Home 5 Blogs 5 IT marketing: how to differentiate

IT marketing: how to differentiate

IT-Marketing bij IT-bedrijven

The IT industry and performing marketing seem like a necessary evil. Initially, the industry focused on technology, solving and showing how great everything can work. I regularly see a post on LinkedIn about an innovative term or service, and then the commenter says, “Surely made up by marketing again?”

Where does this difficult marriage between IT and marketing come from? It seems like a must. But that’s what it is – IT companies need to get serious about setting up AND executing their marketing. How intensely you conduct marketing depends, among other things, on your ambition, the market, your growth, the organization, and the stage of life your organization is in. The fact is that every healthy business must do something with marketing.

In the past, marketing proved to be of limited use in the IT sector. Because of the lack of IT knowledge in many organizations, customers came naturally to you as an IT company. Word of mouth, but also simply the neighbor at the company’s premises or through networking events of a municipality or region. Distinctions were also unnecessary. Demonstrating knowledge, expertise, and skill was enough, and if that seemed good enough, you soon found yourself in talks.

A dime a dozen

And over the years, many IT companies and providers have emerged in the Netherlands – which are very similar. And if there are any distinctions, they are based primarily on the technology deployed or the knowledge available. And that’s also how you find clients because clients can assess your expertise very well.

Your website does not have to be an information center for the tools and resources you deploy. How you built IAAS services or modern workplace is undoubtedly exciting and distinctive, but … only later in his buying process. And of course, you are an IT company that provides IT services, but so do many more IT companies these days.

Distinction from competitors is minimal, and that’s how you end up in a Red Ocean as an IT company.

In many organizations, marketing, and sales occur based on price and service, not on the value and development of your customers.

Your customer, who is that?

And here is another rub. Because of the technical content positioning and offerings, it didn’t matter so much what types of organizations became customers. Cloud infrastructure can just as quickly run applications for a transportation company as for an accountant. The technology is the same, and it works well.

But, of course, the dynamics and values of those organizations are vastly different. One organization has a demanding and dynamic operation; the other, on the contrary, has a stable organization based on data security. And so your client portfolio is full of different types of organizations. So who is your customer? And what is the similarity between those customers?

Because that’s where your marketing starts – understanding which organizations you provide what distinctive value to.

Find your customer

That sounds like an open door, but it is very closed at many IT companies. Of course, there is a lot of operational contact with your customers. But how often do you converse with your client about his organization? About how he does it, how he handles his work, and what he runs into. You learn the value of your IT solutions by knowing your client’s organizations and operations. What else can you help him with, looking to the future?

And if you know that, you can convey that to new customers. And to the audiences, your peers operate in – because that’s where you as an organization can make the difference for your potential customer. The customer himself no longer has to translate your technology and services to his organization. You can target him with information relevant to his situation, organization, and market development.

You do this by clearly focusing on who your ideal customer is. If you know that, you can approach the market through social media, data intelligence, and at events. And then, the process of informing them and convincing them that they should start the conversation with you begins.

Contact Force21 now and find out how we can help you find your ideal clients and convince them to start the conversation with you.

Other interesting Marketing articles:

Selling your value to new customers

Make Meaning – what meaning do you have?

Achieve your business goals with a good marketing strategy


Do you want to know more or have a talk? Plan a call with Thijs van Hofwegen, the founder of Force21.

More insights