In age full of smartphones, social media, constant connection, and big data, there’s always that one voice from the past who insists on ‘the old-fashioned way.’ These are the folks who see dependence on technology as a form of weakness and incapacity to ask the ‘hard questions.’
Adding to the irony is that marketing these same, high-end business software tools invokes similar dependency. Much of today’s successful marketing seems defined by how big a mark you make on the web: LinkedIn, thought leadership, strong data etc. It’s easy to see that there’s less of showing the actual, objective value of your technology and more on just getting that hype train up and running.
How can your lead generation strategy strike the balance between a top quality product and marketing it so that it doesn’t fall into obscurity?
In defense of the ‘old-fashioned’ camp, a lot of what’s being done on the software side can be construed as needless noise. Does being a top result for certain keywords really connect you to more customers? Will it answer deeper questions such as, “What do most of my customers want all the time?” or “Why are only these kinds of people interested in our system?”
Oddly enough, the same technologies that supposedly cause dependency are also being used to counteract it. A big example would be Google’s constant policing of search results in the previous year. (On a side note, it’s funny how abuse of technology and dependency on it are often on the same page.) So if technology itself is being prepped to combat this problem, balancing between delivering value and maintaining well-recognized brand shouldn’t too hard.
- Align marketing with your main business goal – The goal of marketing is to get as many inquiries into your product as possible. In theory, that along already aligns it with your main business goal. But in B2B business (such as enterprise software), there’s plenty room in the sales process for obscure complications that can easily take away that focus.
- Customer wants are higher priority than complications – Even if you think you have a better sense at creating solutions than your prospects, it shouldn’t blind you from their goals. In fact, sometimes a customer won’t even care much about how their tools get them what they want so long as it still delivers exactly what that is (e.g. verifiable data, better processing, more space for more documentation/content etc).
- Create, don’t just market – Finally, never forget that the product always comes first before marketing it. You can’t market something that you don’t have (unless you want to get slapped with charges of false advertising). No doubt plenty of marketers like to see their work contribute to successful sales but your recognition is best when they see the product actually delivering on what they’re saying.
On that last note, perhaps you can argue that software lead generation is still software dependent but only if by virtue of your product giving what was promised. Don’t depend too much on just what your own technology is saying about who your potential customers are. Much like a GPS, let it guide you but don’t let it take control of the wheel.