Mathew Edwards, Director of Marketing EMEA at Cribl shares his tips and advice on how Channel marketers can succeed with promoting new technologies
For us marketers, promoting a category-creating technology is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, getting in on the ground floor of a new technology allows us to help shape its future and have a bigger impact than we might in a more mature area. Yet, on the other, there is the challenge of educating prospects about an entirely new set of solutions, or field, they may be completely unaware of. Now due to the rapid pace of development in emerging technologies like AI, data analytics, VR and AR, this is a scenario tech and Channel marketers are going to face on a more regular basis.
In my role at Cribl, this is an exciting challenge my Channel marketing colleagues and I are experiencing first-hand with observability pipelines.
What is an observability pipeline?
Located between the sources and destinations of logs, events, metrics and trace data, observability pipelines will play a huge role in giving enterprises control and flexibility in how they manage, route, filter, translate and adjust observability data, helping to streamline data management, reduce cost, and increase security.
With the IDC predicting that organisations will be managing over 250% more data in 2022 than they did pre-pandemic, I believe that observability pipelines will soon become a ubiquitous technology for every business.
Yet while there is a huge addressable market for observability pipelines, equally it is an emerging technology. Although enterprises are aware of the problems they have with data growth, they have been less aware that a solution exists that can help them manage the growth of data and avoid the spiraling costs of data egress.
Our three techniques to help our customers understand the benefits of observability pipeline:
1) Focusing on the customer not bits and bytes
In technology, we risk focusing on the technical aspects and features first and leaving the broader vision second. Take smartphones for example. For years, smartphone brands highlighted the processing power, number of megapixels, and battery life figures in their marketing. While these are important features for understanding the ‘power’ of the smartphone, it often missed the bigger picture. Instead, Apple took a different route. Its device captured ‘moments’ such as a child’s first steps, a wedding or a birthday celebration. Focusing on the vision of what a smartphone allowed people to do helped Apple become the most profitable smartphone company in the world. This is despite its devices having similar features and specifications to similar competitor products.
For the Channel, focusing on the vision means emphasising areas such as how the savings a new technology creates could be put towards making the business more profitable elsewhere. Or how staff can be empowered and freed from tedious tasks so they can upskill, reduce stress and aid a business with its staff retention and hiring practices. By promoting the vision first, you grab prospects’ attention, creating a base to then talk about features and specifications.
2) Metaphors and analogies
Never underestimate the power of a good set of metaphors and analogies. Having a well-known analogy makes it quicker and easier for prospects to understand the benefits of an innovative technology. This not only provides a jumping-off point for creating fun and engaging campaigns but also helps shorten sales cycles and generate leads by immediately demystifying complex technologies. This is especially important when vendors are continually introducing new terms that need to be simply and clearly explained to customers who are unfamiliar.
At Cribl, we have several analogies and metaphors we use to help introduce observability pipelines. For instance, comparing it to an email spam filter but for logs and metrics, highlights the day-to-day real-world benefits operations and security teams can enjoy with an observability pipeline installed. When starting with an innovative technology, it’s vital to ask vendors what they use already and then leverage these while developing your own specific examples.
3) Enhancing internal influencers
Early adopters and internal influencers are an important group to support as they can reach and affect target prospects from within. Being the ones who are directly benefiting from a new tool or technology, early adopters and internal influencers quickly understand the value an innovative technology offers.
However, while they may appreciate the technology and want to help promote it within their organisation, internal influencers may be unfamiliar with the process of marketing a technology internally. To enhance internal influencers and support them in promoting an innovative technology, it is important to build campaigns that will empower them with the skills, messages and proof points they will need to secure buy-in from purchasing decision-makers. Hosting webinars, training sessions, and sharing proof points, such as customer case studies and analyst reports, will enable them to better communicate up the chain. Combined with traditional marketing techniques, this creates a powerful combination for organic growth and lead generation.
The pace of innovation and the growth of emerging technologies will mean that the challenge of launching an innovative technology category will become a common occurrence over the next few years. For Channel marketers, it is vital to have the strategies and processes in place that make it quick and easy to get up to speed with introducing and educating customers on a brand-new technology category. Being part of the team marketing a new technology category is an exciting time for us marketers though. And by having the right strategies in place, we can ensure we are accelerating sales pipelines and enjoying the thrill that comes with being at the forefront of tech.