For many technology companies, growth is becoming increasingly difficult. As technologies mature, more competitors enter the market, sales become more difficult and price becomes the differentiating factor. Technology companies that are successful over the long run (think Apple) constantly innovate, developing new products and pivoting to new markets. Stand still and you die. Is your technology company facing more competition and a difficult growth environment? If so, you're not alone.
As many technologies are maturing, the marketing environment is becoming increasingly crowded. Banner ads used to be an effective way to sell; now the term "banner blindness" refers to the fact that most consumers have become so accustomed to banner ads that they simply ignore them. I'm a huge proponent of content marketing - it's a great way to help potential buyers and demonstrate to them the value of doing business with you. But there is so much crappy content being published today that it's increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. Difficult, but not impossible. Here are 4 foolproof inbound marketing tactics for your technology company.
1. Segment email marketing to engage your target audience.
We all wake up every morning to cluttered email inboxes. Most of us manage cluttered inboxes by quickly identifying which emails require action and which to delete. Email marketing company MailChimp finds that the average email open rate for the computers and electronics industry is only 24.65%. The average click through rate is 2.83%. So for every 100 emails you send, 25 get opened and 75 get deleted. 3 people click through the link that you're promoting.
How can you improve email open and click through rates? The best way to improve email marketing performance is to tailor your emails to your audience by segmenting your marketing contact database. If you serve the professional services and eduation industries, don't send one email to both audiences. Tailor the message for each audience and send separate emails to your contacts that fall in the two industries. The more you segement your contact database, the better your email marketing performance will be.
2. Measure audience engagement and stop bothering people who aren't reading your emails!
Let's face it, some of the people that opted in to your marketing process just aren't that into you. They don't open your emails and the truth is that they aren't going to buy from you. So why do you keep trying to engage them? I recommend removing these people from your marketing efforts, or at least putting them on a much lower email marketing frequency. I set up an exclusion list in my marketing automation software that identifies people that I've sent five emails to that haven't been opened. I exclude them from my email marketing because I'm just annoying them after 5 unopened emails.
You'll improve your email marketing performance by removing them from your list - it's a matter of simple mathematics. You can either email them on a lesser frequency (for example, semi-annually) or send them a "break-up" email. A "break-up" email tells the recipient that you don't want to spam them and won't send them any more email unless they opt back in to your process.
3. Solve people's problems with your inbound marketing content
I've been a management consultant of one for or another my entire career. I've always rebelled against the conventional advice to not do "free consulting" for people. Why would anyone buy from you if they didn't see how you could solve their problems. The same thing holds true for technology companies. Your inbound marketing content should show people how to solve problems they're facing without trying to sell them. That doesn't mean that you necessarily solve their problems for free. What it means is that you can show them how they can solve their problems. This should put your company on the short list when they're deciding who can help them solve their problems.
For example, a project management software company can publish a blog article that shows how an efficient project management process can bring projects in on time and under budget. An efficient project management process will be managed with software. The blog article identifies the top factors required to manage projects efficiently, which helps potential buyers identify the criteria they will use to help them choose the project management software that's right for them. Done properly, marketing content like this will help buyers move through their buying process and get your company an opportunity to become a finalist in the process.
4. Use marketing automation to help people move through their buying process
Inbound marketing or marketing automation software is an essential element to the modern sales process. It helps people get through the first 60% of their buying process before they're ready to talk to a salesperson. Marketing automation tactics like lead scoring and lead intelligence help sales teams identify when people are ready to talk to a sales person and what they want to talk about. Paradoxically, marketing automation makes your sales process seem more human.
Use marketing automation to read your prospect's digital body language and provide them with the information they need at the appropriate time. Marketing automation also helps you qualify leads before your engage with them. A well-crafted marketing automation process will help you help prospects and grow your revenue.
Inbound marketing is an excellent way to serve the needs of the modern B2B buyer. However, it must be executed skillfully to get results. Use these 4 failproof inbound marketing tactics for your technology company to separated you from your competition.