High Tech Marketing isn't Geeky

No F**ks Left Friday! High Tech Marketing Isn’t Geeky

Your high tech marketing isn’t supposed to be geeky.

“But of course it is,” you cry. “If you don’t tell them the specifications, details of the product and how hot this new technology is, you won’t be able to get them to see what you’ve done is out of this world.”

We hear you. We do.

But, you’re wrong. All marketing, high-tech marketing, business-to-business marketing, consumer marketing is about one thing — emotions. And if you don’t realize that, you’re not going to break through the cr*pload of messages that — more than anyone else in the world, probably —  high-tech buyers get every single day.

Here are three reasons why.

Nerds think about sex more often

We’re dating ourselves, but remember that movie Revenge of the Nerds?

No?

Well, trust us. It was filled with high-tech geeky engineer types (really, horrible stereotypes, not like the amazing nerds and geeks we know and hang out with).

Anyway, at the end of the movie in the kind of cheesy Hollywood moment that only a cult film can present without irony, the college cheerleader who has just “unmasked” the nerd she’s just hooked up with asks “Are all nerds as good as you?” to which Lewis the number one nerd on campus replies “Yes.” She asks “How come?” and Lewis says “‘Cause all jocks ever think about is sports, all we ever think about is sex.”

So what’s our point? Just because your customer is an engineer, coder, technician, physician or lab-rat — they are still moved by EMOTION. Passion, humor, love, family, laughter and yes, sex. You need to identify what emotions will move your customers to connect with you.

That matters because when you’re creating your marketing tools, you need to think of the emotional appeal first, not the technology which leads us to say…

Your box looks like everyone else’s

Manufacturing boxes with high tech in them — isn’t your’s pretty?

Well. Uhm. No.Promo_HighTechMarketing

Your box looks like everyone else’s, it really does. I can’t tell you how many times we see high-tech marketing FEATURING XYZ company’s world’s greatest box!!!. Big. Front and center. To the detriment of all things good in marketing!

No one buys based on what your box looks like. And we know it. Our execs worked with a company who had a box designed to detect weapons beneath clothes. We set up their entire brand launch for a major tradeshow. And yes, the engineers wanted to have pictures of their AMAZING new imaging box in GREAT BIG LIGHTS. And what that box could do was SO. VERY. COOL. It really was, we admit it!

And we said no.

What did we show instead? Well, The MOST adorable little tow-headed boy next to his golden retriever in a Radio Flyer car. (Oh, and we sent out to high-value prospects an ACTUAL dog in a radio flyer!).

Because it wasn’t about the box. It was about the idea that member of the military, managers and execs could come home safely to that little boy BECAUSE of that box. 

(And don’t get us started on spec sheets. How we hate them. Oh we get that they’re necessary, but they are NOT. A. PRIMARY. MARKETING. TOOL.)

The CFO signs the check

And the last reason your high tech marketing isn’t about being geeky comes down to this.

Is the geeky engineer really your customer?

Sure, it’s great to have a round of high-fives with your compatriots at your customer’s companies. But ultimately, in high tech marketing, who is the buyer? It may be that the engineer is an influencer, but a CEO, CFO or even VP of Development is making the call. And the emotional appeal to those types may vary widely from the engineers who know how great your tech is.

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High Tech Marketing — like all marketing — is about Emotions

Ultimately, all marketing — even high tech marketing — comes down to emotions. Not specs, boxes and data. We know it. We live it. We love it. So reach out to us if you want us to help you pinpoint the emotional needs of your customers and craft amazing high tech marketing to engage those emotions.

Spark Something in YOUR Marketing

Spark Something. Seriously. Ep.1: “So you do marketing??”

We help our clients create strong marketing elevator pitches. But, paring down marketing services into a 30 second elevator speech is not necessarily the best — or at least not the easiest — idea. Oh, don’t get us wrong — we have a number of elevator phrases our market understands like:

“Creative marketing for high-tech business.”

“You know tech, we know tech marketing”

“We turn ‘geek’ into ‘human-speak.’ “

And one that usually drives it home:

“What we do is not rocket science, but no rocket scientist can do it.”

But we are three key things as professional marketers. We are strategic, creative and comprehensive.

So, in the edict of the elevator pitch, we can clearly define strategic and creative marketing in a sentence or three.

  • Strategic marketing: Understand the nature of your product or service. Define who it serves and how the features of that product or service offer customers great gains or solve great pains. Identify, narrow and target those customers and get in front of those customers using memorable messages that appeal to them.
  • Creative marketing: Understanding the strategy above, add the magic of the right emotional appeal — via humor, passion, whimsy, love, anger and more — in a powerful, moving and memorable way across multiple channels.

So strategic and creative — easily understood.

It that “comprehensive” word that gets us into trouble! Because it’s the one that begets the question “But really, what do you do?” To which we can really only answer “it depends.”

It probably what gets you in trouble as an entrepreneur too when it comes to your marketing. It can be overwhelming to see all the things you COULD be doing! It’s much harder to determine what you SHOULD be doing.

So, over the next weeks, we’re launching “Spark Something, Seriously.” In this series we will be addressing the “comprehensive” pieces of our marketing so you better understand the vast options available to your company, and what to ask for from any marketing firm you choose to hire.

The articles will address:

Branding

Your brand is your identity to the world and, more than just a name and logo, has to answer in words and imagery:

  • Who you are?
  • What is your product or service?
  • Who do you serve?
  • What do they like, what do you like and where do those likes dovetail — that’s the brand sweet spot.

