The technology world is hell-bent on serving the needs of big data in the cloud because, after all, the cloud is the place to be, right? And one of the big benefits of the cloud is how it simplifies the marketing process.
However, the technology industry (mostly semiconductor and its related industries) that support those customers generally hate marketing, don’t want to invest in it and say they already know who their customers are. They really don't need the cloud, they think. Those industries are still using mass market techniques and a shotgun approach to marketing, blasting the marketplace with generic, repetitive messages; targeted at the people who have no authority to make purchases and very little influence on those who do.
For example, several years ago I worked with a rapidly growing semiconductor company who happen to have gotten into the iPod when it first came out. Gave them instant credibility and massively growing sales. They were coming out with a relatively exciting new component that they wanted to unveil at a major trade show. We advised them that they should start with a blitz directly to their primary customer, Apple, before the show. They said, “We already know our customers well and we have talked to the right people, already. So we backed off.
On the first day of the trade show, two men with Apple badges came up and took a look at the display with the new component. No one from the semi company knew who they were. They got a briefing from the marketing people about the component and then one of them said, just before leaving, “It’s too bad we didn’t know about this. Could have worked well in our new product."
Shortly after that, the client fired us. A few months later Apple came out with the iPhone, with a component from their number one competitor. The client started a rapid downhill slide. They never again hit the growth they were on before. In April, the competitor acquired our former client.
What was missing from their marketing? Small data.
Small data is that crucial information about the one person in your customer base that makes the crucial decision to buy whatever it is you are selling. It’s the information that makes a salesman’s contact list important to him keeping his current job or getting his next. It used to be found by excruciatingly endless sales calls and foot numbing trade shows and mindlessly expensive lunch meetings. Today, however, it comes out of effectively shaving down the yottabytes of data gathered through social media and discovering the name of that one person that will make the sales quota for the year.
And, according to recent research from the Content Marketing Institute, companies who have figured out how to do that are making money. Lots of money. Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of those companies have figured it out, and a lot of those clueless companies exist in the world of electronics.
Earlier this year, Alix Partners issued a report that shows most of the semiconductor industry, from chips, to CAD tools, and all the way to solar panels is in financial distress, and within two years, the entire industry will be, even though these companies are selling more product and services than ever. The basic problem of the industry is that they are creating products and services that do not meet the actual needs of their customers and they are investing millions of dollars in effort to sell those reluctant customers even more of their unwanted products and services. The industry is still buying tons of Big Data, but they won’t invest in the means to winnow that information down to the right person and make the sale.
Yes, they know who their customers are, but they are, for the most part, the wrong customer.
We’ll be doing more on this soon. There is a new marketing technology about to hit the streets and it solves the problem. Only time will tell if it is used by the people who need it most.
If you want to know more, contact us.