LinkedIn’s Global Marketing Lead – Technology Vertical recently published a really interesting post that should grab the attention of tech marketers everywhere. If that’s you, you’re already aware of the particularly difficult challenge you face. Sure, all marketers have difficult challenges, but the ever-changing tech world introduces new complexity to the marketing mix. After all, the technology industry is growing and changing so fast that no one can possibly keep up. No one, of course, except for the tech marketer, who is to not charged with keeping up, but also stay one step ahead.
LinkedIn’s recent post discussed the two top challenges experienced by tech marketers today. And then, most importantly, it offers actionable information you can use to start overcoming them.
Challenge #1: Identifying the decision maker?
All marketers know how important it is to identify and understand the decision maker. Without this knowledge, it’s difficult to build a successful marketing strategy to win them over.
The difficulty with tech marketing, though, is that the decision maker isn’t a single person. Instead, it’s now a cross-functional group comprised of IT, Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance and more.
This complexity makes it all the more important to fully understand the needs, challenges and motivations of each group member and appeal to them directly.
Here’s an example, a LinkedIn study of groups with decision-making power over IT and technology purchases discovered that nurturing prospects with informative content is a vital part of the sales process. Why? Because members of these groups are typically not ready to talk to a sales rep until they have consumed at least five pieces of “relevant, unbranded, non-sales focused content”.
Additionally, LinkedIn’s post highlights the importance of producing content for every role on this cross-functional buying committee… at every stage in the buying process. Because, as the post explains, the tech decision maker is a group, not an individual, marketers have a responsibility to reach out to and engage with every one of them. You never know who will make that first contact, who will lead the buying committee or who will have the most influence over the other members.
That’s why it’s critical to have a strategy for how to reach, engage and ultimately convert every member of the group at each stage in the buying process. It sounds like a lot of work, yes, but tech marketers have the opportunity to influence every member of the buying committee and begin to win them over through always-on education. What’s “always-on”? It’s content that provides valuable, educational information at every stage of the buying process – anytime the users may want it. When you consider that 63% of tech buyers are more likely to consider vendors that take an always-on approach, it’s worth the effort.
Challenge #2: Creating Engaging Content
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 93% of tech marketers use content marketing. However, they also say that “creating engaging content” has been a top challenge for the last five years. What does this tells us? While tech marketers see value in content marketing, they also have limited time and resources, which keeps them from creating content that is as successful as it really could be.
So how do you compete in the saturated tech marketplace? According to LinkedIn’s post, build a reliable toolbox. If you think about it, there are more content marketing tools and resources available today than ever before – many of which are free or very reasonably priced. Marketers have more options available now than ever before to design, create, write, build and develop on their own – free of any outside support. Just think about what publishing on LinkedIn has done for marketers!
If you’re a tech marketers, you understand the pressures to stay ahead of the ridiculously fast-paced world of innovation. It’s our job to not only reach out to, but also engage to some of the brightest, most forward-thinking minds in the industry. Thankfully, there are tools and resources to help make it possible.
Still feeling the heat to prove your effectiveness? Then I recommend you read both Part 1 and Part 2 in LinkedIn’s series. You may also like their post on Smart Targeting: Tech Marketing KPIs that Matter!
Tell us, what ways have you been able to stay ahead in the world of tech marketing?