How to Create a Unique Marketing Strategy for Technology Products?
Differentiation is critical for winning in the industrial and technology markets. Despite this, many vendors fail to create a unique marketing strategy. This Blog gives a simple, yet effective method used by several world-class tech brands!
The success in B2B tech markets depends on whether you, as a vendor, can communicate a unique value proposition, which clearly articulates the customer benefits and value.
Why do I think this matters today more than ever before? Because the modern expert B2B buyers shortlist vendors based on the content they search online, and your sales reps have fewer opportunities to affect their decisions personally.
The online world, however, can be brutal. Even if your marketing message gets found by the potential buyers, it will only have a brief, passing moment to convey the value to the readers and convince them to click. And, usually, you are not there to give further explanations!
That’s why it’s crucial to communicate a clear, unique value proposition, so that a potential buyer doesn’t need a second read to understand the benefits, and value your product offers, and how it differentiates from the competitors.
But why is it so difficult to create a winning value proposition? Well, it isn’t really if you have a unique marketing strategy! Unfortunately, this is where technology vendors often fail.
Why do Vendors fail in their Marketing Strategies?
‘Strategy’ as a concept easily confuses many marketers. They sometimes mix it up with a marketing plan.
Usually, the underlying problem is that vendors don’t know what their customers truly need – what are their challenges, how do they possibly lose money, waste resources, or time in their daily operation, what kind of revenue opportunities they might be missing out in the market, and so on.
If you don’t know what your customers need, you can quickly end up pitching mere technical solutions instead of quantifiable economic value, and customers cannot see a reason to invest in whatever you are trying to sell.
Also, it is equally common that the vendors do not know what their strengths compared to the competitors are. The result: they can end up promoting benefits where they are inferior compared to their competitors, and lose sales.
Consequently, those vendors with a poor customer understanding and market insight cannot make a clear, unique marketing strategy, if it can be called a strategy in the first place (quite often it’s just a marketing plan).
What's Marketing Strategy?
When we are talking about industrial, and public sectors, and B2B technology markets, a proper marketing strategy should describe the unique benefits your product delivers to the target customers, what’s the quantifiable economic value the customer can get, and why the customer should invest in your product rather than the competing alternatives.
A perfect marketing strategy identifies the most relevant benefits perceived by the target customers. Ideally, it also identifies those benefits where your products defeat the competition, and therefore form the core for your strategy. It is crucial to understand the competitive landscape when creating a marketing strategy.
Note that the same product can deliver different benefits and values for different customer segments. The marketing strategy always revolves around the customer, not the product, or competitors. That’s why you need to create a marketing strategy for all target customer segments separately.
When you have created a unique marketing strategy, it is easy to carve out a winning customer value proposition, which encapsulates the most relevant benefits that you promise to deliver to a customer in return for their payment, or other value-transfer, and how it adds more value than the competing offerings.
Creating a Unique Marketing Strategy for Technology Products
The easiest way to build a solid marketing strategy is to work it back from the customer needs and challenges. Here’s a simple, yet effective method used by several world-class technology brands.
1. Define the Target Customer Segment
The first step for you is to define or choose the customer segment for which the strategy will be created.
Why should you begin the thinking process from the customer, and not from the product? Well, we briefly touched upon this earlier. It is simple. Your product can be relevant to various types of companies. However, how they perceive the value can vary from one customer to another.
Customer A needs feature X, whereas customer B benefits more from feature Y. Therefore, you must address these two customer segments with different strategies.
You can, of course, group customers with similar characteristics and needs into segments to make your work easier.
After you have chosen the first focus segment, it's time to begin the so-called value creation process. It helps you to figure out why this customer segment needs the product, what’s your solution, how it benefits the customer, and how you can prove the value.
2. Customer Goals
All customers have business goals that they try to achieve - e.g., save in manufacturing costs, increase production yield, reduce raw material costs, improve customer experience, or sell more products. The business goals always boil down to three fundamental areas:
- Growing revenue
- Saving operational costs (Opex)
- Reducing capital expenditure (Capex)
To begin with the marketing strategy, you must understand what kind of business goals the companies have in this segment. List down the key goals in all of the three areas – concentrate on goals that you can address with your products. Now you need to involve the people with the best customer understanding in your organization – the sales team, customer service, technical support, and so on
3. Customer’s Challenge
Companies invest in products only if they identify various challenges and obstacles that prevent them from achieving their business goals. Examples: a lousy customer experience can prevent a company from growing revenue. A slow welding robot can reduce the yield. Old trucks have high consumption, thus prevent the company from reducing Opex. These challenges can become your opportunity – if your product can help to solve them!
A good marketing strategy identifies the customer challenges – because they eventually answer the question: why the customers should invest in the first place.
"Sell the problems that your products can solve, not products that your company makes."
4. Your Solution
Okay, now you have helped a potential customer to identify a problem, and they are warming up for an investment. The next step is to tell them how your product solves the problem! So, whether it is a complete product, solution, or service, or a feature, or functionality of a bigger solution, you can now describe it in compelling, jargon-free layman’s terms so that anyone can understand it without any interpretation.
5. Customer Benefits
Eventually, customers are interested in benefits, not your product. A great marketing strategy is centered around the customer benefits that your product provides. The benefits should be described in a simple and compelling way, and, ideally, accompanied with a quantified measure of the customer value (in terms of revenue, OPEX, CAPEX) compared to a competing, or substituting solution. This increases the effectiveness of the benefits statement.
6. Choose Your Resonating Benefits
It is easy to come up with tens of benefits that your product provides to the target customers. You might think they are all worth telling the buyers. Unfortunately, an exhaustive listing of benefits on the back of your brochure is pretty much the same as a menu in a cheap pizza-place. By the time you get to the end of reading the long list of pizzas, you cannot remember any of the items on the menu, and making a choice becomes almost impossible. So, avoid the cheap pizza-place effect! The more focused your marketing strategy is, the more impactful it becomes.
How to choose the right benefits? This is the most critical point in a marketing strategy. Here’s how you can get it right.
- Highlight the benefits, which you have identified relevant to the target customers and where you can beat the competing products.
- Build defensive argumentation for benefits, which are highly relevant to customers but where you are weak compared to the competition.
- Ignore those benefits that the target customers don't care even if they were your strongest USPs - you can find other, better matching customer segments for these value points.
Creating a marketing strategy can be a struggle, it takes a long time, and you must involve many people from the organization. However, a unique marketing strategy is the only way to win in the highly competitive industries and tech markets! Additionally, when done right, it becomes the foundation for all your marketing activities, campaigns, content – and the winning value proposition.
Do you want to create a unique marketing strategy? Contact me, and we can get you going faster!
Learn more about our technology product marketing services.