We’re back! I am glad to report that ATC has the first in-person event in 16 months under our belts. This morning we met with founders, CEOs, and marketers for our Marketing Roundtable facilitated by Workhorse Marketing Founder & CEO, Grant Chambers.
Marketing leaders have the important task of shaping and driving brands, demand for products, services and customer experiences. They have persevered through creativity, efficiency, and hard work.
As we all look forward, here are some topics that are on marketer’s minds in the Austin tech scene:
Building trust and credibility in a digital-first era is of paramount importance. Professionals have or are in the process of reestablishing the customer-centric messaging that has created brand evangelists again and again.
Back to website basics
The “website as a resume” format of digital presence is long gone but 2020 compounded the impact of the digital journey on B2B buyers’ decisions. Your website continues to be the anchor your buyers will lean on. How do you keep it relevant? Build it as a mirror of who they are and what their pain points are. Only then will you capture their attention to discuss what solutions your tech company offers.
Solutions vs Cutting Corners
Executives are leveraging their marketing leaders to not only generate product demand, but as the listening mechanism to inform their decisions about which products should be launched at all. That positions marketers in a way we hadn’t seen in the “Mad Men” era of advertising and marketing.
Q: How do marketers then help the buyer identify their root challenge, inform, and then choose a product that isn’t just cutting corners when they don’t speak with a person until the end of their buying journey?
A: With humanity and personalization, of course.
More than a few of our attendees used 2020 as a time to build their relationships deeply. Rather than cast a wide net, they invested more of their time to get to know their clients on multiple levels and it paid off. In order to scale that, marketers are looking for a new level of personalization in their communications. The data at our fingertips is massive and we can garner even more in order to know buyers intimately even before our sales team has a phone call with them – if we’re willing to offer transparency on the upfront.
Data security & Personalization
Be clear about what you’re asking for, why you need it, and how you’ll use it. In the same breath, your company should describe how their data is being protected. I, for one, am comfortable giving my email address to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who own a business (my 4,000+ personal inbox is proof). But
seeing a disclaimer stating something to the effect of, “We will never sell your data or share it with anyone without your permission,” buys that much more confidence and brand loyalty.
Receiving personalized and thoughtful communications from businesses will set any company apart from the crowd. There is only one way to do that and that’s data collection. Put your buyers at ease by going the extra mile to explain your policies and make them easily accessible.
A common thread
Our facilitator Grant put it succinctly – “The common thread in this conversation was very much about getting back to people.”
How have you have you navigated the past 15 months and what learnings are you taking into the next era of your marketing strategy?
Austin Gives, a program of the Austin Chamber that encourages business philanthropy, has launched this year’s awards nominations. Our mission is to recognize businesses who have pledged to give back through volunteer time, products, services and financial support toward their community impact efforts.
Does your business give back? Is it part of your mission to engage in making our community a better place to live and work? If you are a company who makes generosity a part of your business model, we believe you deserve to be recognized and celebrated for your efforts, inspiring others to follow your lead. Last year we added two new award categories to celebrate Employee Engagement efforts and Volunteers who lead in the workplace.
Applications are being accepted now through April 30th, For this year’s Generous Business Awards. https://www.austinchamber.com/events/10th-annual-generous-business-awards
The longstanding special relationship between the UK and the US was the focal point at a January 13th virtual event hosted by the Austin Technology Council and the British Consulate-General Houston, and attended by nearly forty senior executives from the tech community. Over fine Arbelour whiskies, UK Consul General Richard Hyde presided over conversations ranging from the benefits of a US-UK Free Trade Agreement, COP26 sustainability commitments, and ways that the UK Department for International Trade can assist companies seeking to expand their business in the UK.
Special guest, Her Majesty’s Deputy Trade Commissioner, Kunal Khatri, highlighted the tremendous opportunities in the tech sector made possible with a US-UK Free Trade Agreement. Mr. Khatri emphasized that, as two of the world’s most advanced economies, the UK and US will benefit from cutting-edge digital provisions which maximize opportunities for digital trade. Both countries have committed to an impactful digital chapter and ‘future-proofing’ a trade agreement in anticipation of rapid technological developments in the future. Acknowledging the pause in negotiations to make way for Biden transition, Khatri conveyed the UK Government’s optimism and commitment to engage USG around trade issues. The FTA will provide a clear-cut path for companies that currently have a business stake in the UK and promises to be an important boost to post-Covid economic recovery in both countries. Christina Luhn, PhD, Senior UK Trade Policy Advisor, welcomes public, private and non-profit sector engagement on the FTA negotiations: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Holmes, CTO for Energy at Dell Technologies led a discussion focusing on technology’s role in creating a more sustainable world and Dell Technologies longstanding corporate commitment to embed sustainability and ethical practices across its business. Dell Technologies innovations – including reducing the energy intensity of technology and developing solutions to support grid modernization – speaks to the focus and value of COP26 as an “all of society” climate change conference that promises to drive environmental gains at the governmental, business, and end-user levels. As president of COP26, the UK Government sees increasing global climate ambition as a major priority. The US is home to significant low carbon innovation, which is vital in delivering the technology needed to make ambitious climate pledges possible. The UK Government seeks to engage a broad range of US actors – from academia to business and at the federal level – on their innovation agendas. Those wishing to participate in this dialogue are encouraged to contact Amy Spall, UK Policy Advisor, Energy & Environment at email@example.com
Jon Marrs, Regional Director for Department for International Trade (DIT), led a third strand of discussion at the event focusing on how DIT supports businesses seeking to expand into the UK market. He encouraged Texas technology companies to engage DIT at any stage of their expansion, from the earliest days when a firm may just be contemplating international expansion, to companies who are already present in the UK market who wish to grow their UK operations further. DIT provides free, tailored professional assistance such as bespoke market and benchmarking reports that detail skills availability, site locations, financing and grant/incentive options that help US companies build their UK business. DIT also provides individual account management geared towards making market introductions, support with applying for visas, explanation of the UK tax environment, and other services. Companies wanting to learn more about these services are encouraged to contact Lara Purser, Trade & Investment Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org