Contemplations on why marketing goes awry…
In the last few months I slowly realised the way technical companies (tech, software, engineering and scientific) companies are doing their marketing is falling short of their expectations. Sales and marketing executives for tech companies are doing what they always did and suddenly they are not seeing the returns they used to.
The problem as I see it is that:
- People are bombarded daily with millions of messages about products and specifications and your message is not getting through the noise.
- Doing marketing “the old way” is just not good enough anymore.
- Only the rare company that breaks through the noise can get good returns on marketing spend.
Companies mostly use one of two extreme routes with appointing marketing companies or internal marketing staff:
- They either use somebody technical who has vast product knowledge, but limited marketing knowledge in an effort to overcome the buyer’s resistance to change by stating facts and advantages of the product, or
- They appoint seasoned marketing professionals that can sell ice to Eskimos, but have no technical background to understand the product they are marketing.
Now what happens internally in the above two scenarios:
1) The technical guru approach often fails due to:
- The fact is that a lot of users of technical products struggle to compare specs.
- They expect companies to say their own products are the best and thus the message is not taken seriously.
- Buying a product (even in B2B technical sales) is often a “heart” decision and not only a technical facts based “head” decision.
- It is easy for technical people to just focus on the features they think are the best selling features of a product and ignore the questions the customer actually has.
2) The marketing guru approach often fails due to:
- Not completely understanding the product.
- The marketing professional often seems “removed” from the company, product and history of both.
- Customers often pick up when they are “being sold to”.
- Just focusing on the marketing and sales side does not give the necessary feedback to improve the actual product.
- Being solely focused on sales and marketing and not having in depth product knowledge often leads to over promising just to close a sale.
What is the solution? Well in short I strongly believe in appointing a marketing staff with a strong interest in your product and company. This also goes for appointing a marketing agency. Make sure the agency as well as the personal responsible for you account has a passion for your product.