Planning 2021: Part two of our three part series for tech marketers continues here

7 December 2020

“Raising awareness” is by definition what PR does, so if your PR doesn’t do that, there is a whole other issue. But of course valuable PR should support your commercial objectives. 

We always like to ask clients what pain points they need to resolve. Helping really dig into what needs fixing is often a more meaningful way of setting commercially valuable objectives. 

The tech ecosystem is more crowded than ever, factors such as Eastern Goliaths expanding West, continued new start-up entrants to the market and M&A making the big boys bigger, are all at play. If this is hampering your ability to land deals, then brand and product differentiation or share of voice versus competitors may be key goals. Messaging and SOV analysis as well as domain authority tracking using the right software are all techniques we use to measure success, mapped to increasing sales success over time.

If your pain point is that people don’t really understand what you do or do differently, then audience education shifting perception is the goal. Quantitative message penetration and qualitative perception audits at the start and end of your campaign will benchmark progress. Traditional routes to education like VIP roundtables and stands at conferences are gone, and we can all safely say your common-or-garden webinar is now a little bit too ubiquitous. So re-think the obvious: does your audience want to gather for another Zoom or would they like a breath of fresh air breathed into the format? Or maybe even a personalised digital experience that taps into new audience trends?

Of course for many marketers right now, the pain point is ‘not enough sales’, with the best laid plans hit hard by a struggling economy. You need to compete for share of attention more now than ever before in order to achieve this. Our most recent Business Content Trends Index shows that a clear majority – 66% – of enterprise business decision makers are spending no more than 4 hours a week reading, watching or listening to business related content. So the battle to rise to the top of the priority reading list is rife. 

Bold campaign thinking is needed. PR agencies are well placed to come up with ideas for content in less expected formats that build on your narrative. The Business Content Trends Index shows that creative content (for example insights presented as a comic book or graphic novel) is as popular among business decision makers as the far more frequently used data-led whitepaper. Securing editorial is still vital as the largest percentage of respondents (34%) state news bulletins as their preferred content format but interestingly podcasts come in third with 30%. 

And, yes, it takes a little bit of activation budget but the ROI justifies it. Great campaign thinking will not only drive awareness and differentiation but also web traffic, social engagement and ultimately sales. Plugging in your social and Google analytics to agency software platforms will provide holistic and irrefutable data to communicate success to the board.