There are few things more difficult than marketing a high-tech product.
Like, sneezing with your eyes open, licking your own elbow or writing the number 6 whilst moving your foot in a clockwise direction – it sometimes feels damn near impossible to have the most anti-advertising audience on earth check out your tech product.
Because many of our Raygun users are also developers with their own businesses and struggles with marketing high tech, it would be selfish of me not to share my resources.
First published in 1986, Marketing High Tech isn’t exactly a modern read, but if I were to recommend just one book to help with marketing your startup, it would be this. William Davidow is most well known for being the success behind Intel’s ‘micro processor explosion’, in the 70s and 80s and his experience can be transferred as words to live by for any tech company trying to market to a technical audience today. Everything I know about product placement and market share, I learned from this book. My main takeaway from reading it would be, you can’t please everybody. Find your strengths and focus on them.
Great companies are not just a little better in a few ways, they are significantly better in one or more ways that are important to the customer. – William Davidow
Kissmetrics is a really handy marketing tool that helps you wade through your massive swamp of user data and tells you all the important parts with reports, and leaves out what you can ignore. Their blog is one of the few I’m still subscribed to after the mass cull of my email subscriptions several weeks ago (thanks unroll.me). We’ve used the A/B testing reports many times, and let me tell you – having the data to back up something you suspect saves A LOT of time convincing your team to go with your idea. Always be testing.
If you do just ONE thing today to get you closer to successfully marketing your high tech product or service, all I ask of you dear reader is that you watch this 54.22 minute long talk on writing non-sucky copy for websites, marketing collateral and newsletters by Joanna Wiebe from CopyHackers.com. The words you use to talk about your tech product are CRUCIAL to how people feel about you, but if you take a look at nearly every tech landing page on the internet – they’re made up of a bunch of words and phrases that don’t really mean anything, let alone explain what the product does. Be different, be unexpected and be real.
In staying with the theme of being real and being different, I absolutely loved this article on being ridiculously honest as part of your marketing strategy. Think about it, NO ONE is going about telling people why they shouldn’t use their service. In fact, they’re probably denying their weak points and exaggerating their good ones. But the truth is, people will trust you and respect you more if they feel you’re being honest with them. For example, a developer who shouldn’t use Raygun, is someone who’d rather be in the dark about their code once it’s in the wild.
Ok so I was a bit dishonest about unsubscribing from ALL the newsletters and blogs before. I’m still an avid follower of both the Intercom blog and the Buffer blog, who are both companies that we use and love at Raygun. Otherwise, I’ve totally cut back on email subscriptions, I promise, I don’t have a problem…
So, take these resources and pass them on. Marketing high tech is hard, and if you can help one person improve just a little bit – you can be helping in a big way. Like this swimming horse, with a small dog riding to freedom on its back.