There is something different about the marketing of technology
Here we are in the digital age. The world’s most valuable company sells a device that gives us the wealth of the web anywhere we carry it. The rate of innovation adoption in digital technology is increasing year by year. There is a seemingly endless appetite from consumers to increase public and private information sharing and gathering.
Here you are with your new product. As an enterprise product marketing manager, trying to buy your way to mainstream attention, or catch that one visionary geek in your target enterprise audience. Pushing your new beta through the narrow channel of internal marketing departments and complicated string of partner channels. Or as a start-up founder, struggling to understand whether you should find a customer or an investor first and whether or not to get into an accelerator or incubator.
Mostly, you’re working on a marketing strategy and need a creative way to market your technology, using the latest innovations in marketing technology.
For multinational technology firms, marketing their product usually starts years before customers get their hands on it. That is, if they ever will.
Most people don’t realize what ecosystem of suppliers, partners and channels are necessary to get a new technology to market. Whether a brand owns most of the downstream logistics (such as Apple Inc.) or whether they use a 500,000+ partner ecosystem (such as Microsoft), all of them deal with the complexities of technology marketing. Not only do they need to be adjusted to the dynamism of mass product recalls, they also need to be flexible enough to handle viral product success. Not only do they need to test beta versions of their product in as many scenarios as possible, they also need to support the products for longer lifetimes than most durable consumer goods are ever expected to live. Not only do they need to get their entire multinational sales teams onboarded with the new marketing messages, they also need ask their partner channel to adopt their software, hardware or solutions to the “next generation technology” they are asking them to integrate and sell.
In working through all these requirements, many products fail to meet the bar and consequently never see the light of day. Mostly that’s a good thing, preventing an embarrassing flop. Sometimes you’d want them to get a little more sunlight before they wither and die for lack of attention.
Only few understand those aspects of marketing IT technology that truly matter. It is only through this knowledge that customers succesfully execute their campaigns and programs. First, through their internal communication channels; and second, to their external marketing channels.
As a start-up in digital technology, your biggest challenge is to get from idea to innovation to adoption. As you know, entrepreneurial success requires more than creative thought and inspiring vision. It’s not the size of your idea, but the speed and quality with which you can get it out there that counts. You’re motivated by quotes like “Done is better than perfect” and “Real artists ship”.
Building the proof of concept may require seed capital. Getting attention may require investments in media or pilots with the first prospect customers. And then what if you go viral? Even when you engineered your technology around scalability, did you design your business operating model accordingly?
Does the digital capital world of Silicon Valley look complex to you?
… and have you figured out this roadmap for the European market yet? Or would you rather prefer crowdfunding or other alternative funding models? Which incubator or accelerator should you pitch to, and what’s the difference anyway? Should I spend next week developing product or joining the innovation competition and network meetup?
Those that found the perfect answer to all these questions have disrupted entire industries, so it’s probably a good thing that there are only a few of those. But getting most of these things right simply requires working with the right team.