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1 Market Measures 2012 Axe your Advertising Agency MARKET MEASURES WHITE PAPER

2 AXE YOUR ADVERTISING AGENCY The Market Measures growth insight High-growth companies don t use traditional marketing content to drive their promotional activities In the promotion of our innovations offshore, a fundamental change is becoming apparent as the buying process of even the most complex technologies is being conducted to a significant degree online. High-growth companies in the Market Measures study are adjusting to this new reality in the way they promote themselves. High-growth companies are shifting from simply producing promotional material about themselves, to providing useful content to customers online. High-growth companies rarely produced company and product flyers and brochures, instead focusing on regular production of more independent content like ebook s. They promoted this content with the active use of online marketing tools (e.g. search ad management). The key insight being that some technology companies may have to take an axe to the way they have traditionally promoted their products offshore, and look at different, mainly online, ways to connect with offshore markets. Taking action Kiwis produce a mountain of innovation, but moving it to the Mohammad of big offshore markets is tough, relentless work. For exporters of hi-tech goods especially, a new trend in marketing is making the pushing out less critical and encouraging Mohammad (or more likely Chip from LA) to come to the mountain of Kiwi inventiveness. This trend is the evolving concept of inbound marketing. Instead of constantly reaching out through expensive trade shows, direct marketing, advertising and telemarketing, companies are using techniques to get potential customers to come to them, to come in. Outbound marketing is becoming less effective, especially for companies selling complex products like technology to other businesses. Not only are consumers increasingly immune to being marketed at, their attention is simply diverted by the volume of marketing messages they see and consume every day Concentrate Limited. All rights reserved. Page: 1

3 Online crucial part of mix In Market Measures % of companies felt it was important that potential customers were able to conduct at least part of their buying process online (i.e. finding information about their products and evaluating them), and 53% felt this situation has become more common in the past 12 months. The content most suitable for early lead nurturing online was actually the promotional content least frequently produced. The most frequent was content used for late stages of the sales cycle sales presentations, newsletters and company or product collateral. Least frequent was content used for early stages in the sales cycle ebooks, podcasts, infographics checklists, webinars and opinion articles. Inbound marketing An inbound marketing approach typically involves providing this kind of useful information to potential customers, through online channels like your own website and online communities like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Slideshare, Pinterest and so on. It is becoming effective because consumers, especially of complex products, are conducting more and more of the buying process online, instead of engaging through sales calls, trade shows and the like. Studies show that almost half of all web searches are research on products and services. That s a lot of tire kicking that you need to be part of. When you are selling something complex and expensive to other businesses, those people need to spend time researching and understanding it. Providing lots of useful content that helps them do so positions your brand as a credible choice. To be effective with inbound marketing takes a mind shift. Traditional marketing is all about how loud you can toot your horn, telling anyone who will listen that you are the world-class, industryleading and ground breaking, able to save them millions and bring world peace into the bargain. With inbound marketing you have to instead think how a piece of marketing content will actually benefit the receiver of that information. Not simply look for another way to mindlessly scream for attention. An inbound marketing strategy requires earning a customer s attention by giving them something intrinsically valuable, regardless of whether they want to purchase your product. This means you need to know who your target market is, the main business problems in that market, who the buyers are, their typical demographics and the goals and challenges of their job. The more you know about this, the easier it will be to produce content that they find interesting and useful, and the easier it is for you to entice them into your sales process. An example Auckland-based online HR software company Sonar6 is a good example of how to use inbound marketing to support your exporting. Using inbound marketing tactics to support other activity, Sonar6 built an export base of 350 quickly enough to attract the attention of Nasdaq-listed software company Cornerstone on Demand, which brought them in March In many ways Sonar6 epitomise the new breed of Kiwi exporter, more servers and software than gumboots and grass, with radical new ways of finding, connecting and nurturing organisations towards becoming clients. At the core of their inbound marketing is a website packed with content useful for the potential customer. Not simply promotional fluff but useful information about how to review employee performance Concentrate Limited. All rights reserved. Page: 2

4 It s also a very active site, with marketinggrader.com estimating that the Sonar6 blog is updated every three days on average. Active blogs are important for B2B companies as, according to US marketing software company Hubspot, generating 67% more leads than competitors with inactive websites. That s combined with lots of ways their website visitors can take action and move further along their buying process. They can view online product demonstrations, organise a free trial, participate in a webinar (online seminar) and watch all manner of videos. All well as having these basics in place, Sonar6 carry out a very active programme of marketing - sending campaigns to large lists trying to entice them into the web of Sonar6 information online, relentlessly pushing them closer to buying. Underlying this is a strong focus on analytics with Sonar6, again according to marketinggrader.com, using tools like Marketo and Google ecommerce Conversion tracking the behaviour of their web visitors and managing the leads along a sales cycle. The key questions Can inbound marketing support your export strategy? Here s a few questions to think about: Do you have a clear idea of who your target market is? Are you selling something reasonably complex with a multi-stage buying cycle? Can you articulate a clear value proposition about your products and services? Do you have a website that is flexible enough to be an active platform for regularly adding content? Have you established some basic social media channels such as LinkedIn or Twitter? The beauty of this new era is the depth and quality of the information available online. That s the place to start gathering information and building your inbound strategy, to get your Mohammad s coming to your mountains of inventiveness. For more resources see Of course none of this would work without a compelling story and interesting, engaging content. Instead of the normal business-speak of providing leading systematic evaluations of employee performance or something similar, Sonar6 talk about helping you conduct performance reviews that don t suck. They pair that provocative theme with lots of useful information about judging performance and assessing talented employees, all delivered in a similarly relaxed and non-corporate style. The effort and difficulty of this shouldn t be underestimated, but it is key to effective inbound marketing i.e. finding an authentic way of speaking about the unique offer they can make to the customer Concentrate Limited. All rights reserved. Page: 3

5 About Market Measures Market Measures was founded in 2009 by Concentrate Limited as a national study that benchmarks the sales and marketing activity of New Zealand s technology companies. The aim of this survey is to give Kiwi technology companies useful information for planning their sales and marketing strategies. Since 2011 Swaytech has supported Concentrate in producing Market Measures. In 2012 Market Measures principal sponsors are: This year s survey has also received support from The New Zealand Hi-Tech Trust, NZICT, The Canterbury Software Cluster, The New Zealand Software Association, Auckland ICT, Taranaki Technology, and Priority One (Tauranga). About Concentrate Concentrate is a marketing consultancy that helps Kiwi technology companies develop strategies for finding and penetrating profitable market opportunities. Using our industry experience and a set of proven tools we deliver market clarity for technology companies - practical, actionable insights into their marketing challenges. About Swaytech Swaytech is a marketing and communications practice dedicated to unlocking the innovation and growth potential of B2B focused companies. It offers a full range of services from public relations and communications, marketing strategy and execution, to print design and full web design and development Concentrate Limited. All rights reserved. Page: 4

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