5 things marketers want to see disappear from tech marketing in 2017

Alex Clarke explores five marketing gripes, and why they should be eliminated from the tech marketing landscape in 2017

In a recent B2B Marketing Twitter chat, we posed a divisive question to a number of big name technology marketers: “What would you like to see disappear from technology marketing in 2017?”

The responses ranged from eliminating annoying techno-speak to ‘all talk and no action’ marketers, and the death of organic social to the controversial view we should bin content marketing.

1. Content marketing

With marketing and content as inseparable as HP Sauce on your fry-up, there are bound to be a few clenched buttocks and eyebrows raised at this inclusion. But bear with us, and please don’t shoot the messenger.

As Riaz Kanani, MD of Connected Paths, argues: “Adoption of content marketing has increased exponentially in recent years and we now have to wade through a waterfall of muck to find anything useful.

“This overload results in greater cost and time needed to create content that delivers value to both the marketer and the professional, and means professionals are turning to independent sources to research and gain the insight they require.”

Too often, B2B brands adopt an homogenous approach to content, blindly worshipping it as panacea and saviour of marketing, and shovelling self-serving c**p onto the web purely because they can.

The solution? As Riaz explains: “Deliver greater value by producing highly customised content, using account-based marketing techniques and spend some money on influencer marketing and driving thought leadership through independent sources.”

2. Stereotypical techno-jargon

We’re all familiar with cringe-inducing marketing clichés. In fact, most of us are probably guilty of occasionally 'reaching out' to a client or lead to 'touch base' and discuss the 'value add' of 'synergising' their top line. The question is: what does any of that actually mean?

Too many B2B brands are guilty of this, as David McGuire, creative director at Radix Communications expands: “I’d love to do away with B2B brand voices that all sound the same: relentlessly positive, professional, and a bit bland. Let’s sound human for a change – oh, and while we’re at it, can we erase the word ‘passionate’ from the dictionary?”

3. ‘All mouth and no trousers’ marketing

Who’s been in a meeting where the creative juices are flowing, innovative ideas litter the whiteboard, and the barely contained excitement circulating the room is making you feel giddy? Then, you return to your desk, brain pulsating with how you’re going to make these ideas really snap and… nothing. All that talk, all those wonderfully risky ideas, and you end up repeating the same tried and tested method from last quarter.

As Jada Balster, marketing director at Workfront, asserts: “Most of us have heard the sayings ‘B2B is becoming more like B2C’ or ‘It’s not B2B or B2C anymore, it’s H2H (human to human)’ but the reality is, for most B2B companies this theory simply hasn’t been put into practice.

“I was recently asked by B2B Marketing to name my favourite B2B tech campaign, and with a few exceptions, it was really difficult to find B2B brands breaking the mould of the traditional boring tech campaigns.”

B2B brands need to stop theorising, and start taking action. There’s a real lack of originality in B2B, and this needs to change.

4. Ignoring the ‘lesser-known’ social channels

It’s widely acknowledged that B2B social feels most comfortable plying its trade on LinkedIn and Twitter, maybe even Facebook if you’ve got a reckless social media manager who’s desperate to break into the live streaming game.

They’re safe, they’re comfortable, they’re the status quo. But the revolutionary brands never made their names by sticking to the norm. As Russ Powell, marketing manager, Atos, explains: “There seems to be an attitude in B2B circles that the newer and more dynamic social channels are only of use to our B2C cousins.

“While the likes of Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat do lend themselves more towards a B2C approach, we shouldn’t be ignoring them entirely. These platforms are where the current influencers and future decision-makers for B2B spend most of their lives, so why not engage with them where they’re comfortable rather than forcing it through LinkedIn?”

Nailing these underappreciated channels can be achieved in two ways: “First, make sure targeting is absolutely spot on, which is getting easier all the time as platforms gather more and more data on users," Russ suggests.

"Second, use a lighter touch in messaging, which will spark interest and provoke conversation." 

5. The idea that social is a free tool

Social just isn’t a free commodity anymore. While there are small refinements you can make to your social approach, such as adding images and tinkering with copy, standing out among the cacophony of social noise is nigh on impossible without putting some hard cash behind your hard work.

Russell Goldsmith, founder of Audere Communications, agrees: “While setting up your social channels and using them to post updates doesn’t cost you anything, you still need to pay those channels to amplify your posts if you really want to talk to more than the tiny percentages of your audience that organic reach allows.”

Paid social allows brands to move beyond spamming the audience they have by reaching the audience they want. It’s the magic combination of reaching the right prospects with content that will resonate with them.

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