How Not to Suck at Technology Marketing

Helpful tips from a village elder in Kazhak as told to a goat-herder who want knowing how valley companies can suck less.

1. Stick with Facts

No matter how tempting it is to make far reaching claims, stick with facts. Especially with developers. Your far reaching claims will hurt you more than help. Its a funny thing, developers can’t detect their own body odor, but they very good at smelling marketing bullshit from miles.

2. Promoted Tweets are lame

Don’t use them, unless you are selling male enhancement drugs and the topic being discussed is related to it. Technology promoted tweets are quite lame. Especially during conferences, don’t try to insert your lame promoted tweet into a conversation. You will get called for it.

3. If you have customer stories, promote them – if not, just say its your hypothesis

Anything before you have an actual customer is at best a hypothesis, so say it so. Say “we think this technology will help following use cases” –  just because you ran into a CIO at Starbucks this morning and he asked you what you working on, does not mean they are evaluating your technology.

4. Resist the urge to attack your competitor

You need to position against a competitor when you compete with them in a deal, not on a public forum. It makes you and your company look like bunch of idiots. If you are truly awesome, have a customer talk about benefits they had from switching to your solution. Not thinking about switching, but have actually switched and have been on your solution for at least 3 months.

5. Beware of buzzword bingo

There are no awards for use of most buzzwords – every time we hear someone say “Software Defined”, we deduct 10 points from the value we assign to the person talking. So, its risky, be careful. Other things to be aware of are “ground breaking”, “revolutionary technology”.

Now if you are ground breaking, take a picture of the ground you broke and show it, may be we believe you. If you are revolutionary, show us which revolution you caused and document the time you spent in a jail because you caused a revolution. If not, you are just being lame.



One thought on “How Not to Suck at Technology Marketing

  1. Since our host asked for my story about why not to bad-mouth competitors: I was working in pre-sales at Now Defunct Software Co. A customer called us up from Small European Country, asking some very basic questions about who we were and what we did. Curious, I inquired about the context, and was told: “Well, we have this project, and we consulted Gigantic Green, Horrible Pants and Somebody Else, and all three went out of their way to say how they were so much better / faster / cheaper than you, whom we’d never heard of. This made us think we should look you up…”

    Long story short, it was a three-week sales cycle for a very nice amount thank you, and a deal that didn’t even walk in off the street, it was driven to us by our three chief competitors!

    And that is why you don’t mention competitors, because you might just end up introducing them to the deal.

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