This is an extraordinary time in technology marketing. The turbulent economy combined with the continued Internet media revolution has created an unprecedented time of change and transformation. In discussions over the last several months with our customers; business technology decision makers and technology marketers, several common themes have emerged that provide a sense of the state of technology marketing today. Last week in the bay area we gathered together 25 senior technology marketing executives to share their thoughts and experiences and it was clear that these themes resonated with them as well:
- Above the Line and Below the Line Marketing are Coming Together. The lines between traditional advertising and marketing, considered "above the line" and direct marketing or "below the line" marketing have now blurred in B2B marketing.
- The Emergence of Outcome Based Marketing. Tech marketing today begins with the end in mind. Advertising is the result of a focus on a desired outcome as opposed to the creative process driven budgeting of the previous era.
- The Redefinition of Brand. The "B" word in technology marketing is going through the most dramatic transformation that I can remember since the days of the direct PC industry. Branded response is the watch word today.
- The Rise of Application Based Media. From email newsletters to web casts, RSS feeds, social networks and twitter to virtual trade shows and virtual environments, application based media is driving unprecedented levels of audience engagement in technology marketing.
- The Acceleration of Media Integration. Technology decision makers have the ability to customize and organize information into highly integrated media information systems today. Technology marketing by definition must be as integrated as the integrated media choices of technology decision makers.
- The Shift from Advertising to Knowledge Exchange. Technology products and services aren't marketed via traditional advertising today. Technology marketing is based on knowledge exchange. This knowledge exchange has content at it's core as opposed to traditional advertising, allowing technology buyers to understand products and services being marketed in context of how they would use them.
- The Laws of Physics Still Apply. Yes there are new marketing applications, new combinations and new techniques that have emerged but the laws of marketing physics still apply. The goal of technology marketing today is the same as it's always been. Reach key prospects, engage them, develop a relationship and turn these relationships into customer relationships. And as always your current customers are likely your best future customers.