Marketing of technology or technology-driven products/services is substantially different than the marketing of other goods and services. Technology Marketing is one of the most fascinating and dynamic of all of marketing verticals. It is based on thecombination and aggregation of technical depth and business understanding, with appreciation of decision making patterns.
Technology buying, especially in businesses—which is the most important consumer of information driven marketing—ispredicated on realizing its value in complex contexts. A technology marketer is enabled by digital technologies to address the multiplicities of buyer’s journey. The decision making approaches, processes and influences vary greatly by the type of technologies, usage, business purpose, and decision making context. The technology marketer, for example, would do well by enabling immersion and extensive information where the business purposes are critical and technology approaches have matured. On the other hand, leap-of-faith situations such as adopting newer technology approaches or building a newer business model, might require a collaborative exploration approach requiring deeper involvement in the customer’s business models.
Technology marketers benefit greatly as they assimilate and adopt the digital trends. These trends harbinger significant changes in the market and the product, and at the same time necessitate change in how technology is marketed. The important insights include increasing consumerization, importance of audience centricity, use of data and analytics, social media and changing preferences of capital and operational expenditures.
Emerging digital trends, changing customer preferences, and decision making approaches have made digital transformation of technology marketing inevitable.
Organizations are integrating technologies such as mobile, social, cloud, analytics, smart devices (IoT) etc.,to transform business models and functionsof technology marketing with key focus on understanding and engaging the customer.These technologies, along with potential for greater automation, providea platform and enable a valuable digital transformation of technology marketing.
At Advaiya,we identify key aspects of successful technology marketing to be value realization, effective audience marketing, enriching account relationships, powering sales teams and processes and enhancing partner effectiveness. All of these aspects have the potential to be transformed digitally to be more successful.
Value realization Technology marketing is an enlightened view of marketing that encompasses identifying, building, communicating and realizing the value of technology. Technology marketershave to bepart of the entire technology lifecycle from product strategy to its adoption and support in the customer organization. In the digital era, it means that the technology marketer would have more insight and sensitivity about how technology being marketed can impact the customer. Honed into the usage, trends and actively consuming the feedback—which is enabled by digital and social communication—the technology marketer today, builds (and rebuilds) right positioning and messaging, as well as digital assets which not only communicate value but also enable value realization. Digital capabilities leveraged by technology marketers would allow them to understand their audience better, contextualize their messages and make reasoned and relevant argument about value.
Effective audience marketing The tech marketers’ arsenal for customer engagement will have to expand to include rich new media options, involvement possibilities, and tools for smartly addressing relevant concerns of right audience at right time.The technology buying process has many participants and multiple roles and personas are involved. A marketer has to identify the right message for right persona at right time. These could be users, end-customers, stakeholders, IT professionals, developers, reviewers, etc.
Digital abilities around gaining insights about concerns and preferences of users of technology, stakeholders and the decision makers, allowtechnology companies to design and present their products better as well as engage deeper with their customers. Marketers would use targeted digital tools helping the users compare, assess, and try their technology offerings.
With growing use of mobile, social, big data, cloud and smart devices among consumers, technology marketers can easily tailor information, products and services to customers based on customer context (such as location, identity, intentions) and increase customer engagement. Understanding customer persona, pertinent as it is, would leverage social media, data analysis, and other emerging digital capabilities.
Enriched account relationship– Digital transformation of account relationship would mean that tech organizations would be able to participate in their clients’ businesses in a much deeper way, allowing them to address their customer concerns proactively, and also transform the way technology products and services are packaged, marketed and sold. Intelligent and creative use of IoT, analytics, social and behavioral data would mean that technology marketers would be able to partake in and influence the outcomes relevant to their clients in a much more involved manner.Automated targeted tools would enable technology marketers to transform the product experience for customer in terms of outcomes relevant to them. The potential is to enable engagement based on customer success, rather than merely transactional product sales.
Field enablement – Digital transformation of sales teams on field will help them to deliver the right information, content and options to customers at right time and capitalize the opportunities. As tech organizations evolve to be more engaged with their customers, the sales teams would morph into involved consultants—and this can only be enabled by digitally enabling and empowering the field. Analytics, tools and data that drive sales are getting sophisticated in the transforming digital era. Personalized sites targeted for specific business or organization provide insights from customer interaction. Data driven analytics enables to optimize sales process and efforts. Sales digital transformation would improve sales effectiveness and increase revenue thereafter.
With Big Data and cloud, now it’s all about making smart data driven marketing decisions. It helps technology marketers to gain better customer insights, improve supply chain and power campaigns and promotions of technologies. Cloud enables to get data from across various touch points on one integrated platform. This helps marketers to easily analyze the trends in real-time and tailor products and services for better customer experience.
Partner engagement – Partners being the key enablers in scaling the business, digital transformation of partner engagement cannot be overlooked. The emerging digital trends have started refining how technology vendors approach market with their partners. Organizations have started moving away from the traditional approach of partner portal consisting barely of marketing programs, sales library and onboarding materials.
With rising use of mobile, social and cloud among consumers,technology vendors are empowering partners with automated targeted tools and marketing collaterals. Now partners can engage customers better and provide rich customer experience along with personalized partner experience. Technology vendors can easily track and assess partner accounts, their customer accounts requirements and tailor targeted content for customers. Integratingpartner engagement tools with various customer touch points such as mobile, social and cloud, partners can leverage analytics, and assess customer behavior to better engage, convert, and retain customers.
A roadmap for digital transformation Technology organizations need to integrate digital marketing into their overall marketing strategy along with optimization. Marketers now are moving towards integrated planning of digital and traditional marketing activities.
IDC’s 2016 CMO Predictions shows that marketers have already started reaping benefits from the data and behavior trends garnered from these technologies.
By 2017, 20% of large enterprise CMOs will consolidate their marketing technology infrastructure.
By 2020, 33% of CMOs will outsource some digital marketing activities via marketing-as-a –service.
Digital transformation of marketing involves multiple and complex initiatives. It requires capabilities which allow you to address gaps, as well as to scale rapidly. Choosing right service providers who can partner with you through the journey, and are sensitive to the nuances of technology marketing in the digital era is important. A framework, for thus enhancing your technology marketing function, such as AdvaiyaTechnology marketing-as-a-service(TMaaS) can help supercharge your technology marketing functions and optimize marketing processes adding elasticity and scale.