I will start by saying that I am by no means an expert in Marketing. What I am, however, is an experienced CTO, and as we know, this role has a high degree of versatility. One of the skillsets valuable for a CTO is at least a basic knowledge of Digital Marketing.
So, I will share today with you some basic tips in Digital Marketing, that I consider valuable for any CTO (and not only!). As I previously mentioned that I’m no expert in this, I may be wrong in some of them or there may be better approaches out there, and please correct me if I am, but I think they are good starting tips for any CTO wanting to enhance their Digital Marketing capabilities.
- The story you tell is your most powerful marketing tool.
People want to know how they can relate to your product/service. To understand which problem you are trying to provide a solution for, how they report to it. Transform every case like this in a success story and make it transparent.
Package your product/service into an offer where a client can clearly see what they can expect from paying you for that.
The late great sales trainer, Zig Ziglar, used to say, “People buy on emotion (stories) and justify on logic (data, statistics, etc.).”
- Customers tend to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains.
The concept is named “Loss aversion” and basically states that your customers’ fear of loss is more powerful than their desire of gain. Some studies have suggested that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains. Always put emphasis on certainty, stability, and security.
- Always sell the outcome, not your product/service.
Try putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and determine how you can help your customer succeed. Explain how a customer benefits from the use of your product/service. For example, a medical subscription grants you access to certain hospitals/clinics and doctors, but the outcome of this is maintaining you healthy for the long term – this should be what you’re selling.
- One of the greatest skills you need to develop (and even sell) is to decrease the time to market.
Reducing the time between idea and execution is one of the most desirable skills in any company. It draws on your capacity as a CTO to leverage your experience in order to identify patterns and create frameworks that help improve process efficiency.
- Show as much proof as possible.
Claim without proof is rarely worth anything. Testimonials, studies, facts, client stories, and any as such will highly contribute towards building trust.
- Study psychology and persuasion.
Technology is already such a big topic that requires countless hours invested in only to stay up to date with the digital trends. But do not neglect other important traits such as Psychology and Persuasion which may not only play an important role in Digital Marketing, but also in Stakeholder Management, Change Management, and other areas that are just as important for the CTO.
- Build streams of monthly recurring revenue.
Your business model should include a way to not start each month from 0$. Ask yourself how you can transform certain products/services in your offering into subscriptions that generate continuous revenue.
- A well-known product will always beat the best product.
We tend sometimes to focus only on all the cool features we’d like to add to our products, all the latest and greatest technologies to use, but sometimes a better built product may lose market to a less well-built product with better marketing. Don’t forget to invest into making your product known.
- You don’t need the latest technologies, the greatest engineers, the most expensive hosting options to start a product.
Don’t invest everything from the beginning into a new concept you want to launch. Rather build a POC and test. Test, test, test! I can’t stress this enough. Even if you can afford investing more upfront, rather build and test more POCs, see which of them bring ROI, and then build the final product the right way.
Don’t invest from the start in a team of 100 engineers to build a rocket ship for something you are not certain yet that it may generate the expected revenue. Outsource your team in the beginning and then slowly onboard internal people as the business grows and you identify and build the right company culture.
- Use curiosity to increase response rates from your customers.
Harvard Business Review studies have shown that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation. Make sure to tell the story of your product or service in a way that keeps your clients engaged and triggers their curiosity to learn more.
- Increase your value instead of lowering your prices.
The price of anything is always tied to its perceived value, to what you can compare it to. Bob Stone once said that people buy anything to either protect what they have or gain something new, but in both cases value stays at the middle of the decisional layer. Make customers want your product more rather than giving it away for free.
Also try to offer something to compare it to, and ideally something more expensive. Even the high cost of doing nothing.
- Amazon, Reddit, Forums, Facebook Groups, StackOverflow are all great for market research.
Use the existing knowledge resources to your advantage and you may find out that certain research has already been done and you can draw useful conclusions out of it.
I hope these tips will help you better understand Digital Marketing, whether you are a CTO or not.
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