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Martech Vendors: What Will Change About Marketing To Marketers In 2018?


By Victor Ijidola

Marketers are often happy to hear of new shiny tools that can better their jobs and ROIs.

So when they hear of your marketing software, you can expect them to want to check it out. Don’t ask me why, it’s only normal. We all want tools that make our jobs faster, easier and better.

But then, and you probably know this already, Scott Bringer’s latest martech report says the amount of marketing tools vying for marketers’ attention grew by 40% in 2017 from the previous year. Would this change how martech brands market to marketers?

It should, in a huge way.

With so many marketing tools out there and new players taking the stage daily, marketers will have to become more picky. Every martech brand is finding it has at least five competitors to contend with. Hubspot CRM, for instance, has over 460 rivals sharing a space with it — that’s serious.

This level of competition clearly means marketing software businesses need to start thinking beyond merely features.

The best communicators are going to be winning big this year. If marketers are going to so much as sign up for a free trial of your tool, you must first convince them it’s worth their time and attention. The way you communicate your marketing solution is going to have a big impact on how it’s received.

Salesforce’s 2017 State of Marketing report reveals that 65% of businesses are likely to abandon brands that don’t provide “customised communications.”

This is especially true for marketing software providers. Your homepage, landing pages, content and everything on your site need to hit very specific pain points for marketers, or they’ll take their attention elsewhere. It’s not their fault; you just have too many competitors they can pick from.

#Martech brands: Your landing pages, content and everything on your site need to hit very specific pain points for marketers, or they’ll take their attention elsewhere. It’s not their fault; you just have too many competitors. Click To Tweet

So you want to understand how to communicate with marketers in a way that will make them notice your brand and actually come closer and convert.

Start here: State facts. Avoid hyperbole.

You’d think by now, every business already understands that hyperbole hardly works on anyone — especially marketers, but you’d be surprised at how many marketing brands still describe themselves as The Best Customer Retention Software or The #1 SEO Tool Online.

Marketers are highly analytical people. Numbers and facts are our language. And so one easy way to leave a wrong impression about your brand with them is to tout how “great and awesome” your solution is instead of showing how your product solves real problems for marketers.

Peep Laja of ConversionXL put it this way (54:21): “You don’t add life to copy with hyperbole. [For example,] ‘We have the best pizza in town VS. We deliver pizza in 10 minutes’. [Pick] specific [over] hyperbole.”

This doesn’t mean you won’t grab some marketers’ attention with exaggerated claims, but showing results is a better way of communicating with them. You want to flash numbers and solid proof your product works.

The best martech companies know this already. HubSpot, for example, lets you know right up front on their homepage that their product is used by 34,000 customers.

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They also include the number of visits they get to their blog (4.5 million+) — this one doesn’t ensure marketers HubSpot delivers on its promise, but it at least entices them to instantly respect the brand. They will reason, “If Hubspot is getting over 4 million visits every month, there has to be something special about them.”

That’s how powerful numbers can be. But of course, marketers are humans — irrespective of how analytical they are. So you need more than facts and hard figures to communicate with them. You need emotional intelligence.

It’s not all about hard figures; marketers are humans, right?

Regardless our level of affinity for analytics as marketers, we have emotions, and they do influence our decisions sometimes. Heck, creativity is a huge part of what we do!

When communicating with marketers, throw in some emotional elements, a good story, and some interesting conflict, and watch your campaigns tap into the human side of marketers.

So, what are the basic things people (marketers or not) love to see? We like to see what other people like us are doing before we take the plunge. And if we can hear someone else’s story about how wonderful the product is, that’s a plus to gaining our trust and incentivizing us to act.

For example, customer support software Groove put an explainer video from a customer right on their homepage — it’s the first thing you see once you land on the page.

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And it isn’t just a video.

It’s one with a happy customer telling a story of how the product solves customer relationship problems for his business. Before clicking to watch it, you’d have already seen the customer with a big smile — a factor that studies say increases conversions.

Another way to appeal to marketers is content.

Studies say attention spans online are now shorter than they’ve ever been. And several other studies also say we’re expecting content overload online — more content than people can keep up with. This of course means people will barely be paying attention to content that businesses create these days.

But get this: marketers still read a whole lot of content. (Proof? Well you’re here reading content).

The only thing that’s changed in their relationship with content is they know how and where to find quality content. A lot of content will get buried, but quality content (as long as it’s properly promoted) will still reach marketers and hold their attention.

And there’s evidence. In the midst of all the noise that content marketing is dying, many martech businesses are still grabbing the attention of hundreds and thousands marketers per content. Here are a few examples:

Groove’s recent post about switching customer support software got over 1000 shares in less than a week.

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And this one below was written by yours truly for a publication run by martech brand Optimove; it got over 2000 shares within a few days.

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Here’s another example from a martech brand (Hotjar) grabbing marketers’ attention with content (1.3k shares):

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I could go on and on with examples, but you get the idea: content still works to snag the attention of marketers. I would know — as someone who does content marketing specifically for martech and other marketing brands.

And these shares of course don’t mean sales or conversions. But they do show the extent of your brand’s reach. They are a good indicator of how many people your brand has been exposed to. Even better, if you’re employing smart content strategies, these thousands of shares can also end up meaning hundreds or thousands of conversions (leads and important customer data) for your site.

Regardless of what’s been touted about content marketing becoming less effective, the truth is marketers (your customers) seem to know where to find great content. They always need to learn new things to get better at their jobs.

#Martech brands: Regardless of what's been touted about content marketing becoming less effective, marketers (your customers) know where to find great content. They always need to learn new things to get better at their jobs. Click To Tweet

If you establish your site as a quality content hub, they’ll keep coming back — and the examples above are proof of that.

Let’s wrap up here

Marketers respond to marketing campaigns differently than everyone else.

Like you, they are in the business of grabbing customers’ attention to their brands. So if they’re your target customers (and they are, if you’re a martech business), they know your tactics. They understand you’re trying to buy them over — irrespective of how you frame your marketing tactics.

So tactics like our tool is the best will not work. Being specific using numbers works best — for example, 700 or 7,000 businesses use our email automation tool. As mentioned above as well, consider tapping into marketers’ emotions using customer stories (video or text) or any other tactic you can employ to the good.

Keep ahead of the curve in 2018. Analyze how the most successful brands stay on top. Shoot straight from the hip with solid facts that prove your value. And remember, marketers are human. Like everyone else, they are more likely to open the door to a sensible sounding, smiling salesperson than to hyperbole toting hyena. Here’s to your success.

Author avatar

Victor Ijidola

Victor helps B2B and SaaS brands generate leads and revenue via content marketing and copywriting. He's the founder of Premium Content Shop and has been featured on sites like The Next Web, MarketingProfs, Forbes, Inc.com and so on.

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