The simple truth is that companies that sell technology to businesses have widely different marketing needs than other industries. Not sure if you believe this? Try explaining how groups make buying decisions in businesses to a B2C agency or what the term “hyperconverged” means to an agency that specializes in B2B marketing for a wide number of industries. Just as you wouldn’t trust a general practitioner to perform heart surgery, you shouldn’t hire a generalist to do the job of a specialist when you need agency support for your tech company. Besides the obvious reasons, here are 5 important differences about B2B tech that marketers should consider when hiring an agency.
Tech Buying Decisions are Made in Large Groups
Between 2017 and 2019, the tech buying committee grew from a total 16 individuals across both the tech and line of business functions to 21 individuals.1 The people in these groups have very different filters on what is important to them, requiring marketers to find ways to appeal to all of their unique requirements. In addition to acclimating to the needs of these buying committees, 30-40% of IT spending in large enterprises2 is from line of business buyers that purchase tools, applications and platforms, without the approval and knowledge of the IT department – often called “shadow IT”. Understanding how to communicate with these different stakeholders can make the difference between winning the committee vote to move forward and losing deals because some stakeholders didn’t understand why your solution was valuable to them.
Differentiation Among Competitors is More Difficult
With buyers spending 68% of their journey digitally before speaking with a salesperson (direct or partner) and 71% of them reaching vendor selection after a digital-only journey, articulating your value has become mission critical.3 It can be incredibly difficult to stand out when the nuances between your solution and your competitors are difficult to articulate. Creating differentiating messages and delivering them when and where your decision makers are looking for answers is paramount for the technology market because nuances matter and self-educating tech buyers are continually evaluating solutions.
Go-To-Market Models are Different in Tech
Besides selling direct to customers, B2B tech companies sell through indirect channels that are unique to the industry. Cultivating a consistent message, brand, lead generation effort and sales support across suppliers, OEMs, VARs, resellers and affiliates requires coordination, expertise, and a deep understanding of what motivates each part of the technology ecosystem. With about 70% of the typical high tech company’s revenue coming from the indirect channel4 and partners considering hundreds of technology brands to provide for their customers, your agency needs to help you stand out among your competitors to keep partners engaged in selling your solutions.
Lead Generation is the Fuel that Runs Tech Companies
IT decision-makers (ITDMs) use an average of eight to nine information sources at the beginning of the purchase process. As they narrow down the short list and get ready to authorize a sale, ITDMs are using four to five sources.5 Producing content that helps educate and guide buyers is one of marketing’s most important roles for technology companies – but creating content that buyers actually want to consume is incredibly challenging. You can spend a tremendous amount of time and money experimenting with different types of content to understand what resonates. A proven B2B Tech agency will know when and where your IT buyers go for information and the formats they are likely to engage with.
Tech has Different Marketing Disciplines – with Underserved Needs
Corporate marketing is a centralized department within mid to large tech organizations that tends to focus solely on the company brand. But often forgotten within tech companies are the needs of the other marketing professionals within the company. Divisional marketing leaders that define and execute marketing plans. Alliance marketers that align multiple brands. Channel marketers that attract new partners, enable their success and accelerate their sales efforts. Field marketers that deliver campaigns and sales tools for regional sales efforts. Product marketers that launch or relaunch products, generate awareness and enable your sales team. An experienced B2B tech agency understands the goals of these different marketers and can fill the gaps left between what these marketing leaders need to be successful in their roles and what corporate marketing has the experience and/or bandwidth to support.
Ready to Talk Strategy?
Yeager Marketing has worked with more than ½ of the technology companies in the Fortune 500 to produce award-winning marketing programs that make an impact. From now until the end of the year, we are offering free marketing program strategy development for companies looking to make their mark in 2021. Contact us and let us help you ideate a program that will make a difference for your B2B tech company.