Five tech-related takeaways from SpiceWorld 2016

Aside from an over-sized t-rex, mounds of Victoria sponge and a moody London skyline, SpiceWorld 2016 – which brought together IT professionals and tech marketers for two days of learning and networking – was memorable for five marketing-related reasons.

1. IT pros are getting pretty fed up (and that’s the PG version) with tech marketers and their approach to communication. And it’s not just the language and buzzwords used – think ‘internet of things’, ‘groundbreaking’, ‘free trial’ and ‘quick call’ – but the relentless frequency with which some marketers are calling/emailing/spamming potential customers. The solution? Speak everyday language and use fewer buzzwords.

2. Understanding your customer persona is one thing, but marketers need to recognise they’re marketing to people rather than personas. As Amelia Carry, product marketing manager at Spiceworks, pointed out, how useful are personas if they’re based on old data and a complete lack of human interaction?

3. Fostering a sense of community among your customers is the golden goose that tech marketers should always be chasing; not only will it help strengthen your brand’s authority, but it will also allow you to get up close and personal with the people whose opinion you value above all others: the customers.

4. IT pros care about the details. This shouldn't come as a surprise, but all too often marketers forget the IT pro audience has its own specific set of needs and pain points. Sure, use emotion, humour and all of those good things – but make sure they can also access tech specs and pricing quickly and easily. Otherwise, they're just not going to give you the time of day.

5. Chris Mann from Spiceworks is a funny guy. Not only did he make us laugh with his candid admissions over a slight balls-up regarding some see-through lederhosen t-shirts (bought with marketing’s budget, no less), but he drove home a point that marketers so often forget: marketing should always be fun. Oh, and he also pointed us towards this Sophos ad, which we rather liked.


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