Marketing Tips for Tech Companies

As the technology industry continues to boom it’s becoming an increasingly competitive market place. According to an article by Investopedia, only 80% of startups survive after year one and many are blaming ineffective marketing and not enough sales. And this number is even higher for tech companies. When setting out your marketing strategy it’s important to know what you’re saying, who you’re speaking to, and where it’s going to have the biggest impact. Here’s what we’ll cover in this blog:

Read on to see how you can maximise your results by tapping into the needs, wants, and desires of your customers.

Tech Companies Need to Communicate Clearly, with the Right People

To have a bigger impact on your sales efforts you need to know who you are talking to and what benefits you can offer them. If you haven’t already defined your value proposition, it will level up your business once you do. But what exactly is a value proposition? It’s the benefit that your current and future customers will get from buying your product or service. Before you create your value proposition, you need to identify who your target audiences are

Who Are My Ideal Customers?

Understanding what matters to your customer and what triggers their emotions will ultimately define the way you communicate with them. And as such you will see better results. Most marketers will make out that there is a big difference between B2B and B2C marketing, but in reality, there is not. You always communicate with people – even if it’s within a business. We buy with emotions backed by reason. And by understanding who your customers are you can tap into these emotions to create powerful results. 

Begin by asking three very simple questions:

  1. What problems do your customers have? 
  2. What needs do your customers have? 
  3. How do you solve their problems and needs?

You can also create personas that will help you understand where they hang out online and offline, how they consume information, and any other behaviours they may have that will help you target their emotions and rationale, in that order. 

How Should I Communicate with My Customers?

By understanding who you are communicating with, you can begin to explore features, benefits, and the ultimate benefit. The ultimate benefit forms the basis of your value proposition and the messages you need to push to your customers. As an example, when exploring this for FinTech company Monzo, features, benefits, and the ultimate benefits look like this:

Ultimate benefit pyramid
Features: 
  • Accessible app 
  • Transfer money to nearby friends without their bank details
  • Budgets to track your spending
Benefits:
  • You have clear visibility of your in- and outgoings
  • You can easily transfer and receive money from friends
Ultimate Benefit:
Freedom – you can manage your money whenever and wherever you want

 

When understanding the ultimate benefit you can begin to appeal to your customers’ emotions and elevate your marketing efforts. 

The next step in the process is defining your key messages. These will help you communicate effectively and concisely with your customers in a way that matters to them. You’re grabbing their attention, and give them a front row view of what their life could look like. Based on the ultimate benefit, you give them a reason to buy your product or service, as they justify their emotional needs. 

When developing key messages, think about what your audience’s pain points are and how you can help them solve their challenges. What is the vision you want to paint for them? What does it look like for them if they use your product or service? Your key messages are the core of all of your communications and ensure that your value proposition comes through loud and clear. 

Where Does My Target Audience Play?

Lastly, you need to be where your audience hangs out. There is no need to shout from rooftops where none of your ideal customers are present – it’s a waste of time and energy. Looking at your customer research, you can see age and gender groups, job roles, and interests. For example, a young man of 21 is less likely to read a print newspaper than his parents are for example – you’ll most likely find him on TikTok. If you’re trying to reach this young man, it would seem redundant to spend money on a full-page ad in a broadsheet. 

Understanding your playing field will also help you streamline your communications efforts. For example, there is no need to present on every single social media platform. Tech companies have the advantage of data. Utilise the insights you have on your existing customers and their habits to reach similar people. Take control of your journey and accelerate your business to the next level. 

You can find more reading here:

Tech Companies Should Add Value Wherever Possible

Advertising maverick, David Ogilvy once said: “The more you tell, the more you sell.” And he wasn’t wrong. The more you empower people throughout their whole customer journey, the more positively they feel about your brand. Value can be shown in many ways and doesn’t mean you have to give away your product for free. 

Map Out Your Customer Journeys

Understanding the different touch points your customers go through with your brand will help you identify where there are opportunities to add extra value. It will also help you see if you are not gently guiding them through the marketing funnel or if there’s a bottleneck.

