blog post

The What, Why, and How of Technical Marketing

Madhu Puranik
Madhu Puranik
November 17, 2023
8 min read

Almost every company today is leveraging SaaS applications for CRM, emails, file sharing, HRM, and more. Gartner predicts that cloud application services will see a double-digit growth (16.8%) in 2023, with an increasing number of businesses planning to move their workloads to the cloud. 

All SaaS startups aim to scale their offerings over time. However, to achieve this, they a robust technical marketing team or a scalable GTM model. A firm’s technical marketing team takes all the pieces of the marketing efforts and converts them to the fuel a company needs to move ahead. 

Technical marketing lies at the intersection of marketing operations (MOps) and marketing analytics. 

Where does technical marketing fall? 

The MOps team is concerned with data acquisition, database management, and reporting. On the other hand, the marketing analytics team applies analytical methods like demand forecasting, competitive intelligence, and trend analytics for making informed decisions and supporting marketing actions with data. 

Technical marketing is more holistic than traditional marketing as it adds a technical and analytical approach to the creative process. Such an analytical and creative approach is critical in today’s SaaS environment that’s increasingly data-centric. 

Thus, technical marketing is a critical component of the marketing team that works to make the target audience see the value of their investment. Their efforts persuade customers to invest in the subscription model. 

In B2B SaaS, technical marketing is specifically important owing to the complex nature of their offerings and the long purchase process. 

Here are a few challenges most SaaS marketers face. 

  • A typical SaaS buyer is well-read and knowledgeable on the subject matter. So, conventional or generalist marketing tactics are not likely to make the cut. Thus, the firm needs advanced analytics to understand their customer and come up with fitting strategies. 

Few marketers are equipped with the skills to stitch data from multiple platforms and analyze it. Most firms are forced to hire a market analyst for the job (which is an added cost!). 

  • Reaching your customers most effectively. SaaS buyers use various channels to research and get industry updates. Connecting and analyzing data across these channels requires a robust strategy. 

Finally, a Big One! 

Data has become the new currency for SaaS business growth. Marketers who miss out on effectively leveraging data fail to improve their marketing, sales, customer service, and overall product development. Since SaaS marketing relies on multiple channels, data is spread across, making it challenging to get it on one platform. 

Further, few SaaS marketers have extensive experience in working with data. This can make it tough for them to determine if their efforts are producing the desired impact on the bottom line. 

Thus, a technical marketer supports the marketing team in planning and executing strategies that resonate with the target audience. 

In this guide, we will touch upon what technical marketing is, its relevance in SaaS, and how a technical marketing specialist can leverage it to improve conversions and revenue. 

What Is Technical Marketing? 

A SaaS marketer has to deal with data in various forms - 

  • Data about the product: They would want to know how many people are using a specific platform and the features/ service that solves their problems. 
  • Data about customers: They would want to know the customer demographics, the channels they are active on, and what appeals to them. 
  • Data about competitors: They would like to know the market dynamics for making smart product decisions and strategies. 
  • Data about marketing campaign performance: They would want to know how their campaigns are performing. Are they achieving the business goals? Which campaigns are generating the most clicks or conversions? This will help them optimize their resources. 

Thus, they need to stitch all this data and crunch it to derive insights that can help them make informed business decisions. 

Technical marketing deals with the technical aspects of marketing. It’s a part of marketing that deals with data and getting it from various channels to a central repository/ processing house. Further, they are involved in setting up analytics platforms that can offer insights into how people are using the software. 

For this, they set up marketing ROI dashboards based on business goals and campaign KPIs (like revenue targets) for each stage in the marketing/ sales process. 

Thus, technical marketing is a part of marketing that incorporates business vision, strategy, objectives and key results, and KPIs to build a killer marketing engine. 

Here are a few facets of building a marketing engine that technical marketers are concerned with. 

1. Use data as a decision-making tool 

As mentioned earlier, the SaaS world is increasingly gravitating to making data-driven decisions. Technical marketers help the team see value in data and derive insights that guide business decisions. 

