By Jason Romanosky
There is an assumption I have heard many times that technical marketing is a luxury that only a large company can afford. This may be true in the sense of being able to hire and dedicate a full time resource to serve as a Technical Marketing Engineer or Manager. Small companies however, could benefit from technical marketing efforts just as much and often these tasks fall as uncoordinated efforts that are split between engineers, sales, product and the C-suite. If the business value of your product can not be easily understood in in a few minutes on its own, you are doing your company a disservice to not have at least a technical marketing plan in place. Here are a few things to think about when building this plan:
Is my product/service truly intuitive?
Sure you have been living and breathing your product since this was just an idea in your head or since you joined your company’s exciting new endeavor but you view may be rose colored or jaded. It is extremely difficult to continue to have that “fresh eyes” perspective that each new customer will have. You should devise a plan to get and keep access to that unbiased view. Open communications with your customers with this objective in mind can help. As you iterate, continue to ask if your story still makes sense from this perspective.
Explain your value
“Our product is the greatest at…” Once you are clear at articulating what your product can do, its important to remember to connect the dots. Why does a customer needs your product aside from it being the being very cool or the best at what it does. When all is said and done, it will come down to what your product will really do for the customer when boiling down to business basics. Does it save my customer money or does it make them more money? This is all that matters for most in the long run and being able to get customers to see this quickly closes deals. How do you communicate or demonstrate that efficiently?
Do you have the tools to scale?
Your superstar staff can wear every hat and is the main reason your company is no longer just a business plan but what happens when volume forces the inevitable work force specialization. Scalability of your sales force is a challenge for even the largest companies and throwing money and resources at it without the right tools reduces your multiplier and creates a less effective team. Everyone seems to hate to create collateral but clear and concise tools will quickly bring new staff up to speed to be as effective at explaining, demonstrating and selling as your current top talent.
These are just a few fairly simple concepts but few companies pay attention to technical marketing until they noticed its missing and its already been neglected. Some key efforts early on will save cycles and money in the long run.