Why Marketing Collaboration Technology Demands a Well-Developed Customer Strategy
April 12, 2018
As companies become faster and more nimble, collaboration solutions ensure that employees reach peak productivity. But the rise of mobile, cloud-first, and socially integrated applications in this space is giving rise to smaller vendors who are challenging older players and capturing market share. This in turn makes today’s challenge of retaining and winning over customers that much harder.
Luckily, we’ve spent some time examining what top collaboration solutions providers are doing on LinkedIn to drive leads and engage professional audiences with content. Here are a few key strategies and takeaways to consider if you are a fellow technology marketer in the collaboration space.
Think Beyond the UCC
In such a varied marketplace, there are multiple sectors – all with ample opportunity to succeed, but each with different strategies and focus. For example, traditional on-premise, UCC (Unified Communications and Collaboration) solutions have built established tools for several decades and are now looking to branch out. For them, there is ample opportunity when it comes to innovating and advancing current platform capabilities with new integrations and up-and-coming products.
UCC-as-a-Service is another segment in the collaboration sector that is also facing numerous challenges and opportunities. Most UCCaaS marketers are looking for ways to diversify their solutions and positioning, and they must identify approaches that will aid in establishing long-term, strategic relationships with their customers and prospects in order to distance themselves from competitors. While these solutions can sometimes be seen as ‘add-ons’ by the enterprise entity buyers we mentioned above, employees and business units are ready and waiting for innovative, social solutions.
The new players in the collaboration space may seem as though they’re already set up for success; however, there are still some challenges they must overcome. Marketers of these solutions should leverage traditional campaigns and even guerilla marketing tactics to capture this burgeoning audience.
Selling To Enterprises Vs. Employees
While organizations of all sizes are seeking a one-size-fits-all solution that addresses every issue and nuance that may come up, many traditional solutions just don’t have the innovative social features that many employees desire. Today, the saying “Bring Your Own Software” has taken on real meaning, and vendors and organizations alike are struggling to determine where they should fall between what the overall enterprise and the individual employee desires.
Savvy collaboration marketers can seize this opportunity to bridge the gap between the enterprise and the employee by highlighting innovative API capabilities and integrations with other solutions, as well as cross-functionality to draw in these different groups without alienating any one group. By engaging with both the organization’s IT manager/buyer in addition to the individual employees to gain momentum on both sides of the building, marketers can develop ‘partnerships’ instead of ‘clients’ to make the most of these engagements.
In addition to the growing divide between enterprise and customer solution choices, collaboration marketers are also facing a growing number of market issues today, including:
The growing recognition of collaboration as a core enterprise application
An increased difficulty in defining specific platform features and functionality to varying markets
The fact that end users are often ahead of IT buyers or management when it comes to collaboration tools
A lack of IT knowledge or sophistication when it comes to collaboration systems
The growing number of collaboration technologies and integrations on the horizon
A lack of security and customer protection when it comes to collaboration systems
Leveraging Technology To Drive Marketing Results
Industry expert and CEO of Content 4 IT, Aaron Goldberg, says that when collaboration marketers are looking for new ideas to fuel growth and competition in the marketplace, they must consider these 3 questions:
Who is my customer’s customer?
What is their perspective (tech, service, etc.)?
What are they looking for in a collaboration service?
Collaboration solution marketers can gain a better idea of how customers perceive business drivers by proactively developing content to propel these results forward. Below, we’ll take a look at 4 exemplary ways that collaboration marketers can drive growth and engagement within their complex target markets:
1. Identify Cross-Sell & Upsell Opportunities
Collaboration marketers can take a proactive approach to customer and account based marketing (ABM) by developing solid, efficient cross or upsell opportunities. They can employ native solutions like LinkedIn Sponsored Content and Sponsored Video to identify cross or upsell possibilities and also market new features such as security capabilities or integration functionality to the identified audiences.
2. Develop Interactive Content Plans
When it comes to content, collaboration marketers are often cranking out new resources for various audiences without understanding how the pieces are actually being consumed (or if they’re being consumed at all). Marketers should focus on leveraging detailed research to learn more about overall messaging and content for their particular market and then develop interactive campaigns that include video and social media that corresponds with traditional content methods of reports and case studies.
3. Drive Targeted Communication
With more than one group involved in purchasing collaboration solutions, collaboration marketers must be able to deliver highly curated and targeted communication to different personas, each with their own set of requirements and hot buttons. This means that the same email or social media direct message crafted specifically for a CIO should not be sent as a direct message to another employee at that same company. Marketers should leverage professional networking sites such as LinkedIn to target desired job titles or functions within organizations and then market to each accordingly.
4. Modern Lead Nurturing
Instead of blasting random, one-size-fits-all content at prospects, collaboration marketers should hone in on the exact messaging, content, and tone that each prospect is most likely to respond to and engage with. Collaboration marketers across segments can shape various messages, posts, and long-form content tailored to each and every prospective customer – making lead nurturing a breeze (or at least less of a burden).
Collaboration marketing, as Goldberg put it, “is a giant cage match with everyone in the ring.” With these tricks in hand, marketers can now not only stick out the fight, but also come out on top in the packed arena.
Want to learn more about how collaboration marketers can drive innovation, growth, and change in their organizations? Subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog for more insights to help you outpace the competition in no time.