Tech marketing requires a special confluence of marketing know-how, creativity, and technical understanding. It also requires commitment and hard work. Incorporate these four ideas to improve your next tech marketing initiative.
1.Do Nothing… Yep, Nothing
There is a known productivity paradox: good ideas and breakthroughs come after a period of doing… absolutely nothing.
Albert Einstein’s biographer Carlo Rovelli wrote that the genius essentially “slacked off” from his day job during his so-called “Miracle Year”. That year was 1905. In between bouts of “doing nothing,” Einstein published four papers that fundamentally transformed our ideas of light, time, and mass. This less-is-more approach became Einstein’s lifelong habit.
Happily, you don’t need to be a genius in matters of space and time; you need a strategic marketing plan.
Don’t get started until you’ve given yourself time to let your mind wander. This “doing nothing” invites new insights and fresh ideas. Our culture dictates action every minute. Resist this. Take time to do nothing.
2. Write a Detailed (Yet Flexible) Plan
After some self-imposed, doing-nothing-in-particular time, you’re ready to map out your marketing plan.
The first rule is: write it down.
Yes, writing it down seems like an obvious instruction until you realize that many marketers are a bit directionless. Many choose to follow a vague list of actions (like updating social media) or habits (like watching webinars) to feel “productive”. Yet, they don’t really chart their progress because they haven’t set benchmark goals.
Your marketing plan should include:
- Stated goals (e.g. metrics associated with exposure, conversion, and retention)
- Detailed plans to reach goals (e.g. budgets, media outlets, and media production)
- Room for flexibility, because things change and new opportunities arise
3. Track Your Stats…All of them
Start by tracking the macronutrient content of your breakfast. (Just kidding.)
Plenty of data exists for most marketing efforts. Depending on the tools you use, you can easily export, compare, and combine data. Just because it is easy doesn’t mean you should do it.
The real challenge is figuring out what data is most important.
You know the most important stats to track for your technology business. Common metrics include:
Comparison metrics – how do efforts this quarter compare to last?
Trendline metrics – what is the overall trend for x and y?
Accomplishment metrics – what were the sales of x, or the conversion of y?
Ultimately, stats are stories. Stats help you tell the story of failure or success. Measure as much as possible to discover the narrative.
Side note: some marketing efforts fail. That’s okay; it means you’re experimenting. If you’re not experimenting, you aren’t learning what works best. After all: the market is constantly moving, and what works may change.
4. Hire Specialized Translators
No, you don’t need someone fluent in six languages. You need someone who can speak plainly.
As a technology marketer your role is to build a custom “hype machine”. You need the ability to take potentially complicated tool and explain its benefits clearly. Most technology products are used by people who don’t have familiarity with, let alone interest in, the technology behind the product.
Remember this reality as you create content and assemble your creative team. Hire people who are enthused about tech but can speak to a non-technical audience. Favor generalists at the beginning and hire specialists as required.
People who can translate “geek to speak” may be excellent technical copywriters but lackluster video script writers, for example. Do you need zippy one-liners for a social media feed? Or more formal writing skills suitable for press releases and reputation management? The kinds of creative work you need will depend on your marketing plan.
Now, for a final secret. Building a technology-driven marketing plan is a lot of fun. There are always new things to try and test. Improving your marketing plan makes for an ongoing design puzzle. Embrace it.
Author's bio; Katie McCaskey is Content Director of OpenWater, a grant management software platform. Visit the site to download many free resources to establish and grow a grantmaking program.