Remembering the basics in your marketing strategy
Remember the days when selling was a lovely, clean, linear process, and so was your marketing strategy? When we were in control of what the buyer saw and knew about us? There were only a few marketing channels to worry about, and everyone knew how to play their part, and what was expected of them.
In light of all these potential distractions (Oooh, we need an app, yes an app, our customers will love it!), how can you strip your marketing strategy back to basics, ensuring bright, shiny distractionsÂ don’t draw you down irrelevant paths where your customers won’t engage?
Based on our extensive work with technology companies, we see the most success when a marketing strategy has 4 clear pillars:
Make it easy for people to understand what you do, and to know “what’s in it for them”. If your proposition is all wrapped up in industry jargon, and is trying to be all things to all possible problems your customer might have, then it won’t be relevant to how they want to buy. Sit back and take some time to understand how your marketing strategy creates rapport with customers, and helps them link you to their goals, and their challenges. Prioritise the ones that sit best with your organisation’s aspirations for growth, and those that resonate most deeply with the customer.
2. Optimise the customer experience
Where do customers first interact with your organisation? This experience should be as easy and as appealing as possible, and should align with the continued journey they will encounter. When pulling a marketing strategy together, this basic pillar is often overlooked, particularly in technology company marketing strategies,Â where the customer experience can happenÂ across a complex matrix of internal departments. The marketing strategy shouldÂ look at customer interactions, and then identify where there are opportunities to improve and enhance the customer experience. This is typically across a diverse range of activities; from making sure they have a car park space reserved when they arrive at your office, all the way up to regular exposure to the senior board.
3. Tell people you’re here
This sounds very obvious, but if overlooked, means that you end up circling around the same “key accounts” and people that know you. Your business development quickly becomes stale in this environment, and lead generation an ever decreasing circle. Red flag indicators of this issue include “all our business is by referral”, “our customers love us, and already know what we’re good at” and ‘those other accounts will never buy from us”. Marketing strategies that contribute to the bottom line get the biggest budgets, and if you’re not focused on “net new” lead generation as well as collateral creation and existing customers, you’ll soon come unstuck.
4. Make it compelling
You have to work harder to stand out, that’s not news. Investing in ways to make your message more compelling is critical if you want to rise above the noise. This means putting effort into creative thinking and development as a core part of your strategy. Build in time for your team (which includes any external agency partners) to “get away” and do some thinking. To get a bird’s eye view of the world, you need to stop and fly upwards for a bit, instead of always looking at the ground for the worms in that familiar space (Ok, I may have gone too far with that analogy!). Remember why you’re in this business in the first place, get excited again about what you’re doing, engage with your customers regularly, and you’ll be impressed by the creative ideas that come from the team.
If you’d like some help or guidance with putting together a marketing strategy for your technology company, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.