Marketing Lessons From The Dark Side

Mark Suster’s post on the cloud stack last month got me thinking that marketing departments should take some cues from the Mountain Dew-drinking nocturnals in IT. (Should you wish to get your geek on, it’s a fascinating read that ponders technology layering in the Internet Cloud along the lines of the traditional OSI model stack)

What caught my attention was Mark’s account of how his IT architect sought and implemented new technology paradigms – significant changes from the ways IT had handled infrastructure in the not-so-distant past.

Unlike IT, I’m not convinced that corporate marketing departments at technology companies embrace and implement a playbook that’s significantly different from the ones used ten or fifteen years ago.

For instance …

  • Public relations programs continue to be based on the occasional press release (typically a new product, customer win, strategic partnership, earnings, cash infusion or executive hire) and the hope that e-mailing an embargoed copy to a list of journalists results in ink.
  • Online marketing programs continue to be anchored by static websites where content is the same as printed collateral and the only updates are when press releases and events are added.
  • Events programs continue to be centered on exhibiting at trade shows where personnel stand around the booth trying to lure in wanderers to hear a pitch and register for a chance to win an iPad.

Extreme examples? Perhaps.

But for all the companies that effectively use social media, many more don’t incorporate blog posts (or comment on blogs), videos, webinars or other new forms of marketing into the mix.

Marketing pro Jim Connolly suggests that marketers cling to the old ways because there’s comfort in what’s familiar.

To reach new levels, marketers need to follow the example of IT and identify, test and deploy new strategies and tactics.

In what ways is your organization adopting new and different marketing approaches to reach and engage buyers?

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