A friend of mine recently became chief marketing officer for a mid-market technology company. Prior to his arrival, the marketing team’s primary function was producing one-pagers and decks for the sales team. Rather than cringing and running away, my friend saw this as an opportunity to help the brand proactively tell a story through a myriad of online channels. 

I wasn’t surprised in the least when my friend told me about his new gig. In fact, I’d argue that the majority of software brands build their marketing foundation with product marketing – overlooking messaging and storytelling.  

It’s an easy trap to fall into. Tech companies are most comfortable talking about the technical aspects of their solutions, and the sales team needs promotional content to help them close deals. But a product marketing-only strategy will eventually dry up your top-of-funnel leads and diminish your industry mindshare.

Enter storytelling content: like blogs, whitepapers, videos and press releases. According to cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner, messages delivered as stories are 22 times more memorable than just facts. I’m not arguing that you should ditch product marketing and spend your days doing nothing but storyboarding. But if you’re at a company like my friend’s…well, keep reading.

Timing is Everything in Tech PR

Stories can be told from multiple perspectives in a variety of formats. For example, your CEO can write a narrative in a byline article; your customer’s experience can be told in a case study; and your brand can tell its story in web copy. These content types are most beneficial in the first phase of the buyer’s journey when prospects first realize they have a problem and conduct self-research into possible solutions.

Content marketing pieces, such as how-to guides, sales slicks, landing pages and email marketing, are most effective at the second and third stages of the buyer’s journey. At these points in the sales funnel, prospects are considering a pool of vendors, and deciding which one to ultimately select. This is exactly the time to boast the needs, speeds & feeds of your technology and even offer a promotion. “Product marketing” is often used interchangeably for “sales enablement” for this reason.

Creating the Right Mix

The most successful software brands use a chorus of creative storytelling and technical product marketing. The trick is to map out a content calendar that ensures you’re striking the right mix, and subsequently holds your marketing team and PR firm accountable to the production timeline. 

Ready to get started? Download our content marketing checklist. This framework will enable you to strategically attract prospects with storytelling and nurture buyers with product marketing – all 12 months of the year.

From business development to finance to HR, Anna Ruth wears many hats as CEO. But her first love is working with tech companies to guide their marketing and PR strategies.

Continue Reading

INTERVIEW: The State of Analyst Relations in Cybersecurity PR

Since I started working in cybersecurity PR six years ago, one of the most common questions posed by cyber marketers is “what are your thoughts…

Read More
As an Edge intern, you get to participate in all aspects of the ARPR agency life, like our Mardi Gras themed office opening party.

From One Intern to Another: A Guide to the ARPR Internship Experience

The days of coffee runs, making copies and answering the phone as an intern are over. Now,  the internship experience isn’t just about adding another…

Read More

6 Signals it’s Time to Expand Your Marketing Power by Hiring an Agency

Marketing leaders are confronted with countless daily decisions on driving growth, especially when it comes to customer acquisition: How do we expand our customer base?…

Read More