How to Avoid Marketing Misses in Tech Companies: Explain the Why

We’ve seen it happen time and time again. A promising tech startup has a great-looking platform or product but fails to gain traction in the marketplace.


What happens next? Many tech companies disappear altogether. Tech firms have the highest failure rates among all startups and only a quarter of venture-backed companies ever return cash to investors.

It’s a little different for established companies that launch new products. While they may be able to survive a marketing miss, it’s typically an expensive undertaking. The list of products launched that never caught on is long – even from the tech giants. Google Glass, the Facebook phone, Windows RT tablets, and Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby are all history.


Why do the majority of startups or product launches struggle? While the result may be a lack of cash flow or revenue, the underlying cause is the lack of product-market fit. According to Failory, marketing problems account for 56% of failures.


In many cases, it’s because companies never took the time to explain the product or service in a way that customers understood the value. It’s only when people understand the need that they will think about buying.


Stop selling the what. Start selling the why.


It’s the why that creates demand.


Selling the Why

It’s a simple question: Why do I need this product or service?


Answering that question for the customer is, of course, is a bit more complex.


Marketing efforts in new categories have to focus on explaining the need and fuelling the desire. Specific branding and messaging can come later after the need is firmly established. You must sell the vision before the product.


For B2C and B2B customers, you must explain why they need your product or service and the benefits they get. This takes a customer-centric approach to everything you do to fulfil their needs and offer solutions.


Nobody wants to buy a product. What they want is a solution to their problem. Will this product make their life easier? Will it solve a problem or make their business more productive or profitable?


While it’s important to create ideal customer profiles and strategies to fill your sales pipeline, none of it matters if there isn’t a demonstrated need for what you’re selling. Some of the best tech marketing campaigns follow a fairly simple formula:

  1. Find the pain: Showcase the problem and the pain it causes.

  2. Ease the pain: Show how your product or service solves the pain

  3. Showcase your unique selling proposition (USP)

This explains clearly to customers how your products solve their problems and why they should do business with you rather than anyone else.


When you build your marketing campaigns, these efforts should also answer three specific why questions for customers..


The Three Whys of Marketing

Customers want an answer to these questions:

  1. Why do I need your product or service?

  2. Why should I buy from you?

  3. Why should I trust you?

Let’s discuss.


Why Do I Need Your Product or Service?

Problems come in all shapes and sizes. With tech products, many customers may not even know they have a problem that needs to be solved until you tell them. Most successful solutions involve fulfilling functional needs, such as:

  • Saving time

  • Reducing costs

  • Reducing effort

  • Making money

  • Simplifying processes

  • Protecting your assets

Some problems are obvious. I can’t imagine anybody wants to buy toilet paper, but we know why we do. When your product or service fulfils a basic need, you can easily establish the why. For other products, it’s not so simple. You must first frame the problem and then show how you can solve it.


Why Should I Buy from You?

You’ve highlighted the pain and showed potential customers that there’s a solution available. Next, you need to answer why they should buy from you rather than your competitor.


There are a lot of similar products out there with the same basic features and functionality. As soon as someone develops a successful digital platform or tech product, there are hundreds of competitors with similar products on the market.


This requires you to craft a USP to quickly and clearly distinguishes you from your competitors.


Since you’ve already helped potential customers see a need or problem that needs to be solved, if you can’t separate yourself from others, all of your work may just lead to someone else closing a sale.


This is especially important in a crowded tech marketplace. And, it’s crowded out there. There are more than 525,000 software and IT companies in the U.S. alone and that doesn’t include hardware manufacturers and anything else in related industries.


Why Should I Trust You?

In marketing and sales, risk mitigation is a big part of the equation. Once you’ve established why people need what you’re selling and convinced them that your product can help, you must gain their trust.


Ever see a tech gadget that you think is really cool, but it comes from a company you’ve never heard which made you nervous about buying it? Would you have felt differently about purchasing if it came from Apple, Microsoft, or IBM?


We bet you would. So would we.


Established tech companies with long-standing reputations have built their credibility over time and created trust with consumers. While not every tech creation these companies produce will be a breakthrough product, customers have more confidence when making purchase decisions.


If you’re looking for a CRM to drive your sales pipeline, there’s reduced risk in choosing Salesforce, HubSpot, SAP, or rising CRMs such as Pardot or Zoho. Yet, there are thousands of other CRMs on the market. If you’re one of them, you’ve got to establish credibility and answer the big question: why should I trust you?


Without trust, sales rarely happen.


The Key to Growing Sales and Building Brands

Building tech brands and growing sales is a challenge. When you establish why someone needs to solve a problem, why they should buy from you, and why they should trust you, you’ve significantly increased odds in your favour.


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