Top 7 Tips For Tech Industry Marketing Communications
By Beth Schillaci
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The tech industry is outstanding at creating innovative ways to solve problems. From sales to service, the tech industry has created solutions for consumers and businesses that save time and add control. But telling customers about the work often poses more of a problem than developing the solutions. Between a lack of time and limited resources, tech marketing can present a challenge to even the best of companies.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 7 tips to keep tech marketing clean, simple and user-friendly – just like your products and services!
- • Integrate.
Your web site is what it’s all about, but Web-based tools aren’t the only way to get people to visit. Don’t rely on just one medium, especially on search engines. Use print, direct mail and public relations to let people know who you are and what you do. Tell them about the cool elements on your site, the downloads and demos and things that make you different, in more than one medium. Just as you integrate elements of design and technology to create your site, integrate on and off-line resources to get people to visit. Remember, the more places they see your name, the more likely they are to think of you first.
- • Be consistent.
As you integrate your on and off-line communications, you need to make sure your style and message remain consistent in all media. All marketing communication pieces need to have the same theme, look and tone, from your site to your packaging. Stay with one idea for a while – at least three months – to allow people to associate the theme with your business. Trust me, you’ll get tired of your themes much faster than your audience will.
- • Don’t forget the power of branding.
Brand awareness and mind-share are as important as immediate, measurable sales results. Don’t avoid a medium just because it may not pay off in immediate sales. Sales are often determined by a prospect’s needs and timing. Branding helps keep your company top of mind until that time when a client needs you. You always want your market to think of you first, so learn what your audience reads and watches beyond the web, and put yourself there. Consider it another investment in R&D.
- • Marketing is more than promotion.
Always remember the 4 Ps: place, price, product and promotion. Having the right product is paramount, but if it’s not available where your customers want to buy it, at a price they feel offers value, it’s worthless. And if they don’t know about the product, the price or the place to get it, none of that matters. Figure out who your customers really are, then make your product available to them where they live. Tell them about it in the media they peruse and you’ve got a formula for success.
- • Say it with pictures.
Sometimes the more innovative a solution is, the harder it is to convey to a potential buyer. If you have a new technology or your concept is complex, use illustrations and demos to show clients what it’s all about. People tend to remember what they’re shown more than what they’re told, and if you can find a way to let customers and the media actually use your product or service, recall goes up.
- • ROI isn’t always about an increase in revenue; it could be a decrease in expenses.
Increasing sales is always great, but increasing profit margins is better. If you can retool your marketing to save expenses and still do the job, that’s a net gain. Don’t be afraid to examine your efforts for ways to save at least once a year.
- • Communicate with all your “customers” – employees, resellers, media, current customers, and potential customers.
It’s easy to focus on the targets you want to hit in your marketing, but those prospects aren’t the only ones who matter. Your employees are your extended sales force – they need to know your “elevator pitch” and what your company’s goal is. Your resellers need the tools to effectively represent your company. Make it easy for them to work with – and promote – your solution by providing an extranet, monthly newsletter, and more. And don’t forget that your current customers are often your best salespeople. They can bring you referral business, so be sure to keep them up to date on new products and upgrades, and give your loyal customers special promotions and offers to keep them talking about you.
Beth Schillaci has worked in many of the major companies in the tech industry, including Netscape. She founded VillageWorks before the turn of the millennium and since then, the company has evolved into a full-service marketing firm offering solutions that integrate on and off-line tools to meet clients needs. VillageWorks specializes in marketing for tech companies, creating everything from logos to web interfaces, loyalty programs, relationship marketing programs, print and more. Visit http://www.VillageWorks.net or information, or contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org / 240-529-3000.
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Article Submitted On: May 04, 2006