2. Focus on advanced analytics and marketing intelligence 

The technical marketing team is involved in predictive analytics, financial forecasting, and the identification of new market opportunities for growth. Further, they create performance measurement marketing ROI dashboards for reporting performance versus the plan. 

It’s here that they need (and deserve!) revenue analytics software like Revlitix that effortlessly connects data from various sources and converts it into actionable insights. The platform is powered by predictive and prescriptive analytics to automate the process of turning data into insights and insights into actions. 

3. Create and implement relevant marketing plans 

The data-powered insights allow technical marketers to assist growth marketers to create plans for different stages and purposes (for instance, product launches or promotions). While growth marketers carve out strategic and tactical plans, technical marketers help measure campaign performance.

4. Spot and correct the common pitfalls

How is a specific marketing campaign performing? Has the team identified its target market size, customer persona, and pain points? Are they focusing on the right channels? Are they opting for quick wins versus sustainable growth? 

Technical marketers leverage data to research these common mistakes SaaS marketers commit. 

Significance of Technical Marketing

Having access to data is good but what’s critical for business success is using data to boost the efficiency and scalability of marketing plans. Most marketers tend to have a creative background. This creates a need for a marketer who understands the nitty-gritty of leveraging data for making smart business decisions. 

Technical marketing has a huge place in the B2B SaaS domain because of the following reasons - 

  • SaaS businesses often run marketing campaigns on multiple platforms. This generates the need for marketing data integration - the process of combining data from different sources to create a unified and consistent view. 

The ability to assemble these pieces of data offers the team the needed visibility into the overall business performance and how the marketing team contributes to revenue. Moreover, it makes sense of the cross-channel data and creates a single source of truth, allowing teams to look at data at a granular level. 

The technical marketing team takes care of data integration, supporting businesses as they look for data insights. 

  • The SaaS domain thrives on customer-centric content. With technical marketing binging on data and analytics, marketers can effortlessly tailor content for their customers. 

The data-driven marketing allows businesses to reach and attract leads. It can help them engage, attract, and delight a tech-savvy audience that has a detailed understanding of the product or service. For such an audience, generalist marketing (offering an overview of the product) doesn’t work well. The content has to appeal to their pain points. 

  • Selling SaaS is a long-term game. Unlike physical products, the revenue in SaaS is continual and long-term (if customer satisfaction is high). In SaaS, existing customers contribute largely to the revenue. 

Technical marketing allows marketers to impress users with solutions that address their issues, thereby convincing them to re-subscribe. 

Odds are you have unique software. But how will prospects know about it? By using data effectively, technical marketing can help businesses create awareness about distinctive product features. 

  • It helps in improving search rankings in the SERPs. Google prefers businesses that focus on their E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness). Technical marketing allows businesses to share relevant content that positions them as an authority in the domain, thus giving signals of high-level E-A-T to Google. 

Lack of clarity on marketing plans and their performance can cost a business. Technical marketing empowers businesses to identify target audiences, understand their core needs and primary channels, and the overall customer journey. All this by effectively leveraging data. 

Is Technical Marketing the Same as Marketing a Technical Product? 

The short answer to this - No. 

These two terms are often confused as being similar. Let’s see how they differ. 

As discussed earlier, technical marketing focuses on the data and analytics part of marketing. 

On the other hand, marketing a technical product involves sharing details of specific features of a complex product. It’s technical product marketing of products that are IT or high-tech. It could also encompass building a go-to-market strategy (GTM) to get a new product to market and promote it.

Here’s what marketing a tech product would include - 

  • Brand positioning
  • Product vision
  • Go-to-marketing strategies
  • Product pricing
  • Product launch
  • Business plan
  • Resource alignment, and more. 

Unlike technical marketing which requires a technical expert (with advanced analytics expertise), marketing of a tech product can be done by anyone who’s well-versed with the product features and has sound selling skills. 

