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Online marketing for the technology industry

Marketers at companies with a highly technical focus, or those who have such companies as clients, may experience difficulty in creating a marketing strategy. According to Marketing Profs, tech clients present special challenges in online marketing. This is often an issue in the B2B space. Countering whatever issues arise in tech marketing is essential to constructing a successful campaign.

Common obstacles in tech marketing
Many of the issues that are present in marketing for tech clients are due to a difference in culture and goals between the industries. With conversation and lateral thinking, however, marketers can get far enough into the tech mindset to do justice to the products and services their companies or clients offer.

  • Casual versus institutional: Tech companies are often quite casual in their outlook and day-to-day practices. While this culture can be an asset in marketing, B2B tech companies may alienate their more traditional clients by playing up their casual approach to the workplace. As such, it’s important to temper a tech company’s unique culture with consideration for traditionally minded clients.
  • Complex products and services: Marketers naturally try to tell a story in their materials, especially content marketing. It can be difficult to create a compelling narrative around the products and services a tech company offers, particularly if a marketer is not technology-savvy. Putting effort into research and conversation with the client can help in this area.
  • Connecting with clients: Similarly, it may be difficult to get clients excited about the products a tech company offers. Some B2B buyers may not know very much about technology, and have an idea of what their company needs only in terms of its specifications. Stirring any kind of emotion about a technological solution may be difficult, just as it may be difficult to tell a story about the product.

Finding solutions
Marketers needn’t be baffled by these issues. There are solutions to each one of them, and confronting difficult projects can even stretch a person’s creativity to great effect.

  • Finding middle ground: Marketers should take advantage of the often unique culture of tech companies. It may be inadvisable to lean too heavily on the casual business environment in many of them, especially in the fairly conservative B2B space. However, attempting to convey some of the quirky character of a company in marketing can make it stand out among competitors.
  • Tell a story based on what clients need: Even the most technical and complex products and services meet business needs. In attempting to market complicated technology, it is useful to focus on what it will do for buyers. It may not be practical to outline all of its specific functions, but it is always a good idea to discuss how it will help businesses in their day-to-day functioning. Does it remove a common obstacle or streamline a complex process? Any way to turn the story of a product into a solution to a common pain point is advantageous, no matter how complex it is.

Of course, none of this is meant to indicate marketers should not make every effort to understand what a tech product is and does to the best of their ability. Having in-depth conversations with IT professionals may be a good way to go about this, particularly if marketers make it clear they need to understand in simple terms in order to create a great online marketing campaign.

Going social with technical products
Social media marketing is a great idea for many products and services, and complicated technology is no exception. As mentioned above, it may be most useful to focus content production on a narrative that makes it clear to buyers how the product will address their pain points. However, it is also worthwhile to produce technical content in order to catch the attention of IT professionals at client companies. While they may not be buyers, the opinion of the technologically inclined can influence the decision of people who are not as tech-minded whose task it is to purchase business solutions.

A content marketing campaign for very technical products should, therefore, have distinct parts. Appealing to buyers, who may not understand the technology precisely, should be balanced with appealing to IT professionals and buyers who may be tech-savvy. Content is a vital part of a social media campaign. Additionally, marketers should attempt to make the social media pages of tech companies as user-friendly as possible, as some buyers may be intimidated by technical language, but include convenient links to tech-heavy content as well.

Monitor data for success
As with any marketing campaign, technology marketing efforts should be monitored by way of data to keep tabs on their success. If there appears to be room to improve, marketers should not be afraid to alter their strategies. Conversations with typical buyers as well as employees of the company itself may be helpful in generating ideas for new directions.

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.