Propelling a company forward is lonely, and TechCEOs/ founders have to make difficult decisions every day with limited time, resources and imperfect information. In our experience, we see hundreds of TechCEOs struggle with demand generation. They invest monies into marketing and struggle to get any ROI.
When I ask TechCEOs, “Is your marketing working?”, this is what they say.
“I don’t have time for marketing. I only believe in sales.”
“Tried it. Spent 100K on a team. They left after 8 months to a bigger firm leaving us high and dry.”
“I am spending a lot of money in both inbound and outbound but struggling to get meaningful ROI. I don’t know if it really works.”
“My Software OEM is pushing us to market and do demand generation. We try to ride on their marketing and sales engine.”
Does this resonate with you?
Most of the TechCEOs with an annual run rate of $2M-10M end up paying anywhere from $2500 to $15,000 per month in marketing (events, sponsorships and team salaries). After investing $15,000/month it is sad to see marketing initiatives bomb or the team leaves the company and jumps ship. Even worse, there has been no tangible ROI that they have gotten for that spend.
So the TechCEOs hire direct sales people and believe less in marketing. Not that they don’t want to but they don’t see value in it, don’t know how to make it work or have not tasted success before.
Well here is a little secret.
If you don’t understand marketing and do not have a clear plan to create awareness, drive demand and generate leads – you are stumped from day one!
The golden goose of growing your business is ‘getting the right leads and driving demand‘.
This is usually work of a well oiled marketing engine. Also here is is some good news. If you have a solid marketing plan, deploy a marketing system that is well structured and inject automation into play – you can be less reliant on marketing talent and be more in control of demand generation.
Meanwhile marketing landscape in selling Technology and IT services is always changing. If you haven’t brushed up on it recently, you may be in for a lot of surprises. If you’re looking to start taking your marketing seriously, here are 5 surprising marketing statistics and what they mean for your business.
Over 80% of prospective clients research tech firms online prior to engagement.
Over 45% of tech buyers source buyers using social media, third party analysts and OEM partner channel.
Mid sized tech firms get stuck in demand generation after some time as they run out of leads!
67% of tech firms don’t position themselves as though leaders in their own industry and get price shopped!
According to a recent Gartner study, 47% of TechCEOs reported that hiring/investment in marketing staff was one of the top decisions that resulted in developing new business.
Good marketing is all about creating awareness, finding new buyers unaware of your solution and then motivating them to learn more about you — your company, your solution, your people. When TechCEOs fail to achieve the desired results they blame it on their team or just choose to ignore it. If only they can accept that it was a “poor idea, poorly executed” in the first place.
Whether you are selling a Software product, IT services or reselling a OEM product like Qlik, Tableau or AWS bundled with your services, you have to enable your marketing process to attract potential prospects and tell them how you can solve their problems.
Based on our work with TechCEOs in the region, the flaw is almost always NOT in the intent; instead it is in making poor choices in strategy and in execution. Namely, the inability of the organization (TechCEO) to deploy a marketing framework like TechCelerate, install a demand generation process, align it with sales and drive the necessary behaviour change within the team.
Moreover, stitching together a marketing plan and integrating it into your sales process and execute methodically needs a team of experts.
If you want to snapback and get your demand generation initiatives back on track, here is a brief primer on what to start doing tomorrow:
Develop a well defined marketing plan with clear set of objectives. If you really do not understand your market, size of your potential business, buyers, channels to reach them, messaging and how you should go to market – please take help. Don’t take marketing lightly. If planned, executed well and measured, it will pay you back gazillion times over.
Hold 1 person accountable for results. This is not a responsibility to be spread like fruit jam over the organization. Indeed, there are many hands helping; but only one head in the noose. This could be your marketing director or an agency like us. In fact, work with TechCEOs to establish a marketing infrastructure and run it for them.
Pay them well for success. Nailing a marketing plan and driving demand should be a career achievement. A pat on the beck is not enough. When your leader (and team) is successful, pay them well. And extra. Set your incentive system well.
Make it their full job, not their second job. This is the biggest temptation our TechCEO clients face…just take an ‘A’ player in the company and load them up wit a second set of full time duties on top of their current ones. And then expect both to be carried out well. This is asking for the impossible. So don’t ask for it. Make the change initiative their full time job, for atleast a 12 month period.
Hire some expertise in installing best practices and driving change. Installing world class marketing systems and approach is key. When you back this with teh right talent, success is inevitable. Also change management and organisational behaviour is a specific field that requires expertise not in great supply. Hire out for it. The risk is worth the reward.
Implement for Leading and Behaviour Metrics. Having measurable KPI is key. There will be problems and the need for mid-course corrections. To get ahead of the curve you need to look down the road. That is why leading and behavioural metrics are crucial. They give TechCEOs the necessary over-the-horizon radar so that obstacles can be avoided and chokepoints resolved early on.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :
1. Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.
4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.
3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.
2. Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.
We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.
3. Join our TechCelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study
I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at TechCelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.
Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.