Whatever your company’s technology marketing plan is, chances are if it’s been in place for more than a few years, it’s broken and needs fixing badly. Why?
Is Your Marketing Attracting or Turning People Off?
In years past, IT companies could depend on trusted marketing channels, such as trade show booths, direct mail campaigns, cold calls, email blasts, and sponsorships to deliver results.
The problem with that approach is that people got tired of your interruption-based channels.
And they’ve been fed up with how you market your IT services for a while – you weren’t listening!
The Old-School Marketing Playbook is Broken
But now, courtesy of social media and mobile devices, they’ve found a great, easy, and fast way to completely steer around the obnoxious dinosaurs that dominated your campaigns of yesteryear.
The way that B2B decision-makers go about finding IT vendors has changed drastically in the past 12 months. If you’re aware of these changes and have factored them into your plans, your company may be in good shape. If not, and you’re making nearly every technology marketing mistake in the book, there’s a good chance that this cluelessness is causing potential clients to go elsewhere and may threaten your company’s survival.
Did you know, for example, that 57% of the typical sales cycle is now over before potential clients reach out to any vendor? (Source: CEB)
So with that in mind, what are the 5 big technology marketing mistakes that may be causing your clients to go elsewhere?
(1) There’s No Content or Publishing Strategy
In the era where nearly every sales cycle begins with a search engine query or a post to a social network, it’s vital that you think more like a publisher rather than a technology marketer or advertiser. It’s no longer enough to have a blog or social media channel that’s updated every so often. Your competitors are creating great, remarkable content on a daily basis. Is your company?
With 57% of the B2B decision-making process now being conducted via search and social, and decision makers getting really good at blocking out your interruption-based marketing, you’ve got to ask yourself: where is your company going to be in 5 years if it’s completely invisible from over half of the sales process?!?
(2) Your Website Isn’t Designed to Attract Targeted Visitors
Years ago, technology marketers put a premium on designing impressive-looking websites…in the hopes that they could build their brand and look a lot bigger than reality. But the fact is: most of these gorgeous brochures totally freaking suck at attracting the right decision-makers! There I said it. You’ll have to pardon my tone, but if your website isn’t bringing in the right visitors, those visitors are going elsewhere…like your competitors’ websites.
Pay attention to personas and keyword research that ensure you deliver a great experience to those you desire most as clients. Great care should be taken with copywriting and blogging in a way that positions your company as a trusted expert in your space. Each and every page needs to be search optimized and human-optimized to attract and retain the desired targeted visitors. And the content needs to be valuable and remarkable enough to attract links from relevant authority websites.
(3) Your Website Totally Flunked Lead Generation 101
Do you know what your company’s average sales cycle length is? If not, you’d better get that answer! Why? Because virtually no one is buying the first time they find your website. Technology marketers aren’t in the impulse sales business. You’re not marketing a cup of coffee or a $0.99 app.
As a result, nearly every IT vendor with a decent business model needs a way to generate leads from their website – regardless of which stage of the buying process visitors are in.
Once you’ve nailed your ideal buyer personas and know their behaviors, pain points, and goals, you’ll need to create premium content assets that really resonate. These assets can be eBooks, white papers, webinar recordings, or templates. This content should be so compelling that visitors are willing to trade their contact information for it. This value exchange happens on a landing page with a form. And you’ll drive visitors to that landing page with website calls to action, social media, targeted email marketing, and blogging
(4) There’s No Way to Pull New Leads through the Buying Process
Just as naïve as omitting lead generation from your website is the assumption that (a) one lead gen offer will be effective with all of your buyer personas, and (b) your one early buying-stage offer will automatically convert leads into clients. If only!
So you need a way to take top-of-sales funnel leads that are in research mode and guide them through to the middle of the sales funnel, where they’re establishing buying criteria. Then finally, there needs to be offers that move the middle of the sales funnel leads through to the bottom of the sales funnel, where they’re evaluating vendors and finally ready to talk with you.
Omit any of these steps, and your technology marketing campaigns are basically limited to those who’ve never heard of a search engine, social network, smartphone, or tablet. Ensure that your company has offers for each ideal buyer persona at each buying cycle stage so your leads and potential clients don’t end up going elsewhere.
(5) Client Retention is an Afterthought
With so much of IT services now dominated by businesses with recurring revenue-centric business models, your company can’t afford to drop the ball with new clients. Purely from a financial standpoint, there’s a good chance that your company doesn’t even break even on client acquisition expenses until new clients have “stuck” for several months.
Even besides those immediate, measurable financial impacts, in the age of social networks, smartphones, and tablets, your most delighted clients can be your most passionate promoters – shouting your company’s virtues from the rooftops. But the flip side is that dissatisfied clients also tell the world at warp speed.
Your company needs to do everything in its power to make sure that clients are proactively and exceptionally delighted. Years ago, siloed companies got away with passing the buck from marketing to sales to customer service. Not anymore! Delighted clients make technology marketers’ jobs easy. Angry, frustrated clients make their jobs a living hell. The choice is yours.
So there you have it: the top 5 technology marketing mistakes that can cause your prospects, leads, and clients to go elsewhere.