The Three Communications Mistakes Taking Tech Companies Down

PJ Appleton, Co-Founder at Bloxspring explores…

Here’s an interesting stat for you: 14 per cent of technology startups fail because of poor marketing. Another 29 per cent fail because they run out of cash, arguably something that good marketing could help solve by appealing to investors. Another 19 per cent fail because of competition, again something marketing has a big say in. Obviously I’m biased, but let’s face it, how you market what you do and what you offer really, really matters.

The problem is that many technology companies are shooting themselves in the foot by making significant mistakes when it comes to their marketing and communications. These mistakes not only disrupt growth, but even have the potential to take a once-promising technology firm down for good. Cue the scary music…

So as technology firms finalise their marketing strategies for the year ahead, here are three mistakes to avoid for those that want to grow their profiles and boost their business in 2022.
Mistake No.1: Product-led proposition
APIs, tech stack, functionality, integrations, SaaS, automation, datasets. These kinds of ‘tech words’ have an important part to play in any provider’s proposition. It goes without saying that buyers need to know that the technology they are implementing actually works, and to a certain extent how it works too.

The problem is that most technology providers have their pitch back to front. Far too many lead their proposition by talking about their technology first, forgetting that buyers fundamentally care about outcomes.

If you’re a tech company, then contextualise your solution, by highlighting the problems that it solves and the outcomes it achieves – the things buyers truly resonate with and care about. Be a headache-busting aspirin, not a nice-to-have vitamin.

Mistake No.2: Inconsistent messaging
Companies often spend days, weeks, months even, diligently crafting their elevator pitch, tagline and value proposition statements, only for the neatly packaged document to sit in a corner of the office collecting dust thereafter. Repetition (within reason!) is the key to people understanding who you are, what you stand for and what you offer. If your CEO says one thing, your public announcements say another, your Head of Sales yet another and your website something different still, how are buyers supposed to understand your proposition?

Once you’re happy with your messaging, commit to using it consistently across your whole business, until you see fit to formally review it. If you are consistent – across your team, channels and content – then you can expect consistent interest from buyers.
Mistake No.3: Vague results
“We are the market leader for x, y and z.” These kinds of vanity statements from technology companies soon grow old and turn buyers off. If you are the market leader then prove it; show your buyers how you’ve worked that one out. Too many tech companies define their results in vague, ultimately meaningless terms that buyers usually see straight through.

If you save your customers time, then tell them how much time. If you help your customers grow their revenues, offer a guide as to by how much. If you reduce carbon emissions, tell them to what extent. In short, get hold of numbers where you can and avoid vanity metrics, no matter how tempting. Even one statistic, one real proof point, can make a huge difference to your pitch with customers.

14 per cent of technology startups fail because of poor marketing, but the reality is that it’s so often the basic mistakes that lead them there. Crafting an effective proposition, using it consistently and demonstrating the difference you make in real terms will make sure that your company avoids the same fate.