Marketing Insights: Appealing to the European IT Visionary

 In B2B Engagement Marketing, BrightTALK Academy, Uncategorized, Webinars

As we launch our IT Audience Benchmarks Report this week, we wanted to share how best-in-class IT marketers are effectively connecting with their audiences, a group of professionals who are constantly being marketed to.

With Symantec’s EMEA channel on BrightTALK now reaching more than 23,000 subscribers (and growing), we asked Kayleigh Thomas, Symantec’s Senior Specialist for CRM, for her best tips on marketing to European IT audiences.

See what she had to say below, and save your spot for her live webinar tomorrow to hear more ideas for influencing the IT visionary.

As Symantec’s Senior Specialist for CRM and email marketing, Kayleigh focuses on driving fully optimized, customer-centric programs that support thought leadership, demand generation, and pipeline acceleration.

What is one of the most challenging components of marketing to IT audiences in EMEA?

Marketing to IT professionals has changed vastly in the digital age. Not only in the way you craft content, but how it’s delivered. Modern decision makers are increasingly proactive, involved, and social. They are interacting with many different types of digital media and research, and in that period 75% of B2B buyers are using social as a means to research (IDC).

Based on trends from Demand Gen Report, CMI, and others, EMEA audiences are wary of salesy marketing and other wide-reach marketing tactics. How do webinars fit in your mix?

As part of the purchasing behavior shift – marketers have to re-examine their pre-purchase strategy and communication channels. Under the constant pressure of leads and pipeline, marketers need to balance hitting targets whilst ensuring a non-salesy approach. I personally believe that video is key; from short YouTube videos and GIFs to more comprehensive webcasts and demos. With attention spans reportedly shorter than ever – marketers need to focus on interactive content as a key weapon in their arsenal.

Ensuring your message or content gets to the right audience is a huge challenge and a difficult question to answer. From strategic data purchasing, to data segmentation to utilizing the right channels, with webcasts a multi-touch approach is always best:

  • Website homepage: set up a banner on your homepage
  • Social: create a SEO-designed page to rank higher in search engines
  • Social selling: If your company has a social selling platform, encourage them to get tweeting, and if not, something simple like adding the info to email signatures
  • Email: Don’t just send out webcast invites; consider if you have any infographics or snippets of info you can share on the same topic

How do you get your audience to engage with you? What are some of your best tactics to get prospects to show up live and participate in Q&A?

Here are some top tips:

  1. Say right at the beginning that you welcome questions and feedback and then remind at the end.
  2. Panels work. Adding another opinion gets the conversation going and makes the participant feel like they are a part of it.
  3. Invite an independent specialist or a customer. No one likes to hear about how great you think you are.
  4. Try to answer questions as you go instead of at the end. Use first names where possible.
  5. Always find out how to make your webcast interactive. Try using polls, short videos, or screen sharing.

What’s been the most successful campaign to reach your audience? What do you think made it resonate so effectively?

When Cryptolocker (ransomware) hit the newsstands in 2014, we ran a series of webcasts in English that did very well. But in March 2015, the Italian field marketing team came to us because Cryptolocker had suddenly resurged in Italy and had huge media coverage.

Within a couple of weeks of social support and our webcast being live, we had received a total of 1,322 pre-registrations and 2,055 views. This proves that having the right content — at the right time — to the right audience is key to a successful webcast campaign.

What are the top three things that marketers should avoid when marketing to IT professionals in EMEA?

  • Don’t send an email or create a webcast without having a reason or a point to do so. IT is heavily marketed to – don’t let yourself be seen as a nuisance.
  • Don’t waffle — and lose the salesy tone. Drive value. Humans are wired to think and communicate in stories, so use this to your advantage.
  • Discounts and money off don’t work with this audience. Drive business through highlighting your solution benefit. Answer the question: How does it make their life easier?

Don’t miss more insights from Kayleigh and Josh Downs, IT Security Community Manager at BrightTALK, live tomorrow at 2pm BST on the BrightTALK Academy. Sign up here or register below.