Content

Look, if we hear “content is king” one more time, we may scream too. But, in a world where we receive over 6,500 marketing messages a day, you must be a part of filling that pipeline with content. Your content tells:

  • What you’re about
  • What you believe
  • How you help your customers lives
  • Your acts of service and education to your market — a necessity in the new millennium
  • And lastly, your product’s features

Offline Marketing Channels

Offline channels are the stalwarts of effective marketing. They cover any message not received solely via a computer or mobile device (yes, there is some crossover) like:

Press Relations

  • News
  • Events
  • Pitching

Public Relations

  • Speakers, influencers and boards
  • Corporate social responsibility

Promotions

  • Advertising via non-digital means
  • Cool stuff and giveaways!

Tradeshows and events

  • Pre-show
  • Onsite
  • Post-show
  • Paid sponsorships
  • Booth draws
  • Speaking

Guerrilla

  • Outrageous, unexpected, stealth or often sneaky!
  • News-generating
  • Viral-generating

Digital Marketing Channels

These are the methods of marketing you create and deliver to your customer via computer or mobile device and include:

  • Influencer relations (bloggers, Instagrammers, Verified Twitter accounts)
  • Social media engagement with customers
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • SEO & digital advertising
  • Podcasting
  • Video content

These digital channels often feature messaging and creative elements that arise as you create your offline strategy. It’s important not to put the digital cart before the offline horse!

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Someone asked us if this blog series will replace “No F**ks left Fridays!”

Naaaah.

After all, we’re all about leaving it all on the floor, being outrageous and using sparky little ideas to have out of this world impact. So, forgive us this serious series. But we hope it helps you Spark Something. Seriously.
Till our next installment, happy marketing.

Spark Rocket Has Babies! — A social marketing experiment

We just gave birth at Mission Command! Well, sort of. We’ve had “babies” as a social marketing experiment. Yes, egg babies.

 

Remember that low-tech teaching tool of giving adolescents eggs to carry around to teach them responsibility?

 

Well, we’ve decided to have a similar social marketing experiment at Spark Rocket. You see, we’re great at advocating for our own technology and start-up clients. We’re all about creating engaging content for games, security, real estate, prosthetics, cosmeceuticals, aeronautics and other technology markets and teaching clients how to share it via social marketing to build a following.

 

But it’s giving ourselves the same social marketing love that we kind of really stink at. We forget to pay attention to our own needs and, as a result, neglect to share via social networks some really valuable marketing information. This not only reduces our own self-promotion, it keeps us from engaging with the start-ups and entrepreneurs we adore helping! And it’s pretty hard to stand by our teachings if we’re not following them (that “the cobblers children have no shoes” saying wears thin after a while!)

 

Oh — and we want to be better stewards of our personal health too. After all happy, healthy Spark Rocketeers means better service for our clients!!!

 

So in that vein — our core team had babies. Raw egg babies. (Uhm, as an aside, we are amazed that the first question people ask are if they are raw? I promise, we have NO plans to eat our babies at the end of the experiment. Just sayin’.) Two of them. Each. And each baby has a series of “feeding times” and we have to keep them with us at all times as a physical reminder that taking care of ourselves is important.

Social Marketing Progress: How are the babies?

Thus far, in three days of our social marketing experiment, no one has killed cracked their baby. So that’s good. And at “feeding time” we have done things like:

  • Written several blogs
  • Updated our social accounts
  • Done training in new social media best practices and analytics management
  • Added a REALLY NEAT software script to our Twitter account to boost engagement!
  • Cleaned up our emails
  • Practiced self-care: stopped to mediate for ten minutes, drink an extra bottle of water, chat with co-working office members (who are really enjoying seeing how this experiment is going!) or take a walk around

So, we’ll let you know how on this blog and via our social channels how things go (of course, if we don’t — you’ll pretty much know the results!).

 

Meanwhile — wish us luck with our babies. Feel free to ask us YOUR questions about them (and tell us they are the cutest raw egg babies you have ever seen), and feel free to share what crazy practices YOU use at your office to stay on top of “entrepreneurial self care.”

 

Happy entrepreneurial technology marketing from the gang at Mission Command!

 

 

ROCKET-FUELED READ: Online is nothing without offline

We believe that in B2B marketing, elements of offline marketing like corporate social responsibility, speaking engagements, events, promotional items and even old-fashioned direct mail give your online campaigns depth, soul & dimension. We call it integrated marketing, meaning that each campaign we craft strategically taps the right mix of channels. We think offline and online , not just relying on digital!

We think this read from Clair Jones at Relevance, who says:

“In a perfect marketing world, online and offline marketing should work hand in hand, each driving traffic to the other symbiotically.”

does a great job showcasing campaigns from companies who garner specific benefits using offline marketing tactics. We couldn’t have said it better, so we won’t try!

Enjoy!

 

Superstition realized…

So my mother had a superstition. On New Year’s day, beginning as early as 12:01 a.m., you should DO the things you want to have occur in that year and avoid the things you don’t (like chores, busy work, unpleasant tasks). So, in that vein, I spent yesterday doing some most pleasant things like:

Reconnecting with friends!

Reconnecting with friends!

  • An exercise trifecta: yoga, swimming a few laps (yes, Spark Rocket is in FLORIDA!) AND weight-training
  • Working on a new,super-fun start-up endeavor launching in 2016
  • Promoting a current client whose mission for the year aligns with ours
  • Reconnecting with some long-time, too-long-missed friends
  • Having a very long conversation with a love who lives too far away
  • Writing creatively: I finished a long-in-the-works Zombie short story!
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A toast to resolutions!

It seems to have become fashionable to eschew resolution-making. Provocative headlines citing studies of how often resolutions fail are filling my Facebook feed.

But we’d like to raise a toast to resolutions! (BTW- we’ll admit it’s a slightly self-serving toast — it seems that greater temperance in one form or another is a collective resolution for 2016 among Spark Rocket’s team and clients, so we have to get in all the martini toasts we can, NOW!)

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