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Creating Tech Brand Credibility, Part 1

When you've created a Website, you're instantly in the publishing business. This is dawning on tech marketers, and they're creating more information-valuable content to refresh their sites constantly for use in a range of marketing channels. The truth is that no new information equals no new or returning visitors. But there's an even more important reason for continually creating new online content.

Because change is so rapid in the electronics sector, people are especially hungry for helpful professional information. Companies providing valued content — not just sales information — gain customer interest, credibility, and loyalty. General Mills started publishing the Betty Crocker Cook Book for this very reason in the 1930s, and it wound up owning the home baking products business in the US. However, being a giant in your industry isn't necessary.

One company I helped, for example, was the PC chipset maker Faraday Electronics Corp., which published The Designers' Guide to the PC Bus after {complink 2470|IBM Corp.} threw it out as an open standard without a spec. Faraday reaped thousands of inquiries for guides from engineers needing this information, and many of them were customer prospects for its PC system ICs. Sales zoomed, and Faraday was profitably acquired by {complink 6308|Western Digital Corp. (WD)}. Documenting an open design standard provided highly valued information to the market and propelled brand success.

Today, the Web allows tech companies of any size to demonstrate their expertise easily and help customers and prospects solve design engineering or other problems through content creation. This is now being referred to as Content Marketing, though, in fact, it has been a public relations strategy since modern PR was invented in the 1920s. A look back at the technical trade publications of the last 30-plus years shows the industry has long been interested in all kinds of information on the electronics industry. Now your brand can become a similar resource.

Content-based marketing is available to tech companies of any size. A startup can become known by providing design Webinars or writing an article helping engineers solve specific product development problems. Providing information not available from competitors drives differentiation that effectively separates one tech brand from others, which is the basis of any successful marketing campaign.

Other benefits of content marketing are:

  • Exposes your company's values to business prospects.
  • Demonstrates expertise where it is valued.
  • Attracts specific kinds of customers.
  • Changes how people think — usually for the better!
  • Preempts competitive marketing efforts.
  • Attracts attention beyond simple product or company advertising claims.

In the concluding part of this series, I will discuss strategies for executing the best content marketing program, and I will suggest steps information technology companies can use to reach potential customers better.

10 comments on “Creating Tech Brand Credibility, Part 1

  1. Jay_Bond
    August 3, 2011

    Content marketing is a great idea. It is a shame that more businesses don't use it. I can think of many times where life would have been so much easier if I knew of a site that had pertinent information readily available to save me time from searching dozens of sites. I look forward to your second half of the article.

  2. Daniel
    August 3, 2011

    Ford, credibility and trustworthiness are the most and foremost part in any form of business. While updating the details of components either in website or brochure, companies has to take at most care to avoid any misleading info’s. Now a day’s much of the business are happening online and hence customers are relaying on such details in websites. Credibility can bring more business, name and fame for companies and vendors.

  3. Ariella
    August 3, 2011

    Credibility is one aspect of a brand's “good will,” which adds value beyond the assets and cash it holds.

  4. Ford Kanzler
    August 3, 2011

    Ariella – Brand value is certainly a measurable asset and is a direct function of its accrued trust and credibility in the mind of the market. Demonstrating expertise, especially in tech market sectors because of rapid change and high complexity, drives value and credibility. It's a highly cost-effective promotional technique available to nearly any business willing to make a modest investment in PR and content development. What's key is a management team that “gets” the idea of sharing the company's wisdom rather than only focusing on directly driving product demand generation. I've often seen more customer interest created by NOT specifically promoting products instead of hammering features and benefits. Tech customers are far more likely to buy from someone providing special value beyond the device. This has undoubtedly been true long before there were “high-tech” markets.

  5. Ford Kanzler
    August 3, 2011

    Jay – And when there are supplier sites you've relied on for the useful information they've provided, you're certainly far more likely to buy from them. Correct?

  6. Jay_Bond
    August 3, 2011

    @Ford, I most certainly would buy from them. In fact they usually are pushed to the top of my list the next time I need to do research or do some purchasing. Definitely a game changer.

  7. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 5, 2011

    The need to build the credibility for a brand is definitely something that any startup has to keep in mind.

    I am just curious about how a company's brand value is measured. I often read in news articles that such and such brand is valued at so many billions.  How is this figure arrived at ?  May be in the next part of this blog I will get an answer.

  8. Ford Kanzler
    August 5, 2011

    Prabhakar – Rather than getting to far off topic on brand value measurement, I'll refer you to the following links:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand_equity

    http://www.prophet.com/about/news/206-prophet-adds-renowned-brand-valuation-approach-to-services

    While measuement in and of itself is valuable, brand value or equity evolves with other market dynamics. So a measurement snapshot is important but it must be repeated to understand how factors like awareness, credibility, premium price, perceived quality, loyalty, etc. are changing. All of this may be reflected in stock price for public companies or business sale evaluations.

  9. JADEN
    August 15, 2011

    Content Marketing is a good marketing technique of communicating with customers and prospects by delivering consistent, valuable and inteligent information to them with a reward of their business and loyalty

  10. Ford Kanzler
    August 15, 2011

    Thank you. Happy you're in agreement. Its a kind of customer engagement any company can and should be applying to their marketing program. Often the content experts are eager and willing to participate.

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