Becoming a successful marketing professional begins with making sure that you have the knowledge and skills necessarily to effectively promote your company to potential customers within its target audiences. This means that having a working knowledge about marketing theory as principles is non- negotiable.
But you know what the other non-negotiable thing in marketing is? Having a solid understanding of the technology industry is essential especially if you’re about to target consumers for your IT products and Services.
Essentially, we can sum this up the way Sun Tzu said in his famous book, The Art of War: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
Of course, in this analogy, “yourself” means your personal marketing skills, while “the enemy” is the target consumer.
Now let’s prepare for war by knowing the enemy.
#1: Understanding the IT Industry: Trends and Jargon
Demand for IT services is driven by rapid technological advances, but spending depends on the health of the economy. The profitability of companies depends on technical expertise, innovative services, and effective marketing. Large companies have advantages in broad service offerings and global reach, which give them the ability to provide outsourcing services to big corporate customers. Small companies can compete effectively by specializing in market niches or by partnering with larger companies that want to broaden their mix of services.
Products, Operations & Technology
Computer systems design, development, and integration services account for about 35% of industry revenue; application design and development services, 25%; and technical support, 10%. IT services companies help clients use computers, software, and communications systems more efficiently. In addition to providing advice on using computer systems, they frequently recommend hardware and software systems to their customers. Firms provide a variety of associated services, including business function outsourcing, data warehousing, systems planning, enterprise resource planning, and training.
Related: Why Businesses Need IT Consultants?
IT and the new Playing Field
Communication helps businesses grow and prosper, creates relationships, strengthens the effectiveness of organizations, and allows people to learn about one another. Technologies, such as the Internet, mobile phones, social media, and customer relationship management systems greatly affect the way companies communicate with prospective customers. These new forms of communication are changing the media landscape and the type of messaging strategy organizations use.
Many consumers and business professionals seek information and connect with other people and businesses from their computers and phones. With access to many sources of information and an interest in interactive media, consumers may collect more product information on their own. Work environments are also changing, with more people having virtual offices, texting on their cell phones, or communicating through social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. As the media landscape changes, the money that organizations spend on different types of communication will change as well. Once companies have developed products and services, they must communicate the values and benefits of the offerings to current and potential customers.
#2: Why There is a Need to Understand IT Market before Generating Leads?
This is necessary when you want targeted and qualified prospects coming in. Knowing where IT prospects lurk and what medium are they best reached are just a few things you should consider in deciphering this demographic and in planning a marketing strategy for them.
#3: Marketing Tools Used in Reaching IT Prospects
Effective marketing is all about getting messages in front of potential consumers in appealing ways that have the potential to influence purchase decisions. Doing so in the 21st Century requires the use of various tools. From managing your own schedule to keeping up with previous contact to distributing marketing oriented information via email and online marketing channels.
Example of marketing channels and tools that are most likely to used my IT marketers:
- Blogging: Many marketing professionals are involved in setting up and managing blogs for their companies.
- Computerized Presentations: Marketers are often responsible for creating computerized sales and marketing presentations using PowerPoint or other applications.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: Companies often use sophisticated CRM software applications to keep track of all types of customer contact, including sales calls, presentations, purchases, complaints and more. Marketers need to be able to access information that is in the system as well as input additional data as it becomes available.
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- Email Communication: Marketing professionals rely heavily on one-on- one email communication in order to accomplish their work. Email communication is quite common with customers, prospects, coworkers, member of the media and others.
- Email Marketing: Many companies rely heavily on email marketing as a way of attracting new business and building relationships with current and past customers. Marketers are often responsible for building and maintaining an email marketing database as well as creating e- newsletters and email advertisements.
- Graphic Design Software: Marketers who are involved in designing advertisements and collateral, such as brochures and newsletters, for their companies are expected to be well versed in the use of graphic design software applications like InDesign, PhotoShop and more.
- Websites: Having web design, development maintenance skills can definitely be an advantage for individuals who want to work in marketing. The level of web skill necessary varies from one company to another. In some organizations, marketing professionals are expected to handle every aspect of creating a website, including design, programming, security, content development and more. In other organizations, marketing employees work closely with in-house programmers or an outside web development firm on the technical aspects of site management.
- Social Media: With so many companies incorporating social networking into their promotional efforts, marketing professionals need to be well versed in the use of popular social media technologies as tools for attracting new businesses and building customer relationships. Marketers are often responsible for setting up and managing Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for their companies, publishing video content to YouTube, and establishing LinkedIn profiles for key company personnel.
Young people today are part of the millennial generation, and it is consumers from this generation who are driving the change toward new communication technologies. A young consumer might opt to get promotions via mobile marketing – say, from stores on your cell phone as you browse or via a mobile gaming device that allows you to connect to the Web. Likewise, advertisements on Facebook are popular as businesses continue to utilize more social media. Traditional media (magazines, newspapers, television) compete with media such as the Internet, texting, mobile phones, social media, user- generated content such as blogs, and YouTube as well as out-of- home advertising such as billboards and movable promotions.
Therefore, all forms of marketing media have been forced to come up with innovations to remain relevant. Technology businesses looking to grow should also strive to work more collaboratively with their customers to truly understand the core challenges they are facing. This insight will help them to better communicate how their products and services can deliver greater value to their customers.