Being a marketer in tech is awesome. But at times it’s also crazy hard.
However, there’s a fallacy that if you build a good product, the people will come. Sales will just roll in. There’s a misbelief that the technical side of tech is more important than anything else.
Startups don’t fail because they can’t build the product. They fail because they can’t get traction for their product. ~ Ryan Hoover, Founder, Product Hunt
There’s a perfect union between tech and “non-tech”* or traction roles. Great tech companies don’t just have great products, they have great traction too. This means their sales, growth and marketing are as vital as their technical strengths.
Because great products fail every day because no one knows about them or understands the problem they solve.
Marketers and other “non-tech” people get to create traction for the wonderful things smart technical people build. And collect feedback to ensure we are actually building wonderful things.
* I tend to use inverted commas because I find this description distasteful. I prefer to be known for who I am than what I am not.
The Purpose of TechMarketer.org
When I first started in tech, I felt like like an outsider. For months, I didn’t even use the word marketing. Keeping a low profile helped win over skeptical developers. I slowly showed them that marketing was more than ads and spending money.
I spent months apologising for my profession, my passion.
I spent months asking dumb questions.
I even tried to learn to code, poorly.
I’ve lived every word of Hilary Cook’s post “Programming is hard, is it a problem with my brain?”
But things did get better.
We had a brilliant product that deserved an equally brilliant story.
I am a terrible developer, but luckily I wasn’t hired for that.
So I stopped worrying about being “non-technical” and got on with marketing.
I learnt to work with developers, and loved it.
I learnt Agile product ownership, and loved it.
I learnt the joy of meetups, hackdays, scrum teams and product development.
I learnt the excitement of data-driven marketing.
I learnt that tech needs marketing.
And my marketing needs tech.
I was home.
I fell in love with tech and tech marketing.
Without marketing we sold a managed cloud platform for running an open source content management system.
With marketing we silenced distractions. We empowered web teams. We allowed SilverStripe digital agencies get ahead and win huge clients even though they were lean teams.
I learnt more in my first 18 months in tech than the previous 8 years in marketing. But I learnt everything the hard way. I had amazing mentors that kept me sane. Other tech marketers have been outstanding. Every person I’ve approached to bounce an idea or share some knowledge has been welcoming and supportive.
TechMarketer.org is my opportunity to give back and share what I’ve learnt. I’ll also share insights from the inspirational tech marketers I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know.
Stay strong, tech needs us.
~ Nicole Williams, Founder, TechMarketer.org