Creating an omnichannel strategy for your IT and high tech marketing means focusing in on your customers' journeys and integrating your marketing activities across your marketing mix
As high tech and IT continue to develop and shape the world we live in, so too must IT and high tech marketers adapt their marketing strategies with the times. When you evolve your marketing plan to incorporate martech, marketing data, and real-time analysis you are in the best position to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. On the other hand, ignoring change and continuing with a stagnant, fixed marketing plan could lose you more and more customers to your competitors. This has never more so been the case than with the ongoing omnichannel transition taking place in the IT and high tech sector.
A 2020 survey of hundreds of engineering staff - from R&D/engineering staff to managers, leaders, and technical staff - has identified the latest trends in omnichannel marketing. In this article, we will depict these trends and others alongside our recommendations for high tech and IT marketers looking to boost their results through a customer-centric, data-driven approach to omnichannel marketing.
Omnichannel touchpoints for IT and high tech customers
Did you know nearly three-quarters of the engineers who responded to the survey now conduct more than half of the buying process online before choosing to speak with someone at a company?
Once ready to connect with salespeople, the majority of those engineers wanted to do that online as well, with 59% preferring to connect over email and 5% online chat, as opposed to 24% engaging with a salesperson over the phone and 8% in person.
With so many customer journeys taking place online and offline, if you haven't got a clear structure for your customer touchpoints it can be hard to make sure you are supporting your customers in their purchase decision. That's where the RACE Framework comes in.
The RACE Framework is our simple, 5-step, strategic marketing structure, which you can apply to your business to create a streamlined, data-driven marketing strategy, centered around your customers' omnichannel journeys.
Integrated through plan - reach - act - convert - engage, the RACE Framework unlocks a tried-and-tested marketing process for you to rapidly review and optimize your marketing activities individually and as a whole funnel.
Our popular RACE Framework marketing training empowers IT and high tech marketers to develop their omnichannel marketing competencies to acquire and retain customers in the competitive digital landscape. From digital novices to digitally mature marketers, we have marketing tools and templates to help all marketers and managers improve their skills and grow their businesses. Find out more.
Use high-quality content in your IT and high tech marketing to gain more qualified leads
IT and high-tech customers value useful content marketing when researching before a purchase. As demonstrated in Trew Marketing's survey of engineers, high-quality content such as data sheets and case studies are considered very valuable by this audience.
Naturally, depending on your IT or high-tech product or service offering, some content types will vary. As well as general surveys, you can analyze the behavior of your own audience interacting on your website, social media, and email. Indicative KPIs for interaction could include bounce rate, click-through rate, form completions, and return traffic. Conversion metrics would include sales, conversion rate, and return on investment.
When making decisions about your content it's important not just to measure the number of leads but also to consider the lead quality. For example, a very popular piece of content attracting lower intent traffic would, at first glance, be outperforming a lower-traffic piece of content with a strong conversion rate. That's why you need to consider the whole of the RACE funnel when planning, measuring and optimizing your marketing strategy.
Armed with this data, you can make informed decisions regarding content marketing distribution. For example, in the example above, investment in increasing the reach of your content which is already converting could work wonders for your ROI! Our RACE Framework guides marketing leaders through the step-by-step process of setting goals and then measuring their marketing activities' performance against their objectives.
Ideation for high tech marketing
Our content marketing matrix ranks content for its emotional/rational nature vs awareness/purchase goal. This matrix is just one of a number of tools our Business Members are using to plan, manage and optimize their marketing strategies. Join Smart Insights today for 24/7 access online to marketing solutions proven to drive growth for your business.
Keep your high tech customers engaged by email
The RACE Framework is at the heart of all of Smart Insights' marketing training. We believe in the RACE Framework and so do our customers, because they are seeing the results themselves firsthand. The final step in RACE is all about keeping customers engaged after their purchase. This step is often missed out by inexperienced marketers since it is not obvious in a typical marketing funnel. However, our RACE Framework includes filling your funnel with existing, engaged customers to improve your customer lifetime value and accelerate your ROI.
As such, the RACE lifecycle diagram below demonstrates some of the marketing activities which you can use to retain, upsell and cross-sell your existing customer base.
As we know, email was highlighted as the preferred communication method by the Trew Marketing's survey of engineers, with more than 50% of responders giving this channel preference.
In fact, more than half of the respondents subscribe to 3+ email newsletters, and nearly a fifth subscribe to 6 or more. However, less than half of the pool actually open each of their newsletters. So, the challenge here is to keep your customers and potential customers engaged by reaching out to them with subject lines that will pique their interest.
In the IT and high tech marketing sector, this is easier said than done, with April 2021 email channel research denoting an industry average open rate for 'technology' of only 12.44%, against the channel average of 17.13%. Note, these stats give the average open rates for all emails sent within the 'technology' sector, regardless of the stage of their relationship. For example, we would expect a loyal frequent customer to be more likely to open than, for example, a customer supplied via a third-party list. We recommend measuring email engagement to benchmark your results against other similar lists in your database, to get a better idea of how particular subject lines are performing.
We've got omnichannel marketing tools to support your engagement strategy. For example, this email sequence table outlines the first five emails a new customer would receive. Our editable templates allow you to download and amend email planning tools to quickly get up and running.
If you're a high tech marker or manager looking to boost your profits with low financial investment, optimizing your customer engagement email strategy is a no-brainer. So, whether you're looking to improve your skills or boost your teams' channel performance, our email nurture training can help you get the results you need, fast.
Join thousands of savvy Smart Insights members around the globe who are implementing marketing strategies and tactics integrated across the RACE Framework to achieve their businesses' vision. Get started today.