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5 Leading Tech Marketing Gaps and Takeaways

5 Ways to Boost Your Tech Marketing in 2021

By Karen TaylorJan 28 /2021

Are you falling into today’s technology marketing trap? The way we’ve been marketing software for years may not be working as well as it used to, according to a new report. 

The 2021 Buying Disconnect exposes the gap between the way organizations are marketing technology and the way buyers want to engage now. This gap began to appear before the advent of COVID-19 but accelerated during the pandemic. The reasons for the rise include economic uncertainty and remote workplaces. These changes require buyers to not only search for products virtually, but also to be more confident in their purchase decisions than ever before.

The report’s findings provide insight on creating a new path for tech marketing so that organizations can meet consumers’ changing expectations in the new year and beyond.

For example, consumers now want more user reviews, self-service options and product research. Following this path may be critical for technology companies because 49% of buyers report decreased tech spending due to the global pandemic. Only about 1 in 4 companies reported increased tech spending.  

covid tech spending

 

Here are five of the main marketing gaps that technology makers are facing today — and takeaways on how to respond to boost marketing results in 2021.

Tech Marketing Gap 1: Information Resources

Technology vendors primarily rely on three tactics to market their products: marketing collateral, case studies and customer references. However, buyers regularly use five main information resources in the early stages of making their purchasing decisions: product demos, websites, user reviews, vendor rep conversations and free trial offers.

Other findings: 92% of buyers who use reviews share them with at least one other person, and 2 in 5 buyers who use B2B tech reviews share them with four or more other buying committee members.

How to Adjust Your Tech Marketing

Invest in the resources buyers rely on to beef up your tech marketing program, including spending resources on building up user reviews, marketing free trial offers and deploying sales reps to interact with prospects. Note that when it comes to user reviews, what buyers today care more about is the review content. They are less concerned with a product’s score.

How to boost user reviews:

To boost user reviews, you have to go out and ask for them. Start by targeting repeat customers, who are likely happy with your products and services. When asking for reviews, keep these tips in mind:

  • Provide several options for posting reviews, so they can leave reviews where they’re most comfortable, such as on Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn or TrustRadius.
  • Offer incentives for leaving reviews, such as discounts, perks and special offers.
  • Say “thank you” to customers who left positive reviews and reach out to those who left negative reviews to see how you can help resolve their issues/concerns.

engagement tactics

Tech Marketing Gap 2: Millennial Buyers  

Software vendors tend to create marketing programs for older buyers. However, 60% of all B2B technology buyers are Millennials (age 25 to 39).

How to Adjust Your Tech Marketing

In order to market successfully to your target audience, you need to understand what makes them tick.

Here is what you need to know about Millennials: 

  • They are one of the most tech-savvy generations.
  • They have used devices all of their lives, and don’t know a time before tech ruled the world.
  • They see through inauthentic sales messages and appreciate authentic content.
  • They won’t respond well to outbound marketing methods, but inbound resonates with their sensibilities.
  • They expect in-depth product information that prioritizes them and their needs.

b2b buyers millennials

 

Tech Marketing Gap 3: Online Overhaul

While older generations typically discover new products from their own prior experience with vendors, Millennials are almost twice as likely to discover new products by proactively conducting early-stage online searches across the marketplace.

How to Adjust Your Tech Marketing

Prepare for Millennials to take charge of buying decisions by making sure your product or service has a strong online presence. This will also benefit non-Millennials who must now conduct more product research online than ever before. Prioritize your web presence, including on review websites, so buyers find your solutions while doing their independent buying research. Make sure information about your product is easily accessible across all online channels, especially the ones that younger buyers prefer.

How to be found online:

  • Focus on delivering the three things younger prospects value most: speed, transparency and expertise. 
  • Overhaul your website by fixing any buyer frustrations, such as difficulty finding information, overly long ordering processes and technical glitches.
  • Refresh your social media by ensuring your team releases consistent, valuable and thoughtful content that is valuable to younger customers.
  • Spend time creating an SEO strategy that complements your content strategy to help ensure your online content is found and seen.

gen-z-vs-millennial-buyers

Tech Marketing Gap 4: Self-Service

Since the advent of the coronavirus, more buyers want self-service options on their buyer journey. Self-serve and remote interactions have made it easier for buyers to get information, place orders and arrange service. Over 87% of buyers want self-serve tools, while 57% of buyers already make purchase decisions without ever talking with a vendor representative.

How to Adjust Your Tech Marketing

Provide buyers with more self-service options to help support virtual product buying and reduce unnecessary friction during their online purchasing process. These include do-it-yourself product demos and the ability to purchase products with only a credit card.

How to boost self-service marketing options:

  • Implement video marketing to put a face to your brand, and give prospects insights into your business and team.
  • Host virtual events to support the sales process, including webinars, Q&A sessions and Zoom meetings.
  • Provide DIY product demo opportunities.
  • Provide free trial offers or free versions of products.
  • Add live chat channels for interacting and closing sales with B2B prospects.
  • Deploy mobile apps for product ordering online.
  • Ensure your online tools deliver speed and convenience. 

self-serve-buyers

 

Tech Marketing Gap 5: Product Research

Due to the pandemic and data security concerns, buyers now spend more time researching products before making a purchasing decision. Over 35% spend more time clearly defining expected ROI, 33% of buyers spend more time researching products and 33% spend more time comparing products than they did before the pandemic. What’s more, the average buyer uses an average of nearly seven information sources to make a purchase decision, a 35% increase from 2019 to 2020.

Buyers’ research also includes their security and compliance concerns. Over 49% said they spent time doing extra research to ensure new products meet their data security requirements.

Note that when considering information resources, analyst rankings and reports may be losing their power to sway buyers. The study found that only 20% of tech buyers use them. By comparison, 45% of buyers seek out user reviews during their purchasing journey.

How to Adjust Your Tech Marketing

Create a full range of content to ensure your organization is providing the information B2B prospects are looking for when they are searching for new technology products.

How to support product research:

  • Update buyer personas to reflect the new rules of B2B marketing.
  • Leverage online tools to create robust editorial calendars and track keyword searches.
  • Increase the frequency for publishing posts on your own blog.
  • Reach out into your industry to find guest posting opportunities on other blogs.
  • Plan to expand your content library to add a wider range of in-depth content.
  • Seek to create content that converts, including information that educates customers and displays your thought leadership.
  • Provide content that shares your products’ security and compliance capabilities.

covid-19-buyers-journey


The Future of Tech Marketing

Consumer behavior changed significantly during the coronavirus, including for technology purchases — and in ways that will last long into the future. To prepare your organization for the new world of tech marketing, level up your information resources, understanding of Millennial buyers, online presence, self-service options and product research. Making these changes to your organization’s digital marketing strategy could help better position your organization to sell your technology products in 2021 and beyond.

Tech Marketing: What CEOs Need to Know

Karen Taylor
The Author

Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor is a professional content marketing writer with experience writing for over 100 companies and publications. Her experience includes the full range of content marketing projects — from blogs, to white papers, to ebooks. She has a particular knack for creating content that clarifies and strengthens a company’s marketing message, and delivers optimum impact and maximum results. Learn more at KarenTaylorWrites.com.
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