• Date: 11/16/2010

    How to Market A Technical Company (and Be Taken Seriously)

    Cat, who works on the strategy and communications of Objektum Solutions, gives us a refreshing look on how to market within the technical world...
    Whilst working on the marketing of the company, I've been talking to colleagues about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Everyone who works here is intelligent but sometimes it is not easy for them to see why we’re doing something that doesn't produce a tangible (or even measurable) output.
    So, over the years I've explained elements of marketing to the team and vice versa, they have helped me by explaining the technology behind it all. Understanding marketing as a function is important even if you're not directly involved. The team here have found it interesting (they say that anyway, but that might also be to shut me up!) and so I'll be occasionally blogging marketing 'bites' for you, such as this....

    Marketing is about telling a targeted market what you have to offer and why they should come to you to solve their problem. It's finding the customers and then, when you're front of them, what is it that you say. Here are some pointers:

    1. Plan and measure - marketing isn't just about writing fancy words and pretty pictures. As with any strategy or project, there must be objectives and although it's hard, one needs to measure return on investment. Planning is of prime importance so that you can be consistent with your message.

    1. Be consistent - all the best brands in the world are kept visible and consistent. This is the message, the tone, the way you interact with customers etc. Customers will only get to really know and trust you when you have a consistent image. They will also remember you.

    1. Relevance - keep your message relevant. Know your audience and whilst your key points should remain the same, your message needs to address the concerns and areas of interest of those who you are communicating to.

    1. Be concise - one of the paradoxes of our age is that there is more clutter and less time to sift through it. People will be eternally grateful if you can keep to the point.

    1. #don'tjustfollowtrendsforthesakeofit - for those of you not on Twitter' this may look like my keyboard has malfunctioned but, as with my last point on consistency, think about how your message is being carried across and what the perception of your company is. If Twitter, Facebook, Ning (the list goes on) doesn't fit in with your company, leave it. Don't do it because everyone else is doing it; do it because it works for you and your customers. LinkedIn works well for us because of the forums and the business focus, so that's what we use.
    1. Product Demos - now this is something we're working on at the moment. We frequently do webinars but we have all this brilliant technology, but can anyone see what it does by looking at our website? No. Do they have to read paragraphs and paragraphs of text to work out what it does? Yes. Make sure your work is showcased so people can see how you can solve their problems.

    1. Show off a little - respect your client's privacy but show off your successes with case studies. Case studies have a beginning, The Problem; a middle, The Solution and an end, The Result. It is such a simple formula but it is one of the most effective ways to show what you can do.

    1. Remember, it's not all online - get out there and meet people. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of the 'elevator pitch'. I've attended so many networking sessions where I have heard too many pitches that I just switch off. Have a clear understanding of what you do but most importantly listen and have interesting conversations.

    1. Collaborate - work with partners, suppliers and customers to achieve more than you can could if you were all working in isolation.

    1. Practice what you preach - you can come up with the best marketing strategy, the greatest website and the slickest tag line but if you don't deliver what you promise, that's the message that will spread and the marketing really does all turn into fluff.
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