Tech Companies, What’s Your Marketing Strategy?
05 Feb 2018

In 2018, the technology industry is expecting to continue to grow at record rates. As technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence), voice, and virtual reality are gaining popularity, new start-ups are emerging and current companies are integrating these new technologies. This is great for the consumer, but it causes an extremely competitive environment for tech start-ups. These companies become drowned out in the saturated marketplace and often fail before they’re even noticed. Often leadership believes the innovation is good enough to sell itself- but that is not true.

 What can you do to stand out from the competition? How can you get your message heard in a crowded marketplace?

Well, it is all down to brand strategy or positioning strategy. In fast-growth companies, like tech startups, it is vital to position your brand for success. In order to be best positioned, it is important to be aware of:

  1. Who you are targeting?
  2. What resonates with that audience?
  3. Where they will see your brand’s content?
  4. How they will interact with your brand?

1. Who you are targeting

Before you launch or soon after, target audience research will be your best friend. What age are they? What are their past times? What brands do they already invest in? We have written a blog on this here, if you want to read more.

2. What resonates with that audience?

Concept testing, messaging testing, idea testing. This type of research is all done very easily and it is something that will pay off for you in the long run. When you are so close to something – ie. working on a brand or website for months – it is hard to recognize what might not resonate with your audience.

3. Where will your audience first interact with your brand’s content?

What channels are your audience engaged in? Do they use social media? If so, which platforms? What television or streaming services do they subscribed to? What radio do they listen to? Do they have a smart speaker in their homes? What podcasts are on their radar? This is just a sample of the mine of knowledge you should gather about your audience before diving into a strategy.

4. How will they interact with your brand?

Lastly, considering you are a tech company and presumably, the brand is based online and has websites/apps as well as an e-commerce site, it is essential to conduct User Experience  (UX) research too. How will your audience use your website? What will funnel them through the purchasing process with more ease and with fewer cart abandonments? What user interface will make them want to visit your homepage and take a look.

With all of this research, you will be best setup to reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right place, and have them enjoy the experience. Even one or two of these techniques will help your tech company soar and grow at the high-speed rate you want it to. Provoke Insights, a brand strategy and market research firm based in New York City, offers all of these research capabilities. To find out more, contact us at info@provokinsights.com or sign up to receive our newsletter to learn more about the company.

Manufacturers… What’s Your Brand Strategy?
11 Jan 2018
While manufacturing in the United States has adopted new technologies to streamline operations, logistics, increase capabilities, and provide better products, industry growth is still slow due to overseas competition.  Though manufacturers are consistently innovating, 2017 growth in the industry has only increased by 1.6% [1]. What is the brand strategy?

Manufacturers often rely on their sales teams to develop and solidify relationships.  However, with such a competitive environment, it is short-sighted to not only focus on sales. Even a B2B industry should have a brand strategy in place.

First, every business should have a unique selling proposition to convince prospects to work with your company as well as to increase loyalty among current customers.  It makes the sales teams’ jobs easier by providing key differentiators in an industry where prospects and customers may see many manufacturers as all the same. This provides additional value for the brand beyond cost.

Second, it is pertinent to understand your customer wants and needs and determine if your company meets them. Plus, there should be a strong understanding of why prospects work with your competitors vs. you.  Other than price, what is that key trigger point that would convince them to switch manufacturers?  Often this can be done using market research with methodologies such as focus groups and surveys. For example, you can learn about what is unique about your brand vs. the competition, as well as possible emotional triggers you would not normally associate with a manufacturing company.

Also, it is pertinent to determine what marketing channels not only reach your customers, but can best communicate your brand’s story.

Even if your competitive advantage is not the most advanced or the cheapest, a market strategy is a way to tell a compelling story that helps your customer understand your brand in a simple and digestible manner.

As you can tell, there are many moving parts to a marketing strategy.  Provoke Insights can help assist with a marketing or branding strategy and research needs.

Read our blogs about why primary and secondary research is so important when launching a successful brand.

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[1]  “Over-the-year employment changes and tests of significance, seasonally adjusted. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov Dec. 2017.

47% of Advertising Professionals Hate the Pitch Process
10 Sep 2015
Pitching is part of an advertising agency’s DNA; it is often mandatory if an agency wants to acquire new business. With the average length of the client relationship diminishing from eight years in 1997 to only three years today, pitching is occurring more frequently (ANA, 2012).  

However, according to a survey by Provoke Insights, approximately half (47%) of advertising professionals say they are dissatisfied with the current internal approach to pitching.The time, expense, and resources used during the pitch process is often extensive. 

“I hate the pitch process,” one account professional confessed, under anonymity. “It means working 24-7 and completely wears everyone out.” It is not shocking that the industry says unrealistic timelines (66%) and long work hours (65%) are key reasons for such frustration. The demand of pitching is not a new issue; management expects employees to give their sweat and tears.  Often weekends and nights would be devoted to winning new business.

Yet, can the harried pace of the pitch process be avoided? Surprisingly, employees believe these tiring work conditions can be prevented if better organization and processes were in place. “Very chaotic, no clear direction until the last minute,” a media analyst mentioned when recalling his most recent pitch.

Interestingly, those who are happy with their experiences when pitching mention teamwork as a key reason for their satisfaction. “Good collaboration and clear understanding of a common purpose,” an account executive indicated as success factors.

Another area of frustration during pitches is having timely access to the appropriate research and data. Forty-four percent of advertising professionals stated that if there were better availability of research and data, pitches would run smoother and more successful. More so, those who received data for pitches, 48% mentioned the speed of resources was not quick enough.

An agency has one shot to deliver the right message, so research and insights are imperative. Without them, no matter how innovative the creative is, the pitch could be off base. “Winning creative should be based on research and insights. However, many times it ends up being loosely based on not enough research causing the strategy to end up being lack luster,” a strategic planner stated.

As a result advertising research is crucial during the pitch process. Receiving extra support and resources in regards to understanding of the target audience (57%), competitive intelligence (53%) followed by trends analysis (53%), industry intelligence (47%) and social listening (42%) are key areas employees believe the pitch process can be more successful.

Methodology 
Provoke Insights conducted an online survey between November 8th – December 8th, 2013. The survey was promoted to advertising agency employees through targeted Facebook promoted posts and industry relevant LinkedIn groups; 140 advertising professionals completed the survey.