Martech is moving fast. New channels have emerged, customer behaviours have changed and competition has intensified, increasing the pressure on marketing teams responsible for driving the success of martech products. Marketing tech has become a specific niche in technology marketing and education to break through the noise is often lacking. In this 101 guide, we’ll be providing insight and guidance to help your brand rise to the top.
- Martech PR: strategies to help you stand out in a crowded landscape
- Digital CMOs and the PR opportunity for martech brands
Martech PR: strategies to help you stand out in a crowded landscape
By Lauren Johnson
Amidst all the political, social and technological change that has taken place over the past eight years, there’s been one unwavering constant: Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic grows each year, and by a lot.
Each year the graphic becomes an ever more dizzying kaleidoscope of logos, as new vendors enter the space. In 2019, the number of vendors reached a new peak – 7040. That’s over 7000 martech options for companies to consider, spread across mobile, email, content, social, SEO and more.
And the growth of what was originally named the “Martech 5000” really has been impressive. The 2017 edition had 39% more solutions than 2016, the 2018 one had 27% more than 2017 and this year’s graphic has more than doubled in size from 2016.
For many years, there has been an ongoing debate about if and when the consolidation of the martech space will occur, and whether growth will slow. That’s a discussion we’ll leave to industry experts. Instead, let’s delve into a few PR strategies that can help martech companies stand out in their crowded field.
Talk about the trends, but have something interesting to say
With over 7000 companies competing for an ever-dwindling number of press opportunities and shorter media attention spans, brands need to look for ways to stand out. In such a crowded space, product announcements and generic commentary just won’t make an impact.
This isn’t to say that there’s not a wide variety of martech stories published every day. In fact, the martech space has arguably one of the most mature media landscapes of all industries. Most national, business and tech publications have reporters with dedicated marketing beats, in addition to vertical-specific publications covering marketing, advertising, retail and beyond.
While there’s no secret sauce to standing out, there are ways to increase a brand’s chances of being noticed by reporters. Most importantly, have something interesting to say. Ditch the self-serving marketing messages and say something provocative about a trend the media is already covering. Don’t just regurgitate the same old marketing jargon used by everyone else; try to establish a unique voice.
Catering to the media’s ever-changing interests is also key. If you’re willing to discuss topics that journalists want to cover, you’re already halfway to success, as reporters are always looking for unique perspectives to include in their articles.
Don’t forget about analysts
Given the congested market, it should be no surprise that analysts play a major role in helping companies cut through the noise when choosing a martech solution. Not only can an analyst relations campaign provide martech companies with air time in important industry reports, but it can also increase their credibility through third-party validation and allow them to fine-tune their messaging with the help of industry experts.
Often, a paid relationship with a top analyst firm is a great strategy to ensure regular briefings with top analysts and inclusion in the most well-regarded reports. For companies lacking the budget to invest in a paid analyst program, there are still ways to take advantage of the benefits of analyst relations. Many analysts will take non-client briefings once or twice a year, which is a great way to stay on their radar and get high-level feedback on products and messaging. If you have a compelling story and unique technology, it’s possible analysts will refer you to their clients and you could still find your way into certain reports – it’s just a steeper slope to climb.
Companies unable to afford relationships with the major analyst firms should also look at some of the smaller, niche industry players. Working with analysts at these firms can offer a lot of the same benefits, at a much lower price point.
Understand the value of data
With so many companies vying for attention, lacklustre news announcements often have trouble garnering coverage. Unfortunately, when over 7000 companies are all announcing product updates and new hires on a regular basis, it takes more than a cool new product to get the attention of journalists.
What type of news captures headlines? It needs to be original, fit into a larger trend and provide unique insights that will interest the readers of the publications being targeted. Data satisfies all of these requirements.
Whether it’s data that can be pulled from a company’s platform and anonymised to provide insights about consumer or business behaviours, or information collected from a survey of marketing pros, unique data is often the most effective way to grab the attention of the media – especially top-tier.
