9 Challenges every tech marketer must overcome
Summary – Check out our list of key challenges every tech marketer must overcome and find ways to engage your target audience more effectively in this article.
Tech marketing is an often fun and fast-paced role, but it’s not without its challenges. Marketers need to maintain a deep working knowledge of their product and other core industry topics to be able to effectively drive brand awareness and generate leads. However, there are many other tricky (yet rewarding!) challenges to contend with.
Whether you’re new to being a tech marketer or you’re a seasoned veteran, we’re looking at some of the most common challenges within digital marketing for tech companies – including typical pitfalls and how to overcome them – so you can build stronger campaigns that drive value for your brand. Read on to learn more and discover ways to get ahead of the most common problems in your industry.
The unique challenges of being a tech marketer
In all likelihood, collaborating with subject matter experts, like software engineers and data scientists, is probably the key difference between tech marketing and other marketing roles you’ve had in the past.
Advertising and marketing is a highly varied industry, and almost every organisation these days will have some sort of communications department. But, as a niche in the industry, tech marketing is uniquely different, since tech marketers need to translate expert insights into relevant content, which can be a highly demanding task.
As a result, tech marketers need to maintain a deep product knowledge to be able to build out initial ideas into fully-fledged pieces of content that accurately explains the USP of their product or service.
This problem – understanding the technical side of tech marketing – is most acute for new tech marketers. But, as with everything, it gets easier with time, as you’ll have colleagues around you who can help explain the value and functionality of your company’s product or service. What’s more, as you learn about one topic (e.g. APIs or AI) it can help you understand other areas of tech, like Open Banking or cybersecurity.
There are two conflicting interests at play while planning and creating content. On one hand, your content needs to be accessible enough for non-experts like C-suite executives to understand and enjoy it. At the same time, it also needs to be capable of withstanding scrutiny from experts in the topic it covers, like software, law, analytics or finance.
By sacrificing the technical accuracy of your content and omitting key details, you risk damaging your brand’s credibility – a costly mistake that’s difficult to recover from. Yet, overcorrecting and focusing solely on technical accuracy can result in dry, unappealing content that fails to generate any engagement and brand interest.
Interestingly, this balancing act is something that even seasoned tech marketers struggle with, especially as new technologies emerge and audiences don’t yet understand their workings. So, tech marketers must be careful while planning and creating their campaigns at all times.
Data-driven marketing campaigns are a vital part of any successful brand’s growth. Simple analytics solutions, like site traffic data, social media dashboards and email marketing reports, allow you to identify which ideas resonate well with your audience and replicate these successes in later campaigns. In time, you can reliably get your message in front of readers and listeners who are most receptive to it.
However, utilising these data effectively long-term can be challenging. Consumer behaviour is constantly in flux, and the popularity of different content platforms and mediums rise and fall over time. So, tech marketers need to remain vigilant and build an agile content marketing mix that can shift with your target audience’s content preferences. For example, data from the CMI shows investments in video content and events marketing are on the rise this year, but will the same be true next year?
Ironically, another pressing challenge within digital marketing for tech companies concerns how they use and collect such data. Recent changes to data privacy legislation has meant collecting consumer data has become more difficult and marketers can no longer rely on third-party data sources to refine their digital strategy. This means that responsible data governance and compliance are now an essential part of any digital marketing campaign.
This is doubly challenging for regulated industries, like finance companies. For example, advertising legislation demands that claims must always be accurate and validated, which means sometimes dampening the language down across your campaign despite it making the content less compelling.
That being said, tech marketers can still use internal data their firm already holds to target users and derive insights, as well as platform best practices to optimise their campaign impact.
Measuring the return on investment across your marketing activity can be complicated, since ‘brand awareness’ isn’t as tangible as lead generation and conversion rates. The former appears as everything from comments and likes, to survey results on brand recall, while the latter shows up easily in the bottom line. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear how this conversion takes place.
