Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Company size isn't relevant to technology needs.

It’s well known that cloud computing is a disruptive technology. Cloud has lowered the barrier to entry for many businesses, which has in turn made many small businesses or start-ups become formidable competitors to traditional big business. The worldwide business environment has forever changed.

Have you adjusted your B2B technology marketing efforts to align with this shift?

In today’s environment we have many small companies dealing with big data now.  For example when Instragram was sold, they had 13 employees and 9 investors. They would show up as a company of less than 50 employees on many lists, but they were acquired by Facebook for $1Billion. Many traditional technology marketers might have overlooked a company like this based on their company size.
So what about looking at revenue instead of number of employees? Same concept applies. Twitter for example had over 25 million users in 2010, yet operated at a loss for most of that year

Yes, we know not every start up or SMB will be acquired for $1B or have a planned $1B IPO, but the business environment has changed and our marketing tactics need to re-align.  The take away is: Company size isn’t relevant to technology needs. 2 other powerful data points from a great SAP Slide Share:

"40% of companies at the top of the Fortune 500 in 2000 were off the list in 2010"

“Only 7% of Gen Y works for a Fortune 500 company as startups dominate the workforce for this demographic” (also worth noting “Gen Y will form 75% of the workforce by 2025” – see the trend here?)

Growth is more rapid than ever before. Groupon, I know they are not what they use to be but consider this, reached a $1.3B evaluation in the first 17 months. That’s fast. How many times did you adjust the target list of accounts (or campaign filters) in the past 17 months, once, maybe? 

Are you missing your opportunity to get in with a smaller business that has big technology needs because you evaluate opportunity by the wrong metric?

How should B2B technology marketers re-align?

1) Marketers should rely on digital footprints, and marketing automation systems to help identify who is worthy of sales follow up, not an outdated company size filters or rules. Don’t filter out prospects by a pre-determined and potentially irrelevant filter sets.

2) Speak to your audience clearly, and directly. Produce content that addresses the pain points of users. In a noisy world people are not going to engage with content that doesn’t help them. Keep it clear, concise and helpful. Through this content, you will only attract relevant prospects.

*Disclaimer - of course there are very few absolutes in the world, so yes there are some exceptions here like end user focused technologies. However the general idea is that there are many small companies in need of big computing power. Don’t overlook them.

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