Many marketing tech companies have access to more data than they might realise. Whether it be information about what channels are the most popular, or which types of content resonates the most with certain age groups, many marketing companies have access to a host of proprietary data generated by users every day.
If this data can be pulled into a report supported by eye-catching graphics, it will not only serve as a media hook, but can also be gated on the company website and used as marketing and sales collateral. If these reports are updated on a regular basis, a martech company can soon become a reliable source of interesting data that journalists and other industry players will look to as a resource in the future.
The martech space is undoubtedly complex, crowded and difficult to navigate from a PR perspective. However, its size also presents great opportunities for brands willing to move away from traditional strategies and embrace new ideas.
All it takes is a willingness to think outside the box and move away from the typical self-serving content – both of which will become even more important as the industry continues to grow.
Remember, dull product announcements no longer cut it. Provocative commentary and data-backed insights are necessary to really make a splash and get audiences interested in what your company has to say.
For more information about how the lorries can help you take your PR or marketing program to the next level, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Digital CMOs and the PR opportunity for martech brands
By Sam Pudwell
It has been well documented that the digital revolution has transformed – and will continue to transform – a wide range of job roles in virtually every industry you can think of.
Employees at all levels have had to adapt and update their skillsets as the impact of technology and software has continued to grow – while those who fail to develop risk being left behind and replaced by more tech-savvy individuals.
One area where this is becoming more and more prevalent is b2b marketing. The industry is quickly turning into a technological arms race and the skills needed to succeed are set to change significantly over the next five years.
CMOs in 2025
According to a recent Raconteur report looking into the future of b2b marketing, four of the top five emerging trends are set to be technology-related. B2b marketers cited personalisation (58%), AI (45%), influencer marketing (45%), data protection (42%) and account-based targeting (38%) as the trends that are most likely to affect plans over the next 12 months, meaning many senior marketers will have to retool their skills.
Specifically, customer understanding/insight, creativity and cross-functional collaboration ranked as the skills that will be most important to marketers over the coming years. This was closely followed by data literacy, which is not surprising given that marketing is now more data-driven than ever.
The full extent of this shift is shown by the fact that a third of LinkedIn UK users with “data scientist” in their profile also include the word “marketing”, illustrating how marketers have to be far more data literate then even just a few years ago.
With technology now so prominent, b2b marketers will also have to learn how to build their marketing stacks to support their teams and help meet wider business goals. Personalisation, automation and measurement are now the orders of the day, and marketing teams have to be able to understand how different tools fit into this mix.
Clearly, the CMO of 2025 is set to be a different beast to the one we know today, but what does this mean for martech brands from a PR and communications perspective?
The PR opportunity
The key thing for martech brands to remember is that this CMO evolution presents some significant opportunities – as long as they keep in mind the changes that their target audiences are experiencing when developing their PR and marketing strategies.
For example, martech brands have an opportunity to capitalise on the growing importance of data by creating content and campaigns that speak to marketers’ biggest data-related concerns. Many senior CMOs will not be as data literate as their younger employees so, instead of just talking about product features, martech brands should show that they understand the challenges CMOs are facing and are able to solve them.
By thinking outside the box and engaging CMOs in original ways on the key issues that keep them up at night, martech brands can cut through the noise and differentiate themselves from the competition – essential in an industry that has seen an exponential growth in the number of tools available.
For any PR or marketing campaign to be successful, martech brands will also have to make sure they understand b2b marketers’ top business priorities. The Raconteur report highlights these as being converting leads into customers (58%), growing traffic to their website (45%) and increasing revenues from existing customers (44%), so brands should be offering content and solutions that directly address these issues.
Over the coming years, the makeup, concerns and priorities of CMOs are set to change. While this certainly does present some PR and communications challenges for brands, it also offers opportunities to engage with audiences and build relationships in new ways.
The onus is on martech brands to adapt to wider changes in the b2b marketing industry and create campaigns that make them impossible to ignore. That way, thay’ll have the biggest impact on the digital CMOs of the future.
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