The pioneers leading the world’s most innovative digital transformations were on hand at this year’s TM Forum Live! in Nice to showcase the tech disruptions that are signaling meaningful change in their fields.
Our CEO Martin Jones was on the show floor, where he witnessed decision makers from companies like Goldman Sachs, Verizon and General Electric discussing how digital transformation is changing the way they do business from the top down. While the story in years past has been about the promise that digital transformation holds, the 2017 event finally showcased technological disruption in action, which Martin discusses at length in his latest LinkedIn Pulse post.
Martin wasn’t the only attendee impressed with this year’s gathering, as #TMFLive took social media by storm:
This, of course, isn’t our first year at the TMFL, nor is it the only event the March team was excited to attend over the past month. Our own Account Director James Gerber was catching all the sights and sounds at the SiriusDecisions Summit 2017 in Las Vegas last week, where unconventional keynote speakers like the singer Jewel were on hand to help attendees think differently about entrepreneurship.
Read more on our blog about how our team has supported events like TM Forum Live!, MWC and RSA Conference, and how we’ve been able to find memorable and meaningful insights at every turn.
Marketing technology – or MarTech – can be a mystifying category, especially in today’s media landscape. The phrase encapsulates a wealth of different digital marketing tools and services that often fail to fall within a specific industry vertical or product classification. What’s more, the number of businesses offering MarTech solutions has ballooned of late, which has led to a dizzyingly over-saturated market that can be tough for businesses to navigate.
In a recent LinkedIn Pulse post, “How to Stand Out in an Increasingly Crowded MarTech Landscape,” March Vice President Erica Frank explored the current state of this fast-growing industry. In the piece, she offers up the important questions MarTech companies need to ask themselves if they want to stand apart from the many other players hoping to claim a stake of this lucrative market.
Erica also takes a look at some of the recent big-name MarTech mergers and acquisitions making headlines over the past year, which raises a few interesting points about what MarTech really means. For instance, companies that once only offered measurement or analytics software are now coming under the corporate umbrella of complementary tech giants that offer social media advertising tools, to name just one example.
While mergers and acquisitions generally signal market consolidation, which usually indicates a shrinking landscape, that’s not necessarily the case for MarTech. While the number of independent companies offering MarTech services may be shrinking as they fold into larger corporations, investment into MarTech services is still sky-high – and growing.
This seems to be the case across the tech landscape, which we highlighted in a recent post that discussed the growing tech scene for entrepreneurs in Chicago. In it, we highlighted some of the major wins for Chicago tech firms over the past year, and a brief forecast for how they’ll continue to bode well in the months ahead.
All told, despite uncertainties regarding classification and naming in the future, MarTech as we know it today will continue to be a booming – albeit competitive – sector in the years to come.
Even though February has only just begun, 2017 has already felt like a whirlwind for those in the tech sector. From CES and NRF back in January, to Mobile World Congress coming down the pike later this month, there’s no time to waste in making sure your business is in the spotlight at one of the many tentpole industry events that flood the first few months of the calendar.
Luckily for those working out of our Chicago office, there’s no lack of eye-catching entrepreneurship taking shape in the local tech ecosystem. Our very own Vice President Erica Frank, who herself made it out to Las Vegas for CES last month, took note of this in her latest LinkedIn Pule post, “For Chicago Tech Companies, 2017 is Off to a Strong Start,” where she highlights a few of the Chicago tech companies hitting the ground running in 2017.
Account Executive Lauren Underhill, who also works out of our Chicago offices, gave us a taste of the exciting atmosphere for startups in Chicago back in July, when she discussed how the Midwest is quickly emerging as a rival to Silicon Valley and East Coast tech hubs when it comes to innovation.
We also had fellow Marcher James Gerber join Erica and other members of our team at this year’s CES, an experience he brought us all along for via his frequent Twitter coverage, as well as a recap LinkedIn post rounding up his favorite sights from the floor.
It will be interesting to see how the market for Chicago tech innovation continues to develop into 2017.
Every industry has its own set of jargon and buzzwords that, despite making perfect sense among peers in the field, can leave outsiders scratching their heads. As a result, businesses that rely heavily on acronyms or abbreviations to explain their processes, services and products need to be sure they aren’t toeing the line of comprehension when using too much jargon in their PR and marketing.
In his latest LinkedIn Pulse piece, our CEO Martin Jones discusses how the acronym-laden telecommunications industry – itself often referred to with the abbreviation “telco” – balances the use of jargon between industry peers and outside audiences.
This isn’t a problem that only plagues those in the field of telco. As Manny Veiga discussed in his recent video, “Stop Using Buzzwords in Your Content Marketing Writing,” the overuse of often meaningless jargon is reaching pandemic levels across the PR and marketing landscape.
Is excess jargon muddying up your PR and marketing? What industry buzzwords are you growing weary of?
For many, “seasonal” content brings to mind blogs drenched in B2C-centric allusions to Christmas carols and Black Friday flash sales. While retailers and other consumer-facing businesses certainly have a lot to gain by ramping up their brand awareness during the lucrative final quarter of the year, B2B companies have the benefit – and challenge – of having tentpole holidays and events all year round that can help flavor their content initiatives.
It’s intuitive that the purpose of B2B content – specifically in the tech sector – isn’t to drive fast sales or leads in the same way as B2C content. Instead, a lot of B2B content, especially blogs, is meant to engage industry peers and thought leaders, maintain brand awareness among existing clients and to promote new or existing services.
Still, when B2B companies are marketing to their business clientele, they are still attempting to engage regular, everyday people with common interests and desires. This means that capitalizing on holidays is still a great way to connect with B2B targets, since it marries overarching business goals and marketing objectives with important emotional moments during that time of year.
While not an exact science, timing is everything
A lot of pre-planning has to go into timing seasonal content initiatives alongside events or holidays so that they will reach their target demo at ideal conversion times. This requires you to think first about who you’re targeting and your conversion goals and measurement tactics, all while keeping the next event or holiday in mind so as not to over- or under-allocate resources.
At our agency, we’ve noticed that the traditional holiday season overlaps with many of our clients’ biggest industry events. Right after Christmas and New Year’s Eve, for instance, many of our teams will be focused on promoting our clients’ presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and that activity may trump any other work on holiday-related content. The same is true leading up to Thanksgiving, when many of our connectivity clients will be focused on MEF16 on November 7, their holiday plans very much back-of-mind.
In these situations, you should think of the different goals you want to achieve with your content, and align your workload accordingly: Brands want to establish their thought leadership, drive either site traffic or business leads through timely news or event focuses and also leverage content to promote new products or services.
Divide content up by targets to meet all your goals
To tackle the thought leadership part of the equation, consider creating an evergreen piece of content that can be useful throughout the year but ties into the specific season. For our connectivity client, for instance, an article that discusses how businesses can deal with overburdened networks during times of high traffic can speak to the challenges the target demo faces during the holiday season, like a retail network that sees traffic explode leading up to Black Friday. This piece of content plays up that connectivity client’s strengths and services throughout the year, giving it legs well beyond November and providing talking points our client can call back on for evergreen pieces during other seasons.
To tackle quick-hit site traffic bumps and newsworthy coverage, a connectivity client should create an event preview blog that promotes their presence at CES, hitting on all of the “five Ws” (who, what, where, when, why) of a traditional news article. This post would ideally precede the event by one-to-two weeks, which is the sweet spot to give event preview content time to grow on social media while not being too early for the brand to remain top-of-mind.
To tackle the third goal of more broadly promoting a product or service, this client should utilize a recap post that can be published after the evergreen piece but before the end-of-year holidays. The recap can take a few points from the original event post, but the overarching goal of this piece should be to tie themes and lessons from the event back to the client’s specific thought leadership topics or services.
These three theoretical content items wrap up all of the client’s content goals in a seasonal manner that speaks to all facets of the client’s target audience. All three blogs play to the business and human side of B2B marketing while also scheduling a regular cadence of publication for content that keeps their site fresh and their audience engaged. Maintaining this cadence and following a similar flow throughout the calendar year can help businesses ensure their content is always working for them and that their brand is always top-of-mind for prospects.
I recently sat down with Jeremy Guterl, our resident research manager here at March, to talk about the myriad value propositions research and content add to traditional PR programs, especially when used together. Research projects and content campaigns work hand-in-hand to increase brand awareness, giving businesses the opportunity to put their name out there without being explicitly promotional, while giving their content a wealth of valuable and unique perspectives to call upon. Where does it go from there? Watch the video and find out.