Nevertheless, for many different reasons, usually costs, biggest number of technology companies are focusing on digital lead generation for their core or only marketing tool. And while lead generation is very important in certain moment of the company’s development, it requires organizational resources, including significant financial outflow.
Still, depending on the business goals and the development stage of the technology company, the organization must manage a mix of marketing communications tools in order to achieve the highest levels of effectiveness and efficiency of resources. Which are these marketing tools, available to the technology firm?
1. SEM and SEO
2. Content marketing
3. Social media
4. Marketing automation and e-mail
5. Media relations
6. Corporate events
7. Brand management
8. Corporate reputation management
In this part I on the topic of marketing mix for the technology firms we will look at the foundational tools, those without which subsequent marketing efforts would be less effective and efficient. In part II we will discuss the outbound or so-called push marketing options.
After having successfully built what I call the marketing infrastructure and successfully deployed technologies and marketing tools to capture leads, then we are ready to push and increase marekting investment.
Marketing automation and e-mail marketing
Still highly effective and relatively low-cost, compared to other marketing tactics, email is indispensable in the outreach to prospects and leads in different stages of the purchase cycle. Even more, it is still the most effective communications tool with current and past customers and partners.
Done properly, email marketing and automation allows the B2B firm to:
1. Have consistent outreach to prospects, leads, current and past customers
2. Drive prospects and leads to the next stage of the purchase path
3. Grow leads for sales by reinvigorating dormant accounts
4. Grow loyalty levels among customers
5. Create effective marketing communications with limited financial and human resources
In future blog posts will talk in more detail on how to build the marketing automation infrastructure and how to deploy email marketing.
Media relations for technology companies
Technology and the tech industry are the darling topics for media. Following a few simple tools, every company and marketing department could have free outreach to prospects, leads and customers as well as credibility from being published in reputable business or technology media.
Here are a few simple tools on how to build your media relations infrastructure and how to engage media:
1. Build a personalized media list database on reporters, working for media, suitable for the company’s topics
2. Segment media according to types. Media could be industry specialized, business, technology, general news.
3. All of the above different media types are interested in different angles, so you better segment your press materials and press releases with focus on different media priorities. Tech media like to focus on technology while business media would be more interested in the business results of the organization.
4. Treat media outreach by email or phone the way you treat your potential and current customers in email or direct marketing – with upmost respect and following the direct marketing rules.
5. Integrate media publications with your content and social media marketing activities.
Media relations are very important for SEO as media and news publications could be published higher in search results than your owned corporate domains.
B2B Corporate events
The B2B technology firm has several options for sales events and here is our advice on how to approach them:
1. If you are sponsoring industry or other type of events, follow the two simple rules:
a. Follow the money. Technology companies like to meet and go to technology events within their industry and while some of the industry events are quality ones and you need to attend, the best rule is to go where the customers are. This means go to their industry events to position the company as trusted partner who supports and understands their business and industry.
b. Never use industry event sponsorship for brand awareness. It is probably the most expensive brand awareness tool one could use. Use integrated communications strategy before, during and after the event to bring leads down the purchase path. This means to use your precious little time during the event to meet and sell to people already familiar with what they are looking for, not to explain what your company or solutions are about.
2. Plan a series of own events, integrated within overall marketing strategy as well as the lead generation programs. Having your own event, positions the company as leading in the industry.
3. Build events strategy which includes own events, sponsorship in verticals, industry forums
4. Always plan events according to your decision makers/influencers matrix. There are different types of events which are attended by different level and types of professionals and management. Your event planning needs to address your sales strategy
5. Engage management and employees in event participation. Employees must be thoroughly prepared. Also, find your stars and pitch professionals and senior management as speakers. Very useful and intertwined with the organization’s thought leadership and management positioning strategy.
And we are done with part II of our series on best practices in marketing communications for B2B and technology companies.
Stay tuned for part II where we will discuss higher level, long-term marketing strategies on brand and corporate positioning. The stuff of what leaders are made of.
Before investing in lead generation and advertising programs consider the available resources
After we have setup the inbound marketing infrastructure, we need to start conducting marketing programs to push messages to prospects and leads.
Call us to generate leads.
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