There are few words that inspire as much fear and loathing in IT pros as that one.
According to many, tech marketing is lazy, evil, annoying, evil, and dumb. Marketers are addicted to jargon. Marketers misuse and abuse otherwise helpful phrases, turning them into meaningless (if not misleading) paste. Marketing trades in fluff, rather than meat.
It’s not just tech marketing either. A 2012 study from Adobe found that consumers ranked marketing below traditionally despised professions like banking, law, and politics when they were asked how much marketing benefited society.
Still, for whatever reason, it seems technology pros hate on marketing more than other industries do. But you know what? Even though I’m a marketer, I can’t help but agree with a lot of the sentiment.
Well, maybe not the dumb, lazy, evil part—I don’t think the vast majority of marketers are intentionally obnoxious—but there is an awful lot of bad marketing out there, and I know it can leave a decidedly bad taste in one’s mouth.
At Auvik, we work hard to do better. Rule #6 of the Auvik Way, the set of principles that guides us in our daily work, dictates “no a$$holes.” As far as I’m concerned, that also means no bullsh!t.
Yes, we have a product we need to sell. So yes, Auvik’s marketing team needs to spread the word as far as we can. We need to bang the network infrastructure drum and toot the efficiency horn.
But we aim to be straightforward, honest, and respectful while we do it. In this, we take inspiration from Seth Godin.
Marketing is powerful when it sells a product to someone who discovers more joy or more productivity because he bought it. … Ever since Josiah Wedgwood invented marketing a few centuries ago, it has been used to increase productivity and wealth.
Just like every powerful tool, the impact comes from the craftsman, not the tool. Marketing has more reach, with more speed, than it has ever had before. With less money, you can have more impact than anyone could have imagined just ten years ago. The question, one I hope you’ll ask yourself, is what are you going to do with that impact? (Seth’s emphasis)
Valuable, relevant, consistent
We also work hard to embrace the values of content marketing, which Joe Pulizzi at Content Marketing Institute describes like this:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The keywords there are valuable, relevant, and consistent. To those I’d also add conversation and commitment.
That’s why, most of the time, you won’t see us mention Auvik in our blog posts. It’s why our blog posts publish at 9 a.m. every single Tuesday morning, rain or shine, and our Rant newsletter goes out at 2:30 p.m. every other Wednesday. It’s why we spend just as much time sharing other people’s great content as we do our own.
It’s why I try to talk and write like a real human being having a conversation with another human being. And why we do our best to avoid buzzwords and phrases, like the ones that were recently banned (in partial jest) at a CompTIA Annual Member Meeting. (Of the 20 business phrases on their list, we’ve used one term—ecosystem—in one of our blog posts. )
I can’t promise you’ll love or agree with everything we do. We’re not perfect, but we’re trying hard.
I’d love to know, are we hitting the mark on our commitments of valuable, relevant, consistent, and conversational? What are your thoughts on our newsletter? (If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up here.) What about our blog posts? Or our ebooks? Leave a comment or send me an email.