The simple truth about tech marketing

Feeling confused these days? You’re not alone.

Because our senses are under constant assault from data – much more than we’re built to process. It’s the kind of overload that leaves us longing for a breather from the noise, a clear way through the clutter.   

And what do we want? We crave something simple to grab our attention.

A straightforward experience. Genuine, sincere, communication.

Things that take real creative effort for brands.

Because what brands can do is simple. Literally. By becoming more simplified, brands can eliminate the gap between themselves and their customers – and the rewards as considerable.

But don’t take our word for it: New York branding experts, Siegel+Gale have done the number-crunching; their annual Global Brand Simplicity Index analyses the ‘simplest’ publicly traded brands. (The index has grown by 433% since 2009, far outperforming the other major economic indices.)

And it found that simplicity makes sense:

  • 61% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand when it provides simpler experiences and communications
  • 62% of employees who can be considered ‘brand champions’ were in companies perceived to be simple
  • 64% of consumers were willing to pay more for simpler experiences

And if those figures aren’t enough to stir you into action, the report estimates companies could be missing out on US$86 bn (£69.5 bn) when they don’t simplify.

That’s something that every brand should be aware of, but particularly technology brands, who deal in products that may well be able to transform the world, but often aren’t that easy to explain to lay people. The fact remains: most people don’t need to know the inner workings of a technology product; they just need to know what it does for them.

Which means it makes sense that the more complex the service or industry, the more willing consumers are to pay more for it to be simplified. In fact, according to Siegel+Gale they’re willing to pay up to 40% more for a simpler experience in the tech sector:

“Brands that deliver clear, human and useful experiences—win.”

 

A more human approach

But it’s about more than just being ‘simple. It’s about introducing a human element that’s all too often missing from B2B technology, but one that’s vitally important.

Because it’s not always easy to articulate complex technology in human speak.

And if you’re a company in an emerging tech sector, you might find the lack of comprehension consumers have of your product means it difficult to market yourself.

Take complicated technology like AI – something that’s hard to explain and can seem a bit scary. But that hasn’t stopped Google – who use AI technology across the majority of their products – becoming the world’s most popular search engine.

Why do they succeed? Because they present their brand in a simple, easy to understand way, cutting out all the forensic details. They don’t need people to understand the inner workings; what’s important is a simple customer experience and brand perception (just look at how clean its home page is). It’s no surprise to find it among the top five simplest brands year on year.

 

Speaking their language

It’s tempting to think that sometimes a level of complication is justified in that the main users of these products are often developers and engineers.

While that’s undoubtedly true in some cases, it’s worth remembering that the decision-makers who actually buy the products are typically non-tech people, who will only be brought on board with simple, benefit-led language; they’re interested in the bottom line.

So, let’s take another major brand: Salesforce. Over the years, the cloud computing giant have evolved to offer a wide range of services, from CRM software to cloud computing, each packed with hundreds of features.

In that time, its value proposition has changed as well. How do they sum it up?

“We help small and medium business to sell, reach customers, and improve service.”

“Blaze a trail to success, whatever your business size.

Technically, there’s a lot of complex stuff happening under the hood, but all any company thinking of buying it needs to know is that can help them be more successful – whatever their size.

HubSpot is another great example. Their software helps with a variety of complicated parts of marketing and sales initiatives including SEO, A/B testing, keywords, email tracking and more, but all that detail comes later. Instead they offer:

  • “Stop interrupting. Start connecting.”
  • “Close more deals with less work.”
  • “Stop cold calling. Start closing.”

By simplifying, they’ve found a way to cut through the noise to be noticed by consumers – and make their lives easier.

So, our advice: Familiarise your audience with a strong brand identity that demystifies your sector and recognises a human factor, and you’ll create a great base for success. Simple.