To be a successful technical marketing manager, you need to understand how to apply marketing best practices in the context of a nuanced technical audience.
If you’ve hired a technical marketing manager, pass along this information to help your new staff member understand the breadth and depth of technical marketing. Or, if you’ve just been hired as a new technical marketing manager, congratulations! Here's a jumpstart to your job: research from hundreds of engineers that shows how they search for information and how they want to interact with marketing and sales.
These 10 keys – which focus on brand, positioning, website plans, content marketing strategy, and awareness and loyalty campaigns – will strengthen the skills and knowledge you need to be a successful marketing manager in a technical, B2B company:
Technical Positioning, Brand, and Website Development
Without a plan, how will you know what to do, and when? Having an effective marketing plan and following it will be critical to your success as a technical marketing manager. In busy times, the tendency is to rush and complete any marketing tactic that looks promising at the moment, without taking into consideration your marketing strategy and goals. So, take the time to truly define your marketing goals and measureable objectives.
- Related Post: How to Create a B2B Marketing Plan that Drives Results
- For more about how to create your plan, read about 5 Critical Steps to Developing a Marketing Plan.
2. Position and Brand Your Company Creatively and Carefully
Your brand is of utmost importance to your company, as it conveys who your company is and your unique value proposition. Positioning your brand well will be critical to the long-term success of the business. In marketing terms, your brand is personified both visually – through your company logo and branding style guide – and contextually – through words, such as your mission, vision, and positioning statements; core company and product-level messaging; and company and campaign taglines.
- Related Post: Understand the Components of Brand Messaging
- For more about positioning competitively, read about What Goes into the Decision to Market Against Your Competitors
3. Holistically Evaluate Your Website to Maximize Your Future Time and Spend
Your website will be at the core of your marketing efforts, so before you make any major changes to it, audit your web site so that you can prioritize how to go about making changes and additions to it in the future.
Evaluating your site holistically will help you create a better web experience for all visitors to your website no matter where they are in the buying cycle – those researching your business, learning more about your products and services, preparing to buy, or returning for another purchase.
- Related Post: A 15-Point Checklist to Evaluate Your B2B Technical Website
- For more detail on redesigning your website, read our eBook, "A Guide to B2B Website Redesign"
Content Marketing Strategy
4. Show Your Products or Services in Practice with Compelling Case Studies
Customer case studies are a great marketing and sales tool. By reading about how customers benefit from using your products and services, prospective clients know they are not the first to choose your company, and can hear from real customers to supplement what they’ve learned from reading your content. To succeed as a technical marketer, you’ll need to know how to prioritize the most important applications for case studies, tell your customer’s story clearly, ask for permissions from the customer’s company, and streamline and leverage your work.
- Related Post: 5 Tips for Developing Customer Case Studies
- For more, read about 8 Quick Tips to Create Great Case Studies
Learn all of the elements that make up a compelling case study.
5. Offer the Technical Data Your Customers Need
Because your company is trying to generate leads, create opportunities that engage customers, and ultimately close sales, it’s imperative that you offer the data, insight, and information that your prospects need and want. Offering quality content will cause your customers to see your company as an expert in the industry or technology area in which you work, and direct them to your products and services as solutions to their challenges. In addition to case studies, targeted presentations, and white papers that cover relevant topics will build credibility, show your company’s experience, and convey a memorable message.
- Related Post: 4 Best Practices for Creating Effective Presentations
- For more on white papers, read about 5 Steps to Writing Effective White Papers
6. Engage with Your Prospects by Making an Investment in Video
Here’s a statistic that will make your head spin: according to Pingdom, a website monitoring firm, more than 800 million web visitors watch online videos per month. And, YouTube is now the second most popular search engine on the planet, just behind Google. Web visitors are drawn to video, so you should be creating videos as a technical marketing manager to add a dimension to the web that text and imagery alone cannot achieve.
- Related Post: Why You Need Video in Your B2B Marketing Mix
- For more about creating videos yourself, see DIY Marketing Videos on a Budget
7. Optimize your Content Marketing with Content Re-Use and Topic Clusters
One piece of well-written, well-placed content can have multiple uses. You can blog about it, amplify it as a call-to-action on social media sites, and repackage it in the form of a video, webinar, or white paper with tags and meta data that search engines will see. Just think about how that one piece of content used in multiple ways and channels can drive your search marketing efforts. And, topic clusters are the newest strategy to optimizing your site to perform well on search engines. Topic clusters help you develop a content marketing strategy that is supported by search engine opimtization best practices.
- Related Post: Keywords are Out, Topic Clusters are In
- Learn more about topic clusters, read about How to Build a Topic Cluster
Loyalty and Awareness Campaigns
8. Increase Customer Engagement Regularly with E-Newsletters
Staying top-of-mind with prospects and customers is a challenge you’ll probably always face. E-newsletters are a great way to maintain a conversation with your target audience, promote valuable content, and help nurture your lead base to increase customer loyalty and move prospects closer to the sale. A corporate e-newsletter, done right, can be one of the most effective and strategic marketing activities a company undertakes. You need to understand all aspects of e-newsletters, from design to content to mailing lists, in order to create ones that build your brand and bring new leads to your company.
- Related Post: Nurture your Leads: Harness the Power of E-Newsletters, Part I
- For more about e-newsletters, read about Nurture Your Leads: Harness the Power of E-Newsletters, Part 2
Use E-newsletter campaigns to stay top-of-mind with customers.
9. Get more Blog Traffic and Grow Your Potential Customer Base
Blogging is a great way to bring more visitors to your website, so you’ll want to constantly seek to get more blog traffic (and in turn, get more prospective customers to your site). It takes consistent investment of time, creativity, and ideas to develop a successful blog and reach an increasing percentage of your target audience, but the payoff can be worth it in the long run. Maximize that investment by understanding the potential of your blog, getting discovered, converting readers into subscribers, and finding advocates for your blog.
- Related Post: 4 Ways to Get More Blog Traffic
- For more, read about how you can Improve the ROI of Your Blog
10. Grow Awareness and Traffic With Media Coverage
News coverage generates awareness about your company and its products and services, boosts organic search for your company, and drives traffic to your company web site. Quality news coverage starts with strong, longstanding relationships with journalists, so you’ll want to begin building those contacts. Overall, your interactions with the press should be productive if you’re willing to consistently contribute strong and relevant information that they can use to better inform their readers. They’ll come to appreciate your insight and value your relationship as an industry expert as much as you value their ability to widely publicize your company or product name.
- Related Post: 4 Steps to Building Meaningful Relationships with Journalists
- For about interacting with the media, read about Trade Show Media Relations Do's and Don'ts
Want deeper insight?
Download Smart Marketing for Engineers: Build Your Foundation – an e-book that helps technical business leaders build and execute an efficient and effective marketing program where every dollar and every hour spent drives results.
Are you the lone marketer at your technical firm? Read this blog post that gives you 7 Tips for the One-Person Marketing Team.