SeeUnity Specialty Series: Marketing in Technology
At SeeUnity, we are proud to have a team of experts in their specific roles working for us. We have decided that not only do we want to hear from them about the latest tools and techniques in their fields, but we wanted them to share this information with you. We are calling this the SeeUnity Specialist Series, and our staff is going to be sharing insights from the inside of SeeUnity.
We are starting off the series with a guest blog from our Content Marketing Specialist, Natalie Omiecinski.
Marketing in Technology
Building relationships is a huge part of marketing. Some hear the word “marketing” and their minds automatically go to commercials and billboard advertisements selling you something you may not need. I have some news for those people: Marketing isn’t about selling something through commercials and billboards, that’s advertising. A key foundation of marketing is building relationships. This is why sales and marketing are typically two different departments. Sales sells. Marketing builds relationships. That’s not to say that there isn’t an important relationship between the two because there is. But, it is important to note that marketing isn’t always about making a sale. In the age of social media, that has been made clear by the business-to-consumer (B2C) world. As marketers, we can more quickly and accurately reach our target markets through social media outlets. However, that task is a whole lot more complicated when you are a business selling to another business (B2B). In the B2B world, you have to convince multiple people, while being considerate of budgetary timelines, to purchase your product be it software, technology, or services. In B2B, the sales cycle is typically much longer. Where it could take a few minutes, and clicks from a consumer purchasing an item on their mobile device, it can take months to complete a sale of technology in B2B. The general purpose of marketing is the same, but how you execute that purpose is going to vary greatly.
Building a relationship
Often times humor is all you need to sell something to a consumer. For example, look at Superbowl commercials. The ones that most of us remember are the ones that make us laugh. (i.e. Doritos pregnant lady commercial.) Or look at the Puppy, Monkey, Baby ad by Mountain Dew. While some people found it horrific, some found it funny, and it got people talking about their new product, Mountain Dew Kickstart. In the B2B world, your buyers are not looking for a laugh – or a disturbing combination of cute things. They are looking for a solution to an internal business problem. This can sometimes be a hard subject to identify and an even harder one for businesses to talk about. For instance, say a business is struggling to keep their content organized and manageable. They then seek a solution, like software that can live up to their requirements and expectations. In addition to the software itself, they are also looking for expertise, knowledge, and support. In the B2B world, organizations are looking to build a relationship based on trust that you are an expert, the solution will work, and that it will be supported through its life. How does your marketing team do that? Here are a couple ways:
1. Use social media to highlight your expertise in an area
While social media has become somewhat of an entertainment platform, it is great for businesses to use to show their expertise in a field. LinkedIn is the preferred platform for organizations to not only recruit experienced individuals to their team, but, in B2B, to build that trust relationship with customers. For instance, at SeeUnity, we use LinkedIn as a platform to share our unique content written by our skilled marketing team. Each piece of content that we share is meant to show prospective customers and current clients that we are knowledgeable and current in our industry. Having an internal person or group that is dedicated to making sure that we are current with the rest of the industry really helps with the trust factor. Occasionally we do share things that are not as serious or dry to demonstrate our company’s culture which is also important to building trust.
2. Co-marketing with your partners
When we co-host a webinar, or sponsor an event with a well-known partner, prospects may feel more comfortable to get into a deeper conversation with us about their needs. This really helps us build trust and healthy relationships with our partners which is vital to our longevity and growth as an organization. At SeeUnity we leverage our partnerships to connect with prospective customers. In some cases, organizations may not have heard of us, but they have heard of some of our partners like OpenText, NetDocuments, and Microsoft. By hosting joint webinars or co-sponsoring, we gain credibility, and we are demonstrating that we are in the mix with industry and technology leaders.
Marketing as a whole involves a lot of different components whether you are in B2B or B2C, but I wanted to specifically point out the differences between the kinds of relationships you can build in both. These different types of relationships thus make B2B and B2C marketing strategies different. You can use the same tools, like social media and partnerships, but you must learn to leverage them differently. A social strategy filled with humor is great for B2C, but it might hinder your credibility within B2B. In any case, always remember trust is key.