When I started in the software industry over 20 years ago it was us marketing guys who were the cool, hip, relevant ones (or so I thought at the time), and the techos were the geeks.
The role seems to have now reversed – software entrepreneurs are hot property. No longer portrayed as nerds, these business people are widely admired and lauded. There is nothing cooler than a “tech startup” it seems.
Should you feel sorry for us poor old marketers, left with nothing but some fancy brochures and long lunches. Are we no longer relevant?
Marketers, don’t get mad, get even. The best way is to take a leaf out of the software development play book, and focus on our agility.
‘Agile’ has been a theme of software development for 15 years, and has gradually seeped into other parts of business, such as agile project management. Marketers are starting to adopt this faster, more flexible way of operating. What does it mean for tech marketing?
It’s certainly about being less “stiff”. Focussing on short, iterative cycles of activity and measuring them closely. Gone are the big set piece marketing campaigns for tech companies, it’s about short, sharp projects that are focussed on results.
New Zealand tech companies, who have widely adopted agile development methodologies, could apply some more of this thinking and activity to their marketing. From our Market Measures studies, it was clear the average cadence of marketing output for our tech companies is significantly lower than our US counterparts.
Local tech companies tended to publish content intended to generate marketing leads on a monthly basis, fortnightly at best. That compared to the US cadence of weekly, if not daily, cycles of publishing.
Frequency of content publication to support a content marketing programme (% of companies in NZ vs USA)
Source: Market Measures 2015. www.marketmeasures.co.nz
Enabling firms to increase the pace and agility of their marketing involves finding ways to automate their lead generation activity. The more you can use technology tools to ease the process of promoting content (through email, social media, online advertising), converting it (on landing pages) and then nurturing it (through automated email workflows), the more intense your marketing programme can become.
According to Market Measures, New Zealand firms are increasingly adopting solutions like Marketing Automation Software (36%, up from 3.8% in 2013), but there is still a long way to go.
At Concentrate we’ve taken baby steps in applying some agile principles to our marketing work for clients. Breaking down projects into specific activities, planning them over fortnightly sprints and conducting a daily stand-up has been a good start, although we have a long way to go.
The benefits so far have been gaining more clarity around what capacity we have available against demand, a greater focus on outputs and results of those outputs.
What we’ve also learned is that to benefit from agility your marketing foundation becomes even more important. You may be able to produce more marketing outputs more efficiently, but without a crystal clear understanding of your target market and your value proposition to that audience, you just become more ‘agile’ at wasting your resources.
And that leaves you looking like a real geek.
Find out more about how you can transform the efficiency of how you can sell your tech product by downloading our free eBook “Hunting like a pack”