Marketing Funnel

Make sure that your funnel isn’t too top or bottom heavy. How do your customers move past the awareness or consideration stages if you don’t help signpost it for them? Create clear paths so that they simply can’t avoid your product. 

Going back to the wants, desires, and needs – the emotions – they sit at the top of the funnel in the awareness stage. This is where you sell your customers the vision, what they will have if they buy into your product. Moving further down the funnel, at the consideration and decision stages, this is where logic kicks in and they need factual proof to back up their emotional reasoning. 

Create Content That Educates and Empowers Your Customers

Content marketing can take many shapes and forms. From blogs, to videos and webinars, to ebooks, checklists, and infographics. It is meant to add value to your customers and slowly move them through the funnel. 

According to the Marketing Insider Group, content marketing creates three times more leads than outbound marketing, and has a six time higher conversion rate. It definitely seems like a no brainer. With technology solutions you have a significant advantage as creating valuable resources for your target audience is straightforward. A consistent quality content programme gives you:

  • Grow credibility and trust with your target audience and in your industry
  • Better brand awareness and search engine results page rankings 
  • Increased lead generation and conversions
  • A larger number of retained customers and loyal followers

A great example of a tech business that creates valuable content is Hubspot. A CRM platform, the business has a range of resources that straddle marketing, sales, service, website, and news in tech and business. Everything Hubspot offers in terms of content fits within their overall value proposition which states that the company aims to target active CRM users who are tired of handling over-complicated systems, and beginners who are intimidated by legacy options. Their content strategy allows them to support their customers on varying levels and the Hubspot blog has become a reliable source of support for growing businesses. 

Use Your Content as a Lead Generation Tool

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? As mentioned previously, if you don’t shout where your audience is hanging out, they won’t actually hear you. This is the same with adding value. If you don’t tell them – or share information with them – in places where they are ready to listen, your content is unlikely to have an impact on your organisation’s growth.

Add value at every step of the funnel by using the right channels for your audience. How can you share what you have created in a meaningful way? And how do you get the audience to become part of your lead nurturing?

If sharing your content via social media or on your website, experiment with the effect of gated vs ‘free’ content. Consider how strong your brand authority is. Carrie Rose, CEO and co-founder of social media agency Rise at Seven, recently said on LinkedIn, “People don’t give their data or download guides/content from brands they don’t trust what they have to say is going to useful or informative. (sic)”

Definition
Gated content is protected by a sign up / data wall. It can’t be accessed unless you complete a form or buy a subscription. It’s often used as a lead generation tool to gather contact details of prospective leads.

All your marketing activities should go hand in hand. So, for your value-adding strategy to work, you need to ensure that you have plenty of opportunities where you can show off your expertise either offline or online. It may be that you give away a video tutorial or an ebook for free, so the user can see that it’s beneficial. You then offer them a template related to the tutorial through a gated platform. 

Here are a few more resources:

Tech Companies Should Understand and Challenge Their Competitors

We are seeing more and more brands which are challenging their competitors out in the open – without being aggressive, and with plenty of humour. A little teasing of an opposing business, when you have a loyal following, will only strengthen the bond between your brand and your customers. And the chance of your squabbles catching the attention of the wider public means you are better positioned to increase brand awareness. 

Know Your Competitors and Where They’re Playing

We’re sure you’ve heard of a SWOT analysis where you look at your business’ as well as your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But, it doesn’t offer a full picture and it’s very subjective. You can read more about it here at the Harvard Business Review.

We suggest that you list aspects of your competitors’ marketing strategy and compare their performance or activities to your own. These can be:

  • Social media platforms, followers, engagements, and hashtags
  • PR coverage and types of publications
  • Reviews 
  • Messages and style of communication

Seeing where your competitors fit in the marketplace and what activities they’re doing will help you understand where you can win market share because they aren’t there – or where you can challenge their marketing campaigns and gain traction. 

