Here are a few simple marketing truths by and for technology companies
We asked some local technology entrepreneurs to share some quick marketing advice for other technologists. If you’d like to contribute to this list, please email bbradley @ bradleywiltjer dot com.
1. Be findable: According to Alex Machinis, president of SpatialPoint (www.spatialpoint.com), findability is the degree to which an object can be found, discovered or located. Being findable means that no matter how or what you sell, your customers and prospects can find you easily. The concept of “being findable” applies equally to a brick and mortar store front, to the geographic zones that one serves (and does not), to organic search engine rankings or how product information is organized and represented in a reseller’s catalog. No matter what your industry, as the effectiveness of advertising continues to decrease, buyers must be able to find you in order to make informed decisions about you.
2. Get the prospect the right answer fast to win more deals: A JDPowers study showed that 30% of the reason for losing deals is lack of responsiveness by reps. “Typically the first salesperson back to the prospective customer with a good proposal that meets the customer’s needs gets locked into the customer’s mind as the vendor of choice and ultimately wins the deal,â€ says Godard Abel, founder of BigMachines, Inc., (bigmachines.com). Abel believes competitors become “column fodder” by responding slowly or not listening to the customer and have their proposal miss the mark.
3. Your brand is an asset: No matter what your size, your brand deserves protection, says Michael Kiefer, global SVP for BrandProtect (brandprotect.com). Kiefer, an expert in enterprise Internet risk mitigation, believes if your business depends on a positive internet reputation, then you must decisively manage your reputation online. Negative brand sentiment is virtually impossible to erase. No matter how large or small your firm, brands and ecosystems are routinely damaged by disgruntled employees, partners, online vandals and criminals. Kiefer advises small businesses to watch their domains, web linkages, and their brand chatter on the Internet, usergroups and blogs.
4. Listen to what your clients are telling you. Dan Swartz, founder of Midmarketer.com â€“ (midmarketer.com) says current clients and prospects can tell you a lot about your B2B marketing efforts. Do they really know who you are or what you do? What are the biggest misconceptions of your organization? Taking a close look and listen to what the people outside your organization are saying will always bring some great insight into your marketing direction. Thereâ€™s often many one-time events and sporadic activity in B2B marketing. Because these events always seem to stand out, they usually get the attention of many marketers. Be sure to focus on trends, and not just â€œblipsâ€ on the radar- doing so will give you a clear and objective outlook on marketing efforts.
5. Facilitating knowledge is the strongest form of marketing: Malcolm Lotzof, CEO of Inxpo (www.inxpo.com) says the most knowledgeable sales people generally generate the highest revenue. â€œThis is because knowledge breeds comfort and comfort closes the deal. The same logic goes for marketing, especially in the B2B world where products and services are complex. Traditional marketing tools don’t provide comfort because they do not put internal experts who have the knowledge in front of all our prospects. However using web 2.0 tools in virtual environments we can now give the key knowledge sources “an interactive presence” in front of all prospects. Interactive presence blows away static presentation every single time.â€
6. Use metrics â€“ even if the metrics change: Marketing measurement is not a thing, advises Michael A. Davis, CEO of Savid Technology (savidtech.com). â€œIt is a process. The process of measuring your marketing performance will lead to new insight and perspectives that will help you adapt and hone your process over time. If your metrics donâ€™t work, donâ€™t be afraid to change them. Donâ€™t be afraid when your key marketing metrics change. In fact, be happy that your metrics are evolving and you are learning more about your customers.â€
7. Your sales people are your brand: John Aiello, CEO of SAVO (http://www.savogroup.com), believes a great brand is built by positive, repeated actions. Every sales interaction (good or bad) represents the brand. Therefore, every time your sales representatives put your message in front of your prospective customers, your brand is being represented. Every sales conversation is an opportunity to build brand awareness and loyalty. In fact, says Aiello, the promise of the brand is not just about the product (no matter how great), it is about the personal connections, trust and consistency necessary to build a relationship with key buyers. When allocating resources to build your brand in the market, you should not lose sight of this critical factor.