The lines have blurred between B2B and B2C marketing, do you agree or disagree?
The lines between B2B and B2C have always been blurred. We are marketers. Period. We have to think who our target audience is and what they want from us. We create opportunities to build relationships with customers, provoke interesting discussions and generate ways for our audience to connect with our brand.
B2B and B2C marketing tend to diverge at the tactical level. While we have access to the same media channels, we often, and appropriately, use them differently.
What is the one trend that will define the future of IT marketing?
Content that connects. People are always looking for emotional connections. People want stories, stories that arrest them, make them feel a connection with a brand. People prefer a brand because they like that brand’s story, what it stands for and the experience they have with it. It is important to work towards creating that connection.
For us, as technology marketers, this means a stream of fresh content to use to build relationships. We use content to garner attention and to show expertise; our content determines how effectively we use the media channels available to us. As IT marketers, we have to take a cue from Academia – publish or perish, and we need to expect a tough audience.
What is one area where most IT marketers go wrong or are not paying attention to?
This is easy to experience for first hand. As marketers, we ourselves are a popular audience for all kinds of products targeted to marketing departments. Spend some time on a few of these sales calls to take a look at demos and hear the sales pitch. Notice how rehearsed and linear the conversations are, how obscured the language is, and how hard you, the customer, must work to really understand the value proposition.
Technology marketers can easily get caught up in technical nomenclature. Often, marketing is still not front-line with the customer during the development process, ending up at the tail end of an extended development cycle during which internally-focused naming conventions and processes have been deeply embedded. This is a trap that all of us need to look for and avoid.