Role of a Technical Marketer or Technical Marketing Specialist

A technical marketer sits along with a marketing ops expert and a market analyst to help the team see value in data. 

They work to get data from various sources together and analyze it to derive business insights. By leveraging advanced data analytics, they help the marketing team in identifying customer pain points. Thus, the team can highlight the technical features that address them. 

And they measure how the marketing campaigns are performing. For this, they may have to work with several tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, CRM tools, and advanced analytics platforms. 

Thus, a tech marketer will help develop, execute, and monitor various marketing campaigns across channels. They may be involved in market research, trend analysis, overall project management, and event coordination. 

Finally, technical marketers are known to get their hands dirty when it comes to data integration. Every business is at a different stage when it comes to integrating marketing data into one platform. 

Let’s look at the stages in brief. 

The stages of data analytics 

So, if your business is in stage 1 or 2, you are dealing with a manageable volume of data that can be brought to a spreadsheet tool like Google Sheets or a BI tool for data visualization. 

However, at stages 3 and 4 you are dealing with advanced analytics where data is centralized and your capabilities to analyze data are better. 

Most analytics-mature businesses combine data from spreadsheets and data warehouses using advanced analytics tools like Revlitix that are powered by predictive and prescriptive analytics. 

A technical marketer is an expert at bringing marketing data into a centralized destination using such advanced tools. 

Top Technical Marketing Skills 

A technical marketer needs to focus on a variety of skills. Here are a few occupational competencies that we have listed down for achieving success in the technical marketing domain. 

1. Being Good at Numbers 

To be a successful marketer you need to be good at crunching numbers and transforming data into actionable insights. Mathematics and statistics are an inseparable part of technical marketing as marketers need to constantly track, analyze and optimize their campaigns to fetch better returns from the allocated budget. 

A technical marketer may apply mathematics and its branches like statistics or calculus each day to - 

  • Analyze statistical data and predict major trends and sales. 
  • Gather data on competitors to analyze their prices, sales, and marketing methods.
  • Come up with the best procedures for collecting data.
  • Evaluate product and consumer data for insights that optimize product promotion, distribution, design, and pricing. 

2. Market Research and Analytics 

A technical marketer needs to possess strong research skills to be updated on the wider market trends, the competitive landscape, and how the product fits in. They should be able to successfully retain and communicate this information to their internal stakeholders. 

Further, a technical marketer should be comfortable examining data and drawing relevant conclusions from them. 

Today advanced analytics has made this technical task pretty straightforward for marketers. With tools like Revlitix that are enabled by predictive and prescriptive analytics, pulling data from multiple sources and analyzing hundreds of KPIs can be achieved within minutes. 

The revenue marketing platform can effortlessly track multiple KPIs across multiple marketing channels and millions of data combinations to surface relevant insights. 

What’s more? The tool can offer and execute recommendations for you. 

Revlitix recommendations - marketing ROI dashboard 

Thus, Revlitix takes care of one of the most critical and effort-intensive tasks of a technical marketer. 

3. A Sound Understanding of Technical Documentation for the Integration of Multiple Platforms

Besides being an expert in advanced marketing analytics, a technical marketer needs to have in-depth knowledge of multiple platform integration. Successful integration can help the team combine customer and market data for building relevant customer experiences. 

Thus, a marketer should have knowledge of platform integration and leverage the necessary tools to monitor the performance of different marketing campaigns.

4. Advanced Knowledge of the Software 

Besides being an expert in advanced marketing analytics, a technical marketer needs to go out of their way to acquire in-depth technical knowledge of the platform. That’s when they will be able to build a creative around it and partner with the product team to convince prospects to invest in the product. 

5. A Thorough Understanding of Business Use Cases

A sound understanding of the business use cases can help marketers build relevant reports for their go-to-market (GTM) initiatives. A GTM strategy is a comprehensive plan for getting new products into the market. However, to build a solid strategy, you must have a complete background of target market profiles, a marketing plