Marketing (Still) Matters

A highly respected colleague recently gave a speech during our annual company kick-off about the critical role marketing plays in today’s technology sales environment. She started her presentation by telling a story about a recent meeting she had with a few top IT leaders, consultants, and market analysts discussing emerging trends and recent changes in IT. When the conversation turned to a very specific tech market, she asked a simple question…

What vendors do you consider to be leaders in this market and which ones would you directly consider purchasing from?”

Based on the audience, she assumed the discussion would lead to a technical diatribe comparing bit vs. byte and feature vs. function. This didn’t happen. To her surprise, they all said the same thing. While every vendor had minor advantages and disadvantages, their solutions were pretty much the same.  At the end of the discussion they mentioned that two criteria influence most of the large technology purchases they’ve made. The partners they have the strongest relationships with, and the vendors who market their products most effectively. One member even said…

If I don’t know about you, how am I supposed to consider you. Marketing matters.”

As tech marketers, we all interact with technology professionals on a regular basis. As you’ve undoubtedly experienced, IT pros rarely provide positive feedback on our marketing programs. In fact, a good friend of mine (he’s in IT) used to call our email marketing campaigns FUME (F#$**d up marketing expressions). In other words, he considers all our hard work to be nothing more than a pungent odor that stinks up his inbox.

With that type of regular customer feedback, sometimes doing “marketing” can feel like a thankless job. But then I started thinking. If you could sell all your products just through word of mouth, customer advocacy and hacking, the crowded MarTech space wouldn’t be worth the billions it is, and you’d never see another Coke ad again. There’s a reason why so many technology companies invest a significant portion of their profits into marketing (staff, technology, and advertising)…

It works damn it!

With so many of us getting bogged down in the day-to-day deadlines and data, we forget to take a step back and realize everything we do has a positive impact on the business. We help fill the pipeline.  We influence brand perception. We’re the ones consistently whispering in our prospect’s ear to consider us and not them. Without consistent marketing and advertising the business directly suffers.

So, with that said, I thought I’d start the year with a motivator for all of us drowning in budget planning and program kick-offs.

Repeat after me…

  • Marketing Matters.
  • The Tools and Advertising We Invest in Matters.
  • The Content We Create Matters.
  • Our Message; Repeated Early and Often; Matters.
  • Our Function Matters.
  • We Matter.

Marketing makes a difference, and while this post may be a bit self-serving, this mantra is important to remember – repeat – believe. In the tech space where engineering and sales dominate, our roles can sometimes take a backseat. I encourage you to use this mantra as the pat on the back after a great campaign, or thank-you when your demand generation efforts increase sales pipeline.

If your CEO doesn’t congratulate you on all business you’ve helped close, just know that we at got your back. Here’s to a successful new year!

Please feel free to share your personal stories of marketing success with us.

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