Technology is continuing to develop, and as it is adopted by the masses, IT services businesses have significant opportunity to expand. In fact, technology companies lead all professional service industries in terms of revenue growth in FY 18-19.
However, while this is presenting opportunities for these businesses, it’s also creating increasingly complex challenges for them. As the market for IT services is growing, it’s becoming more competitive than ever before. To survive in today’s hyper-competitive market, companies in this sector need a comprehensive and effective IT marketing strategy.
The Challenges for IT Businesses
The first step in creating a solid marketing strategy is to identify the business’ main challenges. The ‘High Growth Study: Technology Services Addition’ outlined the most common struggles for businesses in the IT sector today. According to surveyed IT services firms, the top five marketplace challenges were are follows:
- Attracting new business
- Finding and retaining good employees
- Staying innovative
- The overly competitive marketplace
- Meeting customer expectations
Increased Competition Impacting IT Service Firms
The development of technical innovations such as automation and artificial intelligence is impacting technology businesses in two very different ways. On the one hand, these advancements help IT service companies develop new, exciting offerings for the market. However, on the other hand, these new, innovative programs are being developed quicker, better and cheaper than before, which reduces the barriers of entry for newcomers in the market. As such, the marketplace is becoming crowded with both established businesses and newcomers, which is not only increasing competition in the sector but pushing price down and making these services become more commoditised.
As IT service firms are seeing increased competition from both established businesses and newcomers to the market a solid marketing strategy can help your business stand out from all its competitors in the market, and give your customers a reason to choose you one of your competitors.
Effective IT Marketing Strategies
The following are some of the steps that your IT service business can take to create competitive advantage in a crowded market.
1. Create A Cutting Edge Website
Despite operating in the technology space, many IT service firms are lagging behind with a website that has a poor user experience. This can be put down to the previous generations of IT service firms growing through business referrals and word of mouth, without the need for much marketing.
In today’s increasingly digital world, businesses can’t survive without a website. This is even more important for IT businesses, whose clients take their website design and experience as a direct indication of credibility. A staggering 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. This means that having a website is more than just about having a presence online. You also need to pay particular attention to your website design and usability to ensure visitors keep coming back.
2. Develop Thought Leadership
Client education is critically important in the IT services industry, where products and services are complex. Creating a suite of educational content for your audience can help to build the profile of your brand and position it as a thought leader in the sector. By attributing this content to the employee who wrote it, you can also help to create personal brands for the individual experts within your business. Developing these employees and growing their brand can also benefit your business brand. When their reputation is established in the industry, they will likely be offered opportunities to represent your business by speaking at conferences, events or seminars. At these events, the employee has an excellent opportunity to attract both business and talent to your company. These authoritative employees are a particularly powerful asset for your business to have because their good reputation extends to the business as a whole, as well as to the other individuals within the business.
3. Create Compelling Content
As mentioned above, educational content is critical in IT marketing. Your content is the foundation of building your business’ brand. It is also the basis of any campaign that you are running, from your website to email, social media and blog; so getting it right is essential. Your IT marketing content should educate target audiences and address their challenges. It should engage prospects at each stage of the buying funnel, addressing their motivations and objections at each stage to move them through their buyer journey to sale. This means that every piece of content coming from your brand is effectively building your entire company’s credibility and visibility, ultimately leading to new business, ROI and growth.
The Lead Agency is a specialist B2B marketing agency offering a full-service approach to B2B marketing campaigns across industries. For more information on our IT marketing services, don’t hesitate to get in touch.