These are unprecedented times in the business world, with lockdowns in place and many people from engineering businesses spending the majority of their time working from home, many for the first time in their careers.
There are no overseas trips, exhibitions, or department meetings; no water-cooler conversations, lunchtimes with colleagues, or after-work drinks. With such a lack of physical interaction, it is little wonder that we have been spending a lot of time hooked up to our laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
Cutting through the noise
So, life in the ‘new normal’ looks very different than it did before, sometimes to detrimental effect. For many people, spending extended periods online means they run the risk of suffering from what is being termed, ‘digital fatigue’ – where it is possible to consume vast amounts of electronic information without much of it ever really registering or provoking a response.
This is a worrying trend in deep tech marketing, where establishing online connections and relationships will remain the primary means of doing business, for the time being at least.
But, how do those responsible for marketing to engineers go about averting digital fatigue? The answer comes with taking a step back and reconsidering your approach to digital marketing and communications. This process can enable your company to sharpen its message, produce fresh content, and can cut through all the noise.
But what does that look like in practice? It depends upon certain specifics such as products and market, of course. But some activities translate whatever your line of business. So, here are our six ways of averting digital fatigue in technical, engineering, or deep tech sectors.
Perform a content audit
Websites can become repositories for vast amounts of data and information, with much of it hidden away in silos. Performing a content audit can be a valuable way of assessing what material you have already got, be it technical whitepapers or e-books, or datasheets, and how much of it can be repurposed and ‘refreshed’. This acts as a solid foundation for the creation of new content that can come back to life in innovative ways.
Undertake a messaging workshop
Companies often lose sight of their key selling points over time, as products, people, and processes change. A messaging and content workshop acts as an informative and revelatory means of reframing the approach you take to creating content, technical or otherwise, and the conversations you have with key accounts. Who do you want to be talking to? And what do you want to be saying? A workshop acts as a terrific means of answering these critical questions, while also highlighting any differences in opinion among the management team that might be obscuring your message.
Consider new content types
Long gone are the days when marketing and comms campaigns relied on issuing a few press releases and hoping for the best. Now, everyone is a publisher – to a lesser or greater degree. As a result, the list of content types is longer than ever before. And many of these formats – such as animations, videos, and podcasts – can all provide a very effective means of freshening up your content. The latest software tools, meanwhile, mean new content types can be produced quickly and cost-effectively.
Use analytics to monitor performance
There is no point in spending time and resources on new content and other collateral if you have no idea how it is being received in the marketplace. Interactive reporting dashboards act as a powerful means of assessing the performance of your content in real-time, with instant data allowing you to make informed decisions. The aim is to gain performance optimization insights from channel marketing, allowing you to see what material is really making an impact. This enables you to focus resources on activities that deliver the maximum return on investment.
Deploy account-based marketing
In some markets characterized by a limited number of larger players, there are only a handful of decision-makers that you might want to influence. That is where account-based marketing cuts through the noise, allowing you to carefully fine-tune your content to connect with particular companies or individuals. By focusing on the specific needs of a key account and personalizing the messaging through channels such as social media, it is possible to make an impact with the people who really matter.
If in doubt, look beyond digital
In the current always-on connected business environment, it is tempting to think that digital activities always provide the best solution. Sometimes, though, it is worth going back in time, deploying tried-and-trusted off-line techniques that have worked well for years. For example, carefully-created experiential marketing – such as direct mail or product giveaways – can provide a refreshing change from the norm. When delivered to the right people, such marketing collateral can stand out and be remembered.
So, there you have it. Digital fatigue might be affecting all of us, to a certain degree, during this unprecedented period. But with innovative and well-executed content marketing strategies, it is still possible to cultivate and sustain meaningful relationships that will hopefully stand the test of time.