21 Apr 2021 Strategy

5 marketing mistakes you’re probably making with your technology business

Technology is where it’s at right now. Where would we have been throughout the pandemic without the technologies that have kept us safe, in contact and entertained? 

That also means that the technology sector has become increasingly competitive, with businesses fighting to be noticed among the crowd. There is no cookie-cutter approach when it comes to marketing, but we have noticed some common mistakes being made by technology companies. 

The thing is, we all make mistakes. In fact, trial and error is a key part of marketing. If you didn’t do anything wrong, how would you know when you’re getting it right? What opportunities do you have to learn from? 

You’re using too much jargon 

The overuse of jargon is an issue in most industries, but the technology sector is particularly guilty of this. There are so many technical terms that are used behind the scenes that sometimes we forget to simplify what we’re saying to our audience.  

Nine times out of 10, your target audience doesn’t care about the technical stuff, they just want to know what your product or service can do for them.  

For example, instead of saying “we use python to create a single sign on platform”, you could say “our easy-to-use tool allows you plan lessons, grade assignments and fill our reports all in one place”.  

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While you may want to shout out how you got to where you are, focus on keeping things simple to understand.  

It takes approximately 50 milliseconds for a user to decide whether to stay on your website or go elsewhere so, if you don’t make your information easy to absorb, they’ll find someone else who does.  

You don’t understand how your customers use your technology 

The biggest problem here is that often, people THINK they know what their users do. You create a piece of technology with all these fabulous features and develop your product around what you’ve been told your audience needs, so that’s what they’re using it for, right? Wrong. Well, sometimes anyway.  

This fantastic article by Business Insider lists some of the most famous inventions that are used for things other than what they were designed for. Here are some notable mentions: 

  • Listerine (the mouth wash) was originally marketed as a floor cleaner 
  • 7UP was mood-stabiliser for bipolar disorder sufferers 
  • Frisbees (originally Frisbie) were pie dishes 

Even what is arguably the most famous technological invention, the internet, had a slightly different use when it was created. That’s right, it wasn’t designed for scrolling social media or ordering the latest fashion trends. One of the earliest iterations of the internet was invented in the 1960s in the USA, to provide communication between world leaders if the USSR destroyed telephone lines.  

The point we’re trying to make is that sometimes your technology can take on a life of its own and that’s not a bad thing. The key is to make sure you know what your customers are using your technology for, so that you can adapt and innovate in a way that meets their needs.  

You’re not segmenting and targeting your audience 

Not all audiences are created equal.  

Look at it this way. Imagine you’ve created an educational platform (a super relevant tool over the last few months) which can be accessed by teachers, students and parents. You need the teachers to invest in the software but you also need the parents and students to engage. If you send them all an email about the ability for education providers to alter the way their platform looks, you could alienate the other two audiences. 

Depending on your product/services, there are a number of ways you could segment your audience: 

  • Geographical – their physical location 
  • Demographic – such as their age, gender, job title 
  • Behavioural – eg people who have viewed certain website pages or filled in a form 
  • Psychographic – personality traits and values 

Once you’ve segmented your audience into groups, you can target them with specific messages for their segment. Using the educational platform example: 

  • Messages for teachers could include benefits of the platform and how this makes their job easier 
  • Messages for parents could demonstrate how the platform enables communication between themselves and their child’s school 
  • Messages for students could show how user-friendly the platform is and the advantages it offers 

By creating targeted messages for each audience, you engage individuals on the subjects that matter for them and avoid estranging them with messages that aren’t relevant. 

2019 Campaign Monitor study found that marketers using segmented campaigns increased their revenue by as much as 760%.  

You’re not basing your strategy on research 

Marketing research is important because it helps you listen to your audience. To identify their wants and needs, their problems that you can solve.  

If you’re going full steam ahead with your content creation, without doing the research to base it on, you could end up falling flat on your face. You know who wins the race? The slow and steady tortoise.  

Your entire strategy should be based on, and built around, research. This prevents you wasting both time and money on marketing that won’t work.  

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Pretending to be something that you’re not 

This isn’t limited to tech companies but they certainly are guilty of this.  

Being a small-medium sized technology company, it’s easy to aspire to the likes of Microsoft and Apple, some of tech’s most well-known names. While they certainly have their advantages, there are some fantastic aspects of having a smaller business that are really something to shout about. To name just a few: 

  • Closer client relationships – your clients aren’t just a number 
  • Flexibility and speed – you can make changes much faster than larger organisations 
  • New developments and changes – why not ask your clients for features that you could put in your roadmap? They’ll get the most out of your technology and you get ideas that are in demand 
  • Genuine care – small businesses put their heart and soul into achieving great outcomes for clients 

Rather than shying away, you should be shouting about the advantages that your individual business can bring to clients and partners. 

If you recognise some of these mistakes in your own marketing strategy, not to worry. LikeMind Media can help you get on the right track – talk to us for more info

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