Marketing as we know it has changed dramatically over the last ten, even five years. Many new tools have emerged – most right at your fingertips. And yet…from what we’ve seen…most TECH companies have ignored these trends and continue to plod along with their traditional, increasingly less effective, old-school marketing methods. We explore the most powerful of these new tools – content marketing – and give you some insight into how you can take advantage of it to drive your results.
See more on content marketing – the hottest marketing trend you’re not using…
Having been involved in TECH marketing for a few decades,we have become used to change. Most of these changes are tactical…new media with which to advertise, new theories about approaches to branding…or new trends in styling for messaging. But over the last decade, we’ve seen the HUGE fundamental shift in marketing – not a subtle course correction – but a complete 180° change in direction! If you haven’t updated your approach…you’re headed in the wrong direction.
Let’s start by reviewing the historical approach to traditional marketing – the form of marketing that most TECH companies continue to devote most of their marketing resources to. Up until recently, traditional marketing was really Interruption Marketing. Interruption marketing is where the target customer has his content interrupted for an advertising message. For example, when watching a favorite talk show, the host will suddenly say: “We’re going to take a short break for this message from our sponsor.” Then an advertising message or two (or three or four) runs. Hopefully, the audience will watch these messages, relate to them, and buy the featured products.
Or perhaps the target customer is intensely reading a crucial article in their favorite magazine…they are devouring this content and then they turn the page…and BAM there is a full page advertisement right in the middle of the content. The advertiser hopes they’ll stop, read the message, and buy the featured product.
You get the picture…with traditional Interruption Marketing, the advertisement or marketing message interrupts the content to deliver a sales message to the customer, or prospective customer. This interruption technique has been used for years and was generally effective.
How customers prefer to receive messages…has changed…
But…times have changed. We live in a 24/7 networked and interconnected world. Everyone has a smartphone and the way we interact with content and messaging has changed…dramatically changed. Today’s customer is comfortable accessing digital content and has new attitudes about how he/she wants to receive information. For example, unwanted sales emails – an unfortunate staple of many TECH companies – are SPAM…and very bad.
Consumers and B-to-B customers want to do their own research…and they’re comfortable accessing the Web either via their smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers to do so. What customers prefer now is on-demand content. And it’s the smart marketer that delivers it!
Content marketing inverts the process…
Enter Content Marketing. Content marketing completely inverts the marketing process. Instead of a traditional marketing process of firing messages at places where you think your customer or prospect might be – and interrupting his/her content consumption to deliver an advertising message that they may – or may not – be interested in…you turn that around. With Content Marketing you publish valuable content – NOT advertising – that is meaningful to your customer/prospect. Then you “share” the availability of this content through various methods (email, website, social media, etc.) letting the world know that this valuable content exists.
It’s kind of like the movie Field of Dreams…you know, “If you build it, they will come.” And it works. The customer/prospect has control of the process. If they are truly interested, which if you’ve done your homework they will be, then they click the link to access the information. Now you’ve drawn them to your website – an interested customer…who values your content. The sales process has started off on the right foot.
Content Marketing has revolutionized the marketing of all products – and TECH companies should take note. Because we’ve seen a lot of cutting edge technology companies…communicate to the market via really old school marketing methods. It’s time to be as innovative with your marketing…as you are with your technology products!