The New Definition of “Always On” for Tech Marketers
October 21, 2015
Content: it’s more important than ever. We know it. You know it. Your prospective tech buyers know it. And it’s time to embrace it — because content never sleeps. It’s consumed at work and during commutes, over coffee and in between meetings, and on every possible gadget. We’re “always on,” and your content strategy must be too.
As overused as the term may be nowadays, an “always on” approach to content creation and distribution has significant business implications for tech marketers. The purchase path is mobilized by unceasing streams of information and, as LinkedIn’s new research on tech buyers found, the number of key stakeholders involved in buying decisions continues to increase. So, as a tech marketer it’s never been more important to invest in — and optimize — your content engine. But how do you differentiate yourself amongst the noise? How can you fully embrace “always on” in a way that provides utility for both you and your customers? We’ve done the heavy lifting and unpacked key considerations that should drive your approach.
Step 1: “Always On” Means Content for All
It’s no secret that the buying committee is made up of many people across the organization —
you’ve got IT, Engineering, Operations, Project Management, Business Development, Purchasing, Research, and Support Teams to worry about (just to name a few). But did you know that 42% of that large buying committee participates in every stage of the purchase process? That means it’s all hands on deck. So go deep and wide — your messages must appeal to everyone and change as they advance through the buying cycle.
Now, tech decision makers consume your typical marketing content, yes, but they are also looking for so much more. They’re interested in subject matter expertise, educational tools, ways to calculate the total cost of ownership for your product, reviews and opinions from actual users — even details about your company’s business model. And, lest we not forget, decision makers are people too. Oftentimes they’re under intense pressure to make the right choice. The wrong move could negatively impact the business, or even their careers. So, how is your content addressing this very real angst at every point of engagement?
Step 2: Appeal to the Hidden Influencers
These days, 8 out of 10 buyers look outside of the buying committee for answers and opinions. This means that customers won’t just be interacting with you. Or your competitors. Or tech blogs and media sites. They turn to peers, other tech users, their colleagues, thought leaders and even friends and family.
While this can certainly present a challenge for tech marketers, it also awards one big opportunity: winning over the “hidden influencers.” These are key people to get in front of and convince that your product is the right choice — not to mention extra allies outside your target audience who could help influence decision makers.
Step 3: Go Beyond the Sale
The tech marketing process never stops; it’s cyclical, not linear, and there are six stages to activate. Your customer and influencer engagement post-sale will make or break you. Research shows that 80% of tech buyers think it’s very important to receive ongoing content once they’ve made their purchase. This means that beyond your marketing channels, it’s crucial that your sales and support teams are armed and dangerous with content.
And remember, competition in the technology space is fierce — with 75% of buyers short-listing incumbents. Translation: once you’re in, it’s easier to stay in. Are your post-sale team members equipped with the right content to ensure smooth management? They’d better be if you’re aiming for success!
Ultimately, it’s important to be there for your buyers every step of the way. Remember, your content is only as good as the human interaction behind it. Are your social channels responsive? Have your sales and support teams been engaging and supporting your buyer every step of the way? Delivering the right support (not just the right content) at the right time will catalyze the feedback loop and ensure that your buyers pick you when it comes time to purchase.
Revisit your customer strategy and better align your targeting and content to today’s tech buyer needs. Download our new eBook, Beneath the Surface: Taking a Deeper Look at Today’s Empowered Tech Process, to get in-depth into our 2015 global tech buyer study.