HOW TO SUCCEED AS A MARKETER IN A TECHNOLOGY ENVIRONMENT
Many technology companies are product-first and engineering-driven. Marketing often takes the sidelines and is sometimes even an afterthought after a great product is built. Take for example, Google or Facebook. These companies are built upon the ethos of product-centric cultures that have evolved into developing a marketing organization over time.
I work as a Marketing Director at one of the largest tech companies in the Silicon Valley, Oracle. When I interact with product leaders, engineering leads, and architects, I find that following a few simple principles can bring credibility to the work I’m doing and the broader marketing organization:
- Work with sales to identify great customers that are using your company’s products. Next, showcase those customers through videos, blog posts, and other creative content. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much your work gets recognized by the engineering organization.
- Organize a kick-a** launch event. A launch event is a product team’s best opportunity to be in the limelight. Ensure that you work with a world-class video team (as much as budgets permit) and incorporate various elements into the event: conversations with customers and partners, product demos (live demos are better than recorded ones), and actionable next steps, such as a free trial or 1-1 product walkthrough. In addition, incorporate social media promotions and paid search to your campaigns to increase the audience for your event.
- Work with sales to identify adjacencies. Often customers of related products will be great candidates for those in your portfolio. A cloud database customer, for example, is likely a very good target for other cloud infrastructure products, particularly those related to cloud compute or data storage. Work with sales to identify such potential customers. Product leaders will be open to collaborating with sales to pitch and close the deal for these “easy wins.”
Technologists are very focused on driving adoption of their product. To that end, if you miss the target (i.e. their expectations) with a product launch or customer video, you should expect candid, critical feedback. It’s better to be thoughtful with your marketing plans and methodical with your execution to win their appreciation.