How to excite your audience: 10 challenges for marketeers in the tech industry
Does it frustrate you that when you go to buy a new TV or audio gear it’s so easy to get lost in the complexities of a huge number of products?
Every product claims to be the best, based on all kinds of confusing terminology you never heard of, and specifications that don’t mean anything to you.
And you wonder: “how do these facts and figures relate to what I’m looking for?”
As a marketeer you don’t want this experience for your audience, right? You want to do things differently: your audience requires a clear and differentiated story that matches THEIR needs.
But do you also struggle to make that difference in your organization?
I worked for 16 years in the tech industry (in a global marketing team) and I’ve seen many colleagues struggle in your role, trying to tell clear, compelling stories to their audience.
I think these struggles are caused by the following 10 challenges….
Challenge 1: the magic is on the inside
People respond most strongly to things they can see. But with technology the magic usually happens on the inside, so we can’t see it. As a marketeer you have the huge challenge of turning this magic into a story the customer can understand – and buy into.
Challenge 2: tech is difficult by nature
Technology is not only invisible but also very complex. You basically need to be an engineer to understand what’s going on. So, as a marketeer you have the additional challenge of simplifying things without losing the crux of the story.
Challenge 3: it all starts with specs
Every new product starts with a set of specifications and associated terminology. These are the languages engineers use to determine their goals and communicate effectively during the development stage. However, engineers have studied many years to understand this language – it’s a completely new language for you.
Challenge 4: looking at the competition
The product itself is key in your organization’s marketing mix. Everything is done to create a superior product: engineers work day in day out, to outperform the competition. So, when they reach their goals, they proudly want you to share those achievements with the market.
Challenge 5: why do it differently?
If all your competitors are presenting their products in the same way, there’s no incentive for your organization to change things up. Your tech people might say customers like comparing product specifications, so they need to be a part of the story… but, in reality, this may only be happening because the customer has no other option!
Challenge 6: internally focused
Your organization spends most of its time developing new products, getting them into mass production and readying them for shipment. Naturally the greatest focus is on the daily struggle to get this right. During the endless push to perfect, package and present their technical achievements they may lose sight of what their audience actually wants.
Challenge 7: marketeers vs. engineers
From my experience working in a tech organization, marketeers and engineers are like water and fire. You have very different goals and ambitions and speak a completely different language. As a marketeer you have the challenge of bridging this gap, which can often seem impossible, considering the size of the chasm between you!
Challenge 8: the external agency
To turn this complex tech story into a story that resonates with customers, you may decide to work with an external agency. But agencies are even further away from the core business and will have no clue what all those technical terms mean. It’s an almost impossible task for them.
Challenge 9: simplification requires time
Your organization spends a lot of time in fire-fighting mode – battling to get the product to the customer as soon as possible, so it can start making money. Marketing content is just a small piece in this process. The decision-makers just want to get it over with, so that the product can enter the marketplace without delay. So it’s logical for you to use the well-trodden routes, even if that means regurgitating the same old techniques and formats… complete with all that overly complex technical information.
Challenge 10: the product is for everyone
Product leaders in your organization are typically very inwardly focused. They often make the mistake of thinking their product will automatically appeal to everyone. There is no intention of focusing on a specific audience, or of telling a clear, concise message. Well, you as a marketeer know just how important that focus is.
I admire you as a tech marketeer… you don’t have an easy job! You have to engage your audience with your company’s technically complex solutions, and that means dealing with some or all of the 10 challenges listed.
Which of those 10 challenges resonates with you most strongly? How do YOU deal with that challenge?
Please share with me in the comment box below.
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