.
- Mobilise influencers: We are increasingly seeing the wide-reaching benefits of using influencers to lead on marketing campaigns. Find out who the influencers in your sphere are, and get them on board to spread the word about your amazing products.
- Curate other content: If you’re spending a lot of time reading around your subject, you’ll inevitably come across content and material that is pertinent to your sector. Don’t just read it; curate it into your own, unique pieces. You could even look out for those articles which receive the most shares and comments, and repurpose these for your own materials.
- Speak their language: If you work in tech, you’re expected to be able to speak the lingo. Take some time to become familiar with tech language, and know the terms and buzz words to use in your marketing.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions: Even the experts in your field can’t be expected to know everything, and the more questions you ask, the more confident and competent you will be. If you work for an agency, the questions you ask can help you client to understand how a layman is viewing their products and services, and how they could improve concepts in future.
- Use tech too: When you’re representing a tech business, customers will expect you to be tech savvy too. With so many advances in marketing automation, social listening, analytics and more, you need to be on top of how and when to use all these tools, to get the best from your efforts.
As a B2B technology marketer, the essential components of your marketing efforts are just the same as they would be for any other product. You still need a plan, should still have a grasp of your buyer persona, and be monitoring your KPI’s throughout the process. However, keeping in touch with the technology industry, and what customers are looking for, will help you to stay effective and efficient throughout all of your marketing.