The latest strategies for tech marketers and how to use them to out sell your competitors

This week on THE 414, it’s about marketing for tech companies. In a field where development and innovation is at the forefront, marketing for the sector is commonly way behind other industries.

James Rostance speaks with Paul Maher, CEO of Positive Marketing to find out which techniques and strategies are delivering incredible results in other fields, and what he recommends that marketers within the tech industry adopt if they want to crush their competitors.

Content Covered:

  • Why tech marketers are slow to adapt to the latest techniques
  • Category Design – The secret to standing out from your competitors
  • The most pressing challenges for tech marketers right now
  • Strategy for tech marketing

– This week on The 414, marketing for tech companies, the latest strategies and how to use them to outmarket your competitors. Hi, I’m James Rostance and welcome to The 414. Each week, with some of the greatest minds in marketing, and joining me today is a man who’s an expert strategist for tech companies to outmarket their competitors using strategies rarely seen or used in the tech industry. Welcome, Paul Maher.

– Hi James.

– So Paul, you advocate that a lot has changed in marketing in recent times, yet the somewhat painful truth is that marketers in general in the tech industry are slow to adapt. Could you tell me a bit about that?

– Yeah, it’s highly ironic. So here we are, P2P tech marketing and we’re falling behind in the way that we use technology, and some of the techniques are really from back in the day. So, of course, you do need educate people on what your product does. But it doesn’t need to be in a very long, boring white paper. All of our clients are finding that TLDR, which is too long, didn’t read, and therefore, all of that effort is wasted. What you need to do, as you know well, James, is work with new formats like video, audio with Alexa coming out, people spending three hours and 30 minutes a day on their phone. So if you don’t have mobile as part of your strategy, you are really falling behind. And we find that some of the folks that we work with perhaps don’t keep up is a little bit of a danger. They become like a boiled frog, nice and comfortable in the warm water, but of course if you don’t jump out at the right time and move on, you’re gonna have a problem.

– So I’ve heard you speak about category design and I love how simple yet thoroughly effective it can be. So could you explain about that in a bit more detail?

– So category design is a very simple concept. But, for some reason, P2P marketing people find it hard to think like that. It’s really quite simple. People think in categories, and in technology for some reason, people are sheepishly all follow the same herd. So an analyst firm will say that customer experience management is the thing to be, and we know of at least half a dozen companies that have that as their category. Now the problem with that is, apart from it’s got a beat up all the prices on Google, et cetera, is nobody really understands what it mean. And if I tell you that one of these companies redirects the mass on the telephone, mass, another one, looks out retailers and how they manage the cues in store. And the third one is an ad survey company. You can see that there’s a lot of confusion. People like to buy from a category, they like to understand it. P2P tech has to catch up.

– So what would you say are the biggest challenges which tech marketers face right now? And what can they do about it?

– So I’d say there are three things that you really need to concern yourself with. And the first one we talked about, stay current on what techniques will work. And you don’t wanna be that boiled frog that we talked about earlier. Not a good look. Second thing, I would say, is don’t forget just how much content is out there. There’s zero percent growth in smart phones these days. So that means everybody is chasing the same amount of time, but they’re throwing more and more content at it. We call that content shock, and we advise people to really focus on stuff that’s gonna cut through, ’cause semi will not cut it. The last thing I’d say, what can you do about all this? Feedback loops, they’re your friends. So there’s lots of ways you can get feedback on how the content’s working. There are likes, comments, et cetera. Just use those and A/B test everything and you’ll get better and better.

– Okay, so what would you prescribe as being the most effective approach for marketing to tech buyers?

– Technology products are generally complex. And so, education’s always been a big thing for tech marketing. And back in the day, that was done with long data sheets, long white papers. We talked about that being too long and they won’t get read. And we talked about using some new content to get rid of the content shock, which is obviously very advisable. But with the category, you want to market to a problem. So rather than pushing yourself extensively, you can educate people and show them some content which is compelling. Talk about the problem. And what you always wanna be is different and not better, ’cause better is yesterday’s thinking. Different is the way forward.

– Paul, thank you so much for joining me today.

– Thanks so much for having me.

– And if you would like to learn more about advance techniques for marketing to tech buyers, then visit the414.net to watch extended content in The 414 Extra. I’m James Rostance, thank you for watching.

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The 414 EXTRA

This is where we get the chance to look a little deeper into the most interesting elements of the content that we’ve just covered in the main show

Paul shares with us a case example of Category Design to further help explain the concept’s power.

Also, his guidance on content and in particular, content length.

– Hi, I’m James Rostance. And welcome to The 414 Extra. So, joining me still, is Paul Maher from Positive Marketing. And what we’re going to do now is deep-dive into the content that we’ve just covered in the main show, and I wanted to get straight into talking about your area of specialism of category design. And, I was wondering, do you have any case examples you could share to further expand on category design?

– Yes, so a great example is a company called Replicon, and that’s a company that’s 25 years old, and it was in the expenses and time management space, which is quite, in marketing terms, quite a steady, mature space. And when we looked, and the colleagues from the US looked, at exactly what it was and what the point of view was, it was different. We realized that times involved in many things and in business, that gave the key to the POV, and the POV became the category, and the category is called Time Intelligence.

– So another thing you’re also really big on is the importance of content, but short enough content, so that it actually gets read, or watched, or listened to. Could you tell me a little more about that, and how it fits into the, well, marketing funnels?

– There’s quite a lot to this. So we think of everything in terms of a sales funnel, and we see there’s a top of funnel, TOFU, middle of funnel, MOFU, and bottom of funnel, BOFU. At each point in that journey, and specific to the technology, you might need a different asset. And those assets might have different attributes. You talked, James, about, you know, attracting people early on with sort of click bait and, sort of, very short pieces of content that get people interested in the category, not necessarily in you. Now, as you move down, you’re getting more and more interest, and you’re moving towards

– creating desire in your

– So, should all

– buyers. At that point

– influences, creation

– it needs a little

– it’s not

– more information, add a little more flow

– not necessarily more up kind of the brand and what they really want to do achieve.

– Be that an event, be that somebody closing a sale face to face. That’s when you can invest most time cuz you take them all the way through the funnel. The complication is the middle of the funnel very easy to lose people there. So you need a lot of content and you need to try and think through the various customer journeys and why would people leave their journey of you at that point.

– Paul, thank you ever so much again for joining us.

– Thank you so much for having me.


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