At Rosetta’s recent Marketing Innovation Forum, about 50 marketing thought leaders from technology brands around the Silicon Valley got together to discuss innovative ways to drive better business results.
We heard from featured speaker Peter Burris, of Forrester Research, and a panel of Rosetta experts on audience insights, customer journey mapping, social media and mobile marketing. Together they discussed ways to speed up the technology sales cycle by pinpointing the right audience targets, messages and channels along the customer journey.
The premise of our conversation was based on some key insights from Peter’s presentation:
- The tech purchase process is changing – there is an influx of new business/payment models, rapid growth in new technology categories, consumerization of IT, and a tremendous number of new digital touchpoints.
- The old way of marketing across every channel is not sustainable or effective for a marketing organization. Forrester data shows that 50% of all tech marketers are utilizing 23+ marketing vehicles for their campaigns, while buyers only consider about seven.
- Maximizing business impact and resources requires focus and prioritization on the right points along a buyer’s journey.
We took notes at the session and identified the following lessons for tech marketers looking to innovate across the buyer’s journey.
Understanding how segments buy requires looking deeper than demographics.
Technology brands like software manufacturers, for example, might be tempted to identify target customers and their motivators based on demographics or their role within their company. To get to the heart of what drives technology decision makers, consider deeper levels of insight like how tech-forward their organization is, their cost orientation, and how they approach a tech buying decision (which is often based on company size). You also need to understand that the journey looks very different depending on the type of technology sold. For example, companies approach a PC decision differently than one for virtualization software. Leveraging these inputs as a starting point, marketers can capture the real needs and triggers to pull.
Some moments matter more than others in the buyer’s journey.
Effective journey marketing requires getting the right messaging targeted at the right audience delivered via the right channel, and timing it to the right stage in the marketing funnel. This process requires “trimming the fat” from a marketing plan, a focus on measurement and a diligent approach to channel prioritization, but can dramatically simplify your efforts and increase impact. By targeting two specific segments at the right consideration stage via their preferred channel, we’ve seen our clients nearly double engagement and also cut costs in half – essentially a 4X effectiveness gain.
Mobile devices are at the center of everything in the technology sector.
All of today’s technology businesses are impacted by mobile and tablet devices in significant ways. As both of these devices become critically integrated with the product strategy and marketing mix for technology brands, there are tremendous opportunities to speed the sales cycle for tech products. As marketers look for ways to leverage mobile devices, consider what points along the buyer’s journey might be streamlined or skipped entirely by giving your customer access to information immediately. For example, being able to demo a software interface on a tablet to a prospective buyer might propel them from being interested to saying, “I want it,” in just one interaction.
Social is the influencer of all channels.
Businesses can stop thinking about social as a channel that needs to be built up and bolted onto an integrated marketing program. The most successful technology brands are building up social businesses, where products and campaigns are influenced by what customers are talking about, social tools are used to simplify and improve the user experience across the buyer journey, and social analytics are integrated with other business metrics and then used to continually refine business strategy.
We plan to host our Marketing Innovation Forum about every two months, each time using a different speaker and format. Stay tuned for details on our next event.