Finding common ground - 3 key elements for a successful marketing and procurement partnership.
Guides & Inspiration • 3min read
Guides & Inspiration • Written by Christie Poulos, Client Director
There’s an old joke about two guys who come across a hungry lion. One immediately stops to put on his running shoes. The other exclaims “How are you going to outrun a lion?”. His newly shod mate tells him, “I don’t have to. I just have to outrun you.”
It feels appropriate to tell this joke as we’re operating in a time when technology brands must keep up with an all time high rate of change. Devices, software and platforms are rapidly evolving to meet new consumer needs, and product innovation is non-negotiable.
But technology marketers must also outrun competitors, finding new ways to offer experiences to customers. And so, here are a few thoughts around how clever tech marketers will adapt to thrive.
2020 looks completely different to previous years, as circumstance drives new customer behaviour and an e-commerce boom.
So if you’re still using the same channel mix you did this time last year, that may be lion breath you can feel on your heels.
Of course, a smart marketer like you, you’ve probably downgraded Out-of-Home spend and upped your digital. Perhaps TV is suddenly within reach due to changing media investment? Or you’re dipping your toes into new technology to offer deeper, richer, virtual experiences?
In fact, it’s not really a surprise that it’s only digital media channels which have shown any growth during the pandemic.
Have you taken a good look at your content mix lately? If you’ve changed your channels, you’re going to need to adjust the types of content you’re creating to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward on these channels. I don’t need to tell you that video is continuing to explode, driven by mobile devices, consumption behaviours and data freedom.
"93% of businesses gain new customers as a direct result of posting branded video content to social media platforms"
Meanwhile, the tech customer journey is lengthening, as customers (both consumer and B2B) are taking more time to make decisions about big ticket purchases due to economic pressures.
Research and comparison have always been important steps in the technology path to purchase as buyers look for the perfect solution in a crowded market, meanwhile they’re increasingly cautious about making poor decisions.
A longer journey, means your brand is going to need a bigger suitcase, packed full of interesting, engaging and helpful content, and an extra pair of underpants.
Content will have a role to play at each stage of the buyer journey: grabbing attention, creating brand experiences, driving consideration, purchase, and of course, turning customers into loyal advocates.
With so many hats to wear, your content needs to engage with unique, emotive storytelling to stand out from the crowd, whilst it offers customers all the help they need to understand your product, compare features and of course, buy. This fun content from smart-home tech brand Plume, strikes the perfect balance between playful awareness content and informative video which explains the product features.
Plume brand video.
Customer testimonial content will also be more important than ever, as people seek to mitigate risk when they buy. Tech giant HP has doubled down on customer stories for their B2B audience, working with Genero to establish a global production program for an on-going series of engaging, consistent customer testimonial videos.
If you’re trying to outrun a lion, the last thing you need is a slow, outdated process dragging you down. Clever tech marketers will be finding news ways to plan, create and produce content for any and every channel, fast and cost-effectively.
Fitbit partner with Genero to quickly create content for global markets – a process which historically has often been a roadblock for global brands to get their products out quickly (unacceptable in these fast moving times). Below is an example of a US campaign, localised through Genero for the Japanese market quickly and efficiently.
Original USA ad
For some, adopting a hybrid in-house-outsource model is helping them achieve this scale. Building internal teams with strategic, creative and/or production ability to respond to product and market changes and make faster decisions.
Combining these resources with partners like Genero which offer diversity, scale and efficient production practices mean that these teams can stay closer to the creative and platform partners, jump on new opportunities, experiment more and pull ahead of the pack.
Whilst we’re taking longer than ever to make big-ticket tech purchases, we’re also expecting to be able to buy anywhere, anytime, on our own terms. And ‘collapsing the funnel’ is the holy grail for most marketers.
Tech brands must be ready with the right product and price information, in an easy to shop format, wherever and whenever their customers are ready to buy.
If you’re selling tech devices or software to a consumer audience – social channels are already likely to be a big part of your brand and increasingly performance campaigns. The social giants are working hard to ship new innovative advertising products which allow customers to shop from within, or extremely close to, the ad unit.
Facebook and Instagram are making it easy for large and small businesses to connect their ads with inventory, through Collections ads, Instant Experiences and click to buy visual ads. A purchase is just a swipe or tap away for audiences who are loath to leave the platform. Pinterest makes it possible to conduct a visual search to find and buy products directly from advertisers with their Pinterest LENS tool and advertisers can now run ads alongside results.
Not to be left out, business buyers expect tech products and software solutions will be easy to learn about and buy, no matter their contact with the sales team. B2B tech vendors are seeing a drop in direct sales, as e-commerce transforms their industries.
Savvy tech marketers will look for unique integrations into these environments to reduce friction for customers and stand out from the competition. They will also be taking a look at the creative they’re running in these units, as they’ll need to work a lot harder to take potential buyers from Awareness to Conversion in seconds.
As bricks and mortar retail and IRL activations are battered by COVID19 – smart tech marketers are finding innovative new ways to reach their buyers with interactive and immersive experiences.
This year Apple, long famous for its splashy keynote launch events, created an hour long live streamed ‘Special Event’ to consumers the world over, to launch its latest devices.
And for its 2020 Fall Launch, Fitbit offered consumers a virtual showroom, on a tropical island (why not?) where they can learn more about the products through content and virtual (shoppable) displays.
The major platforms are also rushing to release new features to support customer experiences and drive sales. Amazon has introduced new AR shopping features which helps customers virtually style their home.
Google has globally rolled out it’s Swirl ad format, allowing consumers to engage with 3D models of products, from within a banner ad.
Tech marketers are well versed in driving demand with well-timed offers and discounts to spark action amongst buyers who are delaying a big-ticket purchase.
Calendar shopping events like Singles Day, Cyber Monday, Black Friday etc. are known triggers for big ticket online shopping. In this new consumer environment where buyers may need additional encouragement, brands are even creating their own sales moments like Dyson creating ‘Dyson Week’ to encourage spending and create buzz.
How can you create a moment to queue for in the virtual world?
Can we help you outrun the lion and create effective content for new channels and experiences? Our creative tech platform can connect you with a global network of strategic and executional creatives to help you create faster, better, cheaper content for any channel, any audience, anywhere. Get in touch for a demo today.
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