Technology companies, whether OEMs, solution providers or CSPs, have the need to identify and understand their technology buyer, know what solutions may match their needs, and know where their buyers go to find solutions like yours. Often times this takes the form of identifying the given solution to be promoted, selecting a geography, pulling a list of target prospects and setting about to building awareness into this prospect audience across email, calling, social media and other channels. Sound familiar? This basic strategy is the framework of many IT marketing practices. If taken at face value, however this process falls short of a few key strategic steps that help maximize a strategic, multi-channel approach.
1. Understand Buyer Behaviors for Your Solutions
Defining who the ideal buyer is for your products and solutions is a necessity. As an agency serving the technology sector, Lauchlan is frequently asked to target C-level decision makers. The plan is to go straight to those at the top of the organization with purchasing authority. However, marketing research, and our own agency experience have demonstrated that there are typically many levels of input, research, competitive and product analysis taking place at within the organization that aid in contributing to a given IT solution being selected. Because of this, marketing programs singularly directed at c-level decision-makers oftentimes disappoint marketers in the results they seek.
By understanding the full range of influencers; from interns, to administrators, IT managers, to procurement teams and c-level financial decision-makers this will allow for implementation of the more successful strategy of developing tiered, targeted communications to various buyer personas within the organization.
2. Develop a Multi-Level Communications Strategy
With a clear understanding of the solution(s) you wish to target and a list that reflects the internal, decision-making stack within an organization – crafting the appropriate materials to each ‘tier’ of influencer and stakeholder is key.
One approach to do this is to deliver a range of communications that provide research-based analysis on your solutions to those involved in the solutions-identification process such as administrators and engineers, end-users. Informative videos, webinars, data sheets and focused white-papers to IT managers and directors that provide the depth of knowledge on your solutions that is needed to formulate an informed recommendation. Case studies, at-a-glance statistically-driven infographics and personalized invitations to connect are ideal for c-level decision-makers short on time and are looking for validation on your solutions and solutions. Making sure your communications deliver relevant, IT-buyer-first content designed to help educate vs pushing a ‘me-first’ hard-hitting sales message (in other words more of an inbound approach) helps adhere IT buyers to your brand for the long term.
3. Execute Across Multiple Channels
With the knowledge that your intended recipients use multiple platforms (from social, to email, to online media) and devices (from desktops, to tablets, to smartphones) to access your content, implementing a multi-channel reach strategy will allow you to reach your audiences using the medium and device that is most relevant to them. Structuring your outreach strategy to open doors and build awareness with emails, social connects, and thought-leadership articles in the early stages, then moving into more in-depth user-based selection of deeper content assets, and following with direct, personalized outreach allows for a natural identification flow of possible leads. Seeing who is engaging with your marketing efforts and effectively tracking them throughout your outreach cycles closes the gap between ‘cold’ efforts and more strategic, effective lead progression.
With multiple channels in play, carefully measuring the results of your multi-channel approach is critical to noting which methods of outreach are working best with your audiences.
Solve for Effective Multi-Channel Marketing
Lauchlan works across the IT channel to develop and deploy highly effective, integrated, closed-loop multi-channel marketing for IT solution providers. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you reach your desired audiences and tell your unique story.
Kathleen Lauchlan is Co-Founder and CEO of Lauchlan. You can email Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.