This blog post was originally written on July 1, 2014. It has been updated to reflect the current business and marketing enironment.Many technology companies have beautifully engineered products and services, but aren't exactly sure how to monitize their technologies effectively. While they use processes like "lean" and "agile" in product development, they don't devote the same attention to detail in their sales and marketing processes.
One of the keys to a successful marketing process involves establishing a meaningful and organic connection with your potential customers. This is especially true with regards to technology companies. In order to stand out in a crowded marketplace, you need to focus on sending the right message to tightly defined marketing niches using multiple marketing channels.
There are four killer marketing ideas for technology companies in particular that are definitely worth exploring.
1. Measure sales and marketing ROI
Technology company executives and marketers should manage their sales and marketing investment like any other investment by keeping an eye on KPIs that connect to the bottom line.
By knowing which metrics to focus on, you will stop wasting time and money chasing vanity metrics like post likes and shares. While it may make sense to monitor post likes, it only makes sense if they can be tied to more meaningful metrics like Customer Lifetime Value (the value of a customer over the lifetime of their business relationship.)
By focusing on the marketing metrics that matter, you can manage your sales and marketing function in a data-based environment of continuous improvement. The first step to establishing a data-based sales and marketing process is to know which metrics to monitor and what they mean. Download our eBook 5 Essential Metrics to Measure Marketing ROI for a deeper dive into marketing analytics.
2. Personalize your marketing
The DemandGen Report's 2016 B2B Buyer Survey found that 94% of buyers said the winning vendor, "demonstrated a stronger knowledge of our company and its needs." Successful technology companies demonstrate a strong knowledge of their customers needs by personalizing their approach to each customer and prospect.
Start by creating buyer personas and ideal customer profiles for your targeted market segments. In addition to help you personalize your customer approach, knowing the key characteristics of your target customers helps you qualify leads so that you're focusing limited marketing resources on the right opportunities.
Personalization can be used in email marketing, website design and many other marketing processes. The more you can resonate with your target customers, the more sales you will close.
3. Use multiple marketing channels
It's not wise to put all your eggs in one basket in any endeavor and technology marketing is no exception. Depending on your business, you could be using a combination of channels like:
- Inbound marketing
- Outbound prospecting (email and telemarketing)
- Up-sells and cross-sells
- Pay-per click advertising
- Social media advertising
- Channel marketing
For each marketing channel you use, you should have a clearly documented sales process that is managed through CRM software. Clearly you will want to have a different process for a customer referral than you would for someone who downloaded content on your website. If all of those processes are documented, you will have a a good "control" for future experiments to improve performance.
Technology can automate much of the process, but be careful not to let technology get in the way of personalization. The best sales and marketing technology will make it easier for you to personalize your approach.
By measuring each of your marketing channels based on the KPIs identified above, you can optimize your sales and marketing resources - spending more on things producing high returns, investing in under-performing channels or abandoning a channel altogether.
Don't sit around waiting for the phone to ring!
4. Use sales and marketing technology
The key to using sales and marketing technology is to paradoxically make your marketing seem more human while making your processes more efficient (and measurable). From Inbound Marketing to CRM to Sales Enablement software, there are options available for even the smallest marketing budgets.
I'm a bit biased (we're a HubSpot Silver Certified Agency Partner), but I highly recommend the free HubSpot Software to business owners and managers who are automating their sales and marketing processes.
By using clearly defined processes delivered with technology, you can scale your sales and marketing function consistently as you grow and hire more sales people.
Good sales and marketing technology will capture data on tactical performance like email opens and clicks, so you can constantly evaluate what's working and what isn't to improve financial performance.
In any event, you should be using technology for sales and marketing enablement from the earliest stages of your company.
Selling technology products is an ever-changing environment that morphs to match buyer needs and preferences. It's not good enough to do what you did 3 years ago to hit your numbers. Try these killer technology marketing tactics and you will generate more and better leads for your technology sales team.