It’s impossible to avoid the buzz around the rise of 5G in today’s headlines and marketers need to be smart in their approach if they want their fifth-generation cellular network-related technologies to stand out from the crowd. But before we talk about marketing this innovation, let’s first fully understand...What is 5G anyway?
5G networks operate on a radio signal under a wireless radio access network (WRAN), promising to deliver high speed, high-bandwidth connectivity and lower latency. It enables robust connections for millions of devices and accelerates data flow for smartphones to sensors and “less mobile” devices via modems or hotspots. The market is booming, and 5G networks will underpin 25 billion internet-connected devices by 2021, according to Gartner. Companies like Samsung (client disclaimer), for example, have already launched a 5G phone into the market and are already delivering on a vision where 5G networks will power an even more connected lifestyle than ever before.
Given 5G's promise to create a world of “smart everything,” organizations are scrambling to harness its potential and marketers are trying to keep pace with the conversation. The question is, how can your clients communicate in the 5G marketplace without the message getting lost in the hype?
At Merritt Group, thinking through emerging technologies and how to market them is in our lifeblood. Here are three simple tips based on our decades of technology-specific marketing expertise:
1. Save major marketing dollars by aligning with 5G influencers who are laying the groundwork and fully understand its business value.
Influencer marketing is particularly beneficial for companies on a shoestring budget, especially when your products aren’t consumer-facing or you have yet to employ a public relations team with a megaphone. In addition to encouraging a potential sale, influencers can foster meaningful conversations and build a community around your new products or services. We all know that peer-to-peer reviews are extremely impactful, so paying a nominal fee or providing early platform access can help less-established brands gain a foothold in their market.
The key to working with high profile analysts, bloggers and other industry heavyweights is partnering with those with proven track records of reaching buyers across the entire sales cycle. A good influencer will be able to communicate effectively across a variety of mediums, from videos to conferences and trade shows. Think Stacey Higginbotham, Peggy Smedley and Jeff Kagan. At the same time, be wary of “influencers” with huge followings and inconsistent reviews, analysis or content. They are likely not a good fit for your brand.
2. The importance of personalization extends across your entire marketing strategy.
Is your email nurture campaign not making traction or your large social media following not translating into increased brand engagement? Chances are, your content and digital strategies are not hitting the mark when it comes to delivering timely or relevant information customized to your buyer’s specific needs.
The modern technology buyer is well-informed and not easily swayed by generic marketing tactics. The time may have come for you to invest in personalized strategies that help deliver fresh, relevant and timely content that is tailored to your buyer’s persona and their journey stage.
Aside from generating new leads, the most important buyer you should be marketing to that is often forgotten are the ones you already have. Have a customer who has consistently purchased your software over the past 15 years? Send over a gift card or a personal email thanking them for their loyalty or provide them special access to a beta program.
While personalization may seem like a huge lift, there are a variety of resources available to help your marketing team work smarter, not harder for a sale. From drip marketing software to a full-fledged Customer Data Platform (CDP), you might want to invest in services that leverage your data to seamlessly deliver the right content at the right time during key points in a buyer journey.
3. Do not underestimate the importance of building a robust user community.
B2B customers, like all buyers, really crave brands they can trust, and failing to live up to expectations is fatal for sales. 5G is not a technology that will be successfully implemented in a silo and transparency among stakeholders will be key to driving adoption. Communicate early and often, budgeting for marketing support across all points – from attracting interest to managing the support hotline. This can be helpful to manage expectations in the rapidly evolving 5G space where your customers may need additional education and support to fully understand and be successful with their technology deployments.
Make sure your marketing activity engages customers, as well as local government, public and private organizations, regulatory authorities and other entities engaged in the 5G ecosystem. Managing these relationships early on will help you mitigate business risks, contain costs, increase credibility and establish domain authority with media and community stakeholders, especially as new entrants flood the marketplace.
Cut through the market noise with compelling content featuring client success stories that outline the benefits of your 5G innovation and educate on the pain points you’re solving. The more people that talk about how great your product is and how it’s helping them conduct business differently, the better. By positioning your company as a community builder and thought leader in the 5G space, you create relationships that will pay dividends over the long term with sales and brand perception.
Now is the time to invest, rather than be afraid of the next wave of connectivity. The technology is young and full of uncertainties, but the consensus is clear – 5G will power an amazing new set of innovative use cases for business. How are you preparing to embrace 5G?
During the next post, we will address specific PR strategies to win the 5G conversation.
If you have 5G technology and a strong story to tell, contact Merritt Group to begin the next stage of your journey.