While revenue may be the ultimate goal of the advertising funnel, top-of-the-funnel marketing activity that generates interest and brand engagement is a vital first step. This means that tech markets need to manage a broad range of campaigns in parallel that work towards a variety of goals and generate equally varied data.
As the tech market faces a downturn, advertising professionals are facing more scrutiny, so honing in on reliable campaign tools that drive lead generation and generate brand Awareness through thought leadership is now essential.
In a content-rich world, brands must be wary of excessive creation – which can lead to content getting lost in the background noise – and focus instead on quality content curation. A quick survey of activity across the internet shows why:
- In June 2022, more than 500 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute.
- 2.7 million companies post on LinkedIn every day.
- Instagram has around 95 million posts per day on average.
Not only are these statistics from a small cross-section of available platforms, they also only cover content that users are exposed to – consumers will see an excessive number of advertisements on top of this.
Such excess fatigue consumes and can even damage trust in brands. Already, studies have shown that trust in advertising has fallen over the last few decades, with 70% of Britons lacking confidence in what they see on social platforms, including posts from brands. That’s why tech markets must focus on creating highly effective, customer-centric content that offers valuable insights and solutions, rather than sharing low-effort content that breeds low engagement.
While it can be tempting to focus purely on lead generation and revenue growth, opening with a hard sell can quickly deter your target audience from consuming the rest of your content. After all, business audiences are looking for solutions, like lowering their expenditure or operating more efficiently, rather than any particular product or service. Content that lacks any nuance or explanation to give readers confidence in your USP won’t convert and will quickly be ignored.
Instead, by being mindful of your audience’s pain points and offering value through insights, you can explain how your product/service can meet their needs. When customers are ready to learn more, they can reach out to your sales team for more details, making the conversion process all the easier. We go into more detail on this balancing act that tech marketers face in our dedicated article Less Robotic, More Human: A Guide to Tech Marketing.
A well-established and efficient content engine can be a key growth driver for brands. By creating end-to-end processes to generate, repurpose and drip-feed content, marketers can extract maximum value from campaign materials and sustain interest in their brand over long periods.
Of course, building a content engine – never mind scaling one – requires careful management. Marketers must identify specific channels to distribute content from as well as experiment with how they format content ideas and segment them. Unfortunately, this can generate extra complexity in campaigns, meaning that already time-poor and resource-thin marketers must invest more time in the early stages.
Thankfully, AI-enabled tools can hasten this process. Whether tech marketers need to write copy, edit video, generate graphics or review campaign performance, AI tools can help. Research suggests that keen adopters of tech investments like machine learning can generate at least 15% more revenue and EBIT than their competitors thanks to added productivity gains.
Finally, collaborating with external advertising agencies can create problems if marketers don’t vet potential partners to find the most qualified candidates. Tech markets need to find advertising partners who share audiences’ passion for tech and are able to understand the USP of their product or service, while also navigating each of the challenges we outline above.
Given the broad range of these challenges – translating complex topics and making them accessible, leveraging consumer data effectively while remaining compliant, and so on – means identifying the right partner(s) is no small task.
That’s why it’s advisable to work with advertising agencies with a strong focus on the tech sector alone and a proven track record of delivering success. Examples include working with tech news publications that can create and distribute content to their established readership and agencies with direct experience in the tech industry.
Become the tech marketer that dominates 2023 and beyond
Being a tech marketer demands a range of skills and competencies. Over the long term, tech markers need to carefully establish a content engine, complete with ideas and processes to engage and educate audiences, while also drawing on engagement feedback to guide their future strategy. At the same time, tech marketers must accurately measure campaign performance to satisfy stakeholders and navigate the specific advertising limits placed on their industry.
By collaborating with subject matter experts, building a working knowledge of key industry concepts, learning from past mistakes and working with reliable advertising partners, tech marketers can find ways to build brand awareness through thought leadership and effectively generate leads.
We offer Lead Generation and Sponsorship packages to up-and-coming brands through a variety of flexible advertising packages. We can support the entire content creation process and provide everything from standard MQLs, SQL, and HQLs via advertising banners, sponsored email, interviews, articles, and more.
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