Technological innovation has significantly expanded marketing technique and reach. However, misconceptions about how tech has changed traditional marketing can limit the effectiveness of your campaign. Too often, tech marketers get swept up in trends and buzzwords without stopping to think about what actually works. Avoiding some of the most common tech marketing mistakes can help you focus your marketing plan and increase its effectiveness.
- Focusing Exclusively on Direct Marketing
Direct marketing involves delivering your intended message directly to a target audience. This method can take many forms, including mailings, e-mail campaigns and targeted online ads. The tech community has embraced direct marketing, especially in its high-tech incarnations. The chief lure of messaging your audience directly is that this method is highly quantifiable. Companies identify target audiences through algorithms then analyze response data. When you air an ad on TV, you have no way of immediately assessing its impact, but you can easily count the number of opened e-mails, liked or shared social media posts and actual purchases.
On the flip side, most direct marketing campaigns lack the creativity and inspiration that often underlie brand loyalties. An outstanding publicity campaign can highlight your brand’s unique attributes and draw customers. Tech marketers often lose sight of seemingly old-fashioned marketing techniques, devoting marginal, if any, attention to their development. Then, when a lackluster advertisement or half-hearted publicity campaign fails to garner results, they attribute the low performance to the non-trendiness of the medium. While direct marketing has its advantages, including the generation of valuable data, devoting serious resources to other forms of marketing is essential to creating a strong brand.
- Falling for Buzzwords
Tech companies tend to think of themselves as the vanguard of innovation. Perhaps for this reason, tech marketers often get swept away by new, exciting-sounding buzzwords and trends. Before getting carried away, it makes sense to examine and unpack the real meaning behind them. If you are having a hard time doing that, chances are the substance is simply not there.
Some marketing consultants like to present traditional ideas wrapped in new lingo. In other cases, the pressure to constantly innovate can create meaningless terms that only sound impressive. Red flags for marketing ideas likely to crash and burn include claims that the idea has changed everything, or is the only way forward or destroys everything we knew. Analyzing new ideas carefully and with a level head can save you from going forward with schemes that can turn out costly, ineffective and sometimes of questionable legality.
- Increasing Automation at the Expense of Creativity
Today, many companies aim to directly reach as many customers as possible. While automation algorithms continue to increase their efficiency and to fine-tune their targeting, there is a limit to the net benefit they bring to your company. Tech marketers often focus their time and energy on improving automation and developing ever more sophisticated versions. This narrow focus stems from the unspoken assumption that the task of the marketer is to send a product message individually to as many people as possible. This approach generates an avalanche of sales e-mails and targeted ads on social media.
However, tech marketers need to worry not just about how many people they are reaching, but what is the substantive message they are delivering. Creativity is the force that generates marketing campaigns that capture the imagination and project a strong brand. Creativity also cannot be automated. So, along with developing sophisticated marketing data analytics, be sure to invest in less tangible forms of marketing. Developing a unique voice and image for your company takes more time and garners less immediate feedback than automated promotions, but it can make all the difference for your long-term success.
- Ignoring Traditional Marketing Principles
Many tech marketers shy away from anything that could be labeled old-fashioned. After all, the tech business is all about innovation, so shouldn’t your marketing reflect that? Marketers should realize that what is often hailed as new and fresh is rooted in the same marketing principles that have led companies to success for decades. Because of the technological opportunities available today, these principles can take new forms such as viral videos and social media publicity. At their core, however, successful marketing continues to be governed by the same basic ideas. Tech marketers should study traditional techniques and come up with new and exciting implementations.
About the author:
Cody Jensen began his career with the corporate giant, Google Inc. He has been in Search Engine Marketing ever since and has a specific acumen for paid advertising. As the Founder of Searchbloom, Cody leads the strategy and execution of providing world class digital marketing to small businesses across the country.