Studies have shown that half of all ventures fail within five years for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the product they’re selling. Usually the cause is tied to a lack of operational funding, including the marketing budget. Yet shoveling cash into marketing is no guarantee of success. Poorly planned or executed marketing efforts can cut through your budget faster than Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster left Earth.
With all the marketing choices available today, it’s easy for tech businesses (and especially start-ups) to burn through their marketing budgets in no time. Off-target digital and social media ads and out-of-control placement algorithms have all contributed to the failure of seemingly sound campaigns.
Marketing your tech business or product doesn’t have to drain your budget. It shouldn’t drain your time either–if you follow a few basic rules.
The Elements of a Cost-effective Tech Marketing Strategy
Here are the key elements of a tech marketing strategy that won’t drain your resources:
1. Have a plan. That sounds simpler than it is, but a real marketing plan should be a fully developed, detailed strategy for how you’re going to find and convert your customers. Soldiers don’t go into battle without a plan, and neither should a tech business looking to grow its customer base. Diving in with emails, AdWords, etc. without thinking about the audience you’re aiming for or what benchmarks will constitute success is a sure way to waste time and money. Spend some time developing a plan. It should have clear goals, deadlines, tactics and ways to periodically measure how the plan is working.
2. Know your audience. Again, not as simple as it sounds. You need a clear sense of which people in your target market will be interested in your product, otherwise many of your marketing efforts will be wasted on people or businesses that will never become customers. One way to do this is to develop buyer personas–a profile of a typical buyer or user of your product based on available data. Which businesses really need your product or service? Are you cultivating new customers or trying to woo them from your competitor? Does it make sense to market to the entire universe of potential customers or a smaller niche audience? Which content- or ad-enabled platforms do your customers use? Once you have your buyer personas figured out, you’ll know where to target the bulk of your marketing efforts.
3. Time really is on your side. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not giving a marketing plan enough time to work. They pull the plug after only a few weeks or months because they’re not seeing results. If you’re a new business just starting out or trying to break into an established field, you’re going to need some runway before your business takes off–your plan and budget should account for that.
4. Repurpose content. Content marketing via blogs, e-books, infographics, webinars and podcasts is an effective way to reach your target audience. But that doesn’t mean grinding out new content day after day or week after week. An e-book, white paper or infographic can be repurposed into a blog or social media post without having to reinvent the wheel every time. This saves time and money.
5. Automate. So much of what you want to do in your tech marketing can be done with free or low-cost automated marketing tools (like HubSpot). Tools like these gather leads and prospect data, provide analytics, etc., and free you to run your business while they work.
6. Measure, measure, measure–and adapt. The beauty of online tech marketing is the plethora of handy tools that analyze exactly who shows interest in your products, how they came to your landing page, how long they spend on your site and which ones converted to a sale. With all that data, you can easily make adjustments to better target your marketing efforts for likely customers.
Interested in discovering more ways to generate better returns from your marketing? Download: “Why ‘One and Done’ Should Never Be Your Approach to Content” and start building gains from your best marketing materials.