[Column] Dumisani Moyo: Tech marketeer of the future
To excel as a tech marketer, it’s essential to blend traditional marketing expertise with a deep understanding of ever-evolving market trends and an innate understanding and passion for technology.
The fast-paced tech landscape demands an agile mindset, embracing change, adopting, and leveraging innovative approaches and strategies, and a commitment to steadfastly prioritise delivering value to both internal and external customers.
In comparison to other industries, the technology sector stands out for its unprecedented dynamism, continually leading the way in pioneering innovation and creative approaches to addressing business and societal challenges.
The tech industry is inherently transformative by nature, with disruption as a central theme in its evolution. As a result, the role of tech marketing differs fundamentally from marketing functions in other sectors. While marketing skills can indeed be transferable across various industries, the intricacies of the tech sector demand a distinct set of skills and competencies.
Continuous learning, adaptation & evolution
Whether it is discovering new ways of leveraging technological advancements to solve business problems, creating new products and markets, or helping businesses run more efficiently, one thing is certain, it is up to the marketeer to create, and craft a seamless synergy between the solutions they sell and the pressing business challenges that the market is trying to solve. Tech marketers must, therefore, possess a profound understanding of the current challenges and opportunities in the markets they serve.
Maintaining a strong commitment to learning and nurturing one’s curiosity is crucial in the fast-evolving tech industry. Staying current with the latest trends, tools, and strategies requires a proactive approach, and continuous self-development efforts.
To foster continuous learning and adaptability, it’s essential to thoroughly grasp your organisation’s solutions and value proposition. This involves immersing oneself in industry literature, attending webinars and conferences, and connecting with fellow tech professionals. These activities are crucial for staying up to date in our fast-paced world. Engaging in networking and collaborating with industry peers can lead to the exchange of innovative ideas, sharing practical knowledge, and valuable mentorship opportunities.
The tech community thrives on the spirit of sharing ideas, and active involvement in these interactions can greatly enhance personal and professional growth.
Skills in digital literacy & emerging technologies
To fully understand and leverage digital marketing skills, one needs to understand competencies such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Advertising, Content Marketing, and many other digital channels, techniques, and approaches.
Tech marketers must also adeptly analyse and interpret data since modern marketing decisions, including resource and budget allocation, rely heavily on data. Proficiency in analytics tools is also indispensable and leveraging emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation is no longer an exception but the norm.
Tech marketers must therefore understand the workings of these technologies, their potential to enhance marketing efficiency, and their revolutionary impact on campaign execution and optimisation, ultimately leading to superior outcomes and results.
Aligning solutions with market needs through personalisation
Now, more than ever, customers in both Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) settings demand tailored messaging that aligns with their industry-specific needs.
To effectively promote their organisation’s solution, tech marketers must fully grasp the significance of personalised marketing and delivering exceptional customer experiences. This entails customising messages, comprehending the anticipated user experience, and selecting the most suitable engagement channels. Focusing on creating relevant content and storytelling enhances personalisation and message effectiveness.
In my field for example, cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) stands out as one of our primary solutions. Marketers have two choices when promoting it: they can highlight technical aspects and competitive advantages, such as ERP modules for accounting, financial management, project management, materials, and procurement, to position their ERP solution. However, a more effective approach focuses on the business value that ERP offers to companies. This includes enhancing efficiency and productivity, improving the customer experience and profitability, and reducing costs.
The key is to enhance your content creation and storytelling skills as a tech marketer. Crafting exceptional content and compelling storytelling is the foundation of effective marketing, fostering a strong connection between your solutions and your customers’ critical business challenges.
A global mindset with local ethics, regulation & culture
Marketers must prioritise three key pillars: business ethics, regulatory and compliance laws and global cultural awareness. These elements are essential for responsible and ethical marketing strategies, shaping how tech marketers engage with customers both inside and outside their organisations, on local, regional, and global scales.
Business ethics act as a moral compass, steering marketers towards responsible decision-making in our ever-more socially, environmentally, and governance-aware world. Consider, for example, the significance of privacy laws like GDPR in Europe and POPIA in South Africa; these regulations are vital for protecting sensitive customer data, ensuring legal compliance, as well as fostering and nurturing customer trust.
The focus on cultural sensitivity and awareness is important for global or cross-border campaigns. Ethical considerations, especially regarding data privacy and transparency, are now paramount in marketing. Consumers are growing more apprehensive about data usage, and overlooking these factors can severely impact tech marketers and their organisations.
In a diverse global marketplace, a strong sense of diverse cultural awareness is crucial for marketers. It enables us to adeptly navigate different cultural norms and tailor our strategies to engage effectively with diverse audiences.
Essential skills – communication, adaptability & risk-taking
Tech marketing involves challenging the status quo and implementing novel approaches and strategies that disrupt the norm. So effective communication, the art of persuasion, willingness to venture into uncharted territories, and a knack for taking calculated risks while staying within the bounds of business rules and priorities are the cornerstones of a tech marketer’s toolkit. Importantly, experimentation and taking calculated risks fosters innovation and adaptability.
Communication skills are fundamental for building relationships, resolving conflicts, conveying ideas clearly, and facilitating collaboration. Marketing often involves collaboration with various departments and agencies, therefore staying adaptable and open to new ideas are valuable assets.
In conclusion, this is not an exhaustive list of qualities for successful tech marketers but rather my personal experiences and lessons that I have gathered from my journey. I firmly believe that honing and harnessing these skills can empower marketers to excel in the tech industry.