Digital transformation (for want of a better, less hackneyed phrase) needs wide, non-IT, internal support. And while the senior tech person is well- or even best-placed to lead the charge, they still need help to secure the necessary votes.
If there was ever a way for tech vendors to seize the much-desired "trusted advisor" position, this is it.
Given the modern tech buying cycle and number of people involved, tech vendors need to not only convince their audience that their offering is the best option, but also equip their buyers with the tools to argue their case internally. Procurement, CFOs, territory-protectors, change-fearers and other potential nay-sayers will all need convincing of the merits of the big, scary initiative that requires new tech investment.
And this requires more than just making sure the internal sponsor has a copy of the vendor's PowerPoint slides and proposal to forward around the business. They need specific information and materials that tackle the likely individual objections of their peers.
All of which adds to the marketing function's to-do list, or more specifically, the PR team's. After all, in most B2B tech marketing set-ups, it's probably the PR team that has come up with the creative lead generation campaign ideas in the first place, so who better to also create the additional messages and materials for the leads to use internally to further their internal case?
Tech PR folks long ago realised their role was more than just securing media coverage for their clients. Through the appreciation of web analytics, they realised they could offer - and prove - value in driving web traffic. Then came identifiable lead generation impact by linking PR efforts to marketing automation platforms. Some have even worked out how to optimise their activity for SEO benefit. And now, there's a new hat for the tech PR pro to wear - the educator. We have to be more varied in how we support the sales process and help vendors teach their leads how to communicate the benefits of their projects to their colleagues.
So, there are two lessons for the modern B2B tech marketer:
1. Remember your audience is not the singular IT decision-maker. There might be a single internal sponsor, but he/she has a series of battles to fight to win the budget to spend on you.
2. Remember to equip those sponsors with what they need to fight their (your?) case.
Bonus #3. Your PR team is probably in the ideal place to build that content for you.