Marketing technology may be evolving, but the marketing of that martech is not.
There are tens of thousands marketing technology companies operating today, give or take a few. If you spend enough time researching, a few commonalities emerge. The majority of these businesses present themselves the same way, using the same language, while employing the same tactics.
Unfortunately, this “same” way can create an intimidating, frustratingly complex monolith of keywords and jargon. Marketers with limited budgets and real deadlines have to make decisions that could be the difference between rising in their companies and putting their jobs in jeopardy. And they want to believe they are buying the right technology.
Here are five ways marketing technology companies can better market their brand and services, and elevate their company above the ever expanding pack of martech competitors.
Abandon the superlatives
Pick any ten marketing technology vendors in a particular technology sector. Go to their sites. Chances are, more among them will claim they are “number one,” “the first,” or “the best” in that sector than not.
Marketer’s aren’t alone in this transgression. Consumer products are often over promised in their promotion. Even beyond business, everyone has read a piece of professional advice suggesting a fake-it-till-you-make-it approach. But this is not a suitable strategy for a company peddling tens of thousands of dollars worth of marketing technology.
Not only are such superlative claims as “best in class” easily verifiable, but when these phrases are as ubiquitous as they are today, they lose their value. Martech brands would do much better by clearly and succinctly stating their business.
Categorize your services
Far too many marketing technology vendors do a poor job of describing exactly what it is their business does. Many will claim they are the “leading business in helping marketers procure and store omnichannel customer data” instead of simply saying they are a CRM solution.
Not only is this annoying as a marketing journalist covering these technology companies, but it’s also terrible SEO practice for the offending businesses. Marketers are, ostensibly, far more likely to search terms like CRM or predictive analytics, and not the flowery superlative language that — while it may effectively convey the concept behind CRM — obfuscates the keyword itself.
Speak through clients
While the giants of martech — the Adobes, Oracles, and Salesforces of the world — have enough name recognition to market against their brand, the vast majority of martech companies do not share the same luxury. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t use other brands to the same end.
Many martech vendors feature their clients logos on their websites. But a shiny list of companies is not enough, potential clients want to know the challenges and opportunities these clients faced and how the vendor helped. One case study is worth a list of Fortune 500 companies.
Market against content
Anyone familiar with SEO – or any search based marketing – is probably familiar with Moz because it consistently puts out extremely diverse and informative content around search. Between its YouTube videos and its prolific Beginner’s Guide to SEO, Moz is one of the best sources of free search and SEO education on the web.
More often than not, marketing technology companies operate in similarly misunderstood areas of expertise. Content marketing is a strong option for most businesses today, but for specialty vendors like those in martech, having great content is probably the most efficient way to corner the market.
Be more innovative
The world of marketing technology is only getting more crowded, so it’s no surprise that many of the vendors in the space market their services aggressively. Aggressive can be good. It’s the lack of subtlety and variation that can render many B2B marketing tactics ineffective.
Instead of publishing a white paper, perhaps invest in a small team of freelance writers and editors to editorialize the insights gleaned from your company’s commissioned research. Rather than running a traditional display ad campaign, consider bolstering native ad efforts with key publishers your customers read. It’s perfectly sensible to email your base to death, but maybe experiment with new customer acquisition techniques, and even segments. Maybe a topical piece of video on how your company’s technology helps supplement big B2C brands.
B2B marketers have long struggled with the stigma of being boring. Buck the trend. Give people — not customers, people — a reason to remember your company’s name.