Increase Brand Awareness through Guerilla Marketing

When hearing the word guerilla, you may think of warfare tactics, and that makes total sense. That’s where the term guerilla marketing comes from. As a principle guerilla means an element of surprise – think abushes, sabotage, and raids. Like the type of warfare, the marketing practice uses similar tactics to engage people. 

A great example was Aldi’s social media campaign #FreeCuthbert. Using the lawsuit from Marks & Spencer over similar looking caterpillar cakes to their advantage Aldi drummed up positive brand awareness from it. With bold messaging through a series of clever tweets, Aldi won the hearts of the nation and saw huge amounts of press coverage. It was also the number one trending topic on Twitter and the company grew its Twitter following by 30%, according to Marketing Week. Bringing in other big brands, Aldi spread their reach even further and tapped into new markets.

Twitter Aldi #FreeCuthbert Campaign
Twitter Aldi #FreeCuthbert Campaign
Twitter Aldi #FreeCuthbert Campaign
Twitter Aldi #FreeCuthbert Campaign
Twitter Aldi #FreeCuthbert Campaign
Twitter Aldi #FreeCuthbert Campaign
Twitter Aldi #FreeCuthbert Campaign
Twitter Aldi #FreeCuthbert Campaign

So, what are the benefits of guerilla marketing? 

  1. It’s cheap to execute. In the example of Aldi vs Marks & Spencer there was no cost involved (other than the lawsuit), and yet it had an immense impact on Aldi’s marketing metrics and overall perception.
  2. It allows for creative thinking. There are many ways to execute this tactic, and it’s only your imagination that sets the limitations. You might want to commission a piece of street art, put up stickers, or maybe create a Tinder profile.
  3. It grows with word of mouth and has the potential to snowball. The more creative you are, the more people will talk about it. We saw this with the #FreeCuthbert campaign too and the campaign reached impressive numbers. 

It all comes down to being different, brave, and knowing what triggers the support of your audience. 

TIP: 
You don’t have to do big, elaborate guerilla campaigns. You can start by seeing what hashtags your competitors use frequently – or if they use their own unique ones – and begin to use these in your social media posts to creep in on their territory. 

Be Exactly Where Your Competitors Are

PPC advertising may be like dark arts to some, but it allows you to be really disruptive to your competitors. The great thing about digital marketing is that you get right in front of the people you want to reach without competing with an algorithm. And using this in your strategy, you reach people who are interested in your competitors to influence their buying. 

You can appear in any place online where your competitors are showing their products and services. For example:

  • Facebook allows you to target users’ interests in your ad campaigns. Here you can add your competitor as an ‘interest’ to access your competitors’ existing audience. 
  • If your competitor allows display ads on their website, why not get in on those? 
  • Add your ads to your competitors’ YouTube videos. So, before the audience can view the competitor’s video, they have to watch your short ad. 

If you are really up for attacking your competitors where it can make a difference, Google search ads are a great way to be seen when users aren’t even searching for your product. By bidding for keywords your competition is going for means you can end up at the top of the search results – before the organic results show – and increase your click through rate. 

Project management tool Monday.com has been aggressive in their keyword bidding and has appeared when searching for either direct competitors Asana and Trello, or alternative competitor Salesforce. While it can be costly to bid for competitors’ keywords if you’re up against big name brands, it may not be for smaller opponents.

Google Ads Marketing Guerilla
PPC Marketing Strategy
PPC Marketing Guerilla

You can find more reading here:

Regardless of your budget, the three key things you need to consider when creating a marketing strategy for a tech company are:

  1. Know your audience and how to communicate with them
  2. Create content that taps into needs, wants, and desires to add value 
  3. Don’t be afraid to challenge your competitors directly and indirectly

It’s important to have a clear view of your budget and what you can do with it that is going to give you the most bang for your buck. You can’t and shouldn’t be everywhere!

Digital Glue works with tech companies to help them maximise their potential and create their next breakthrough. Contact us to see how we can help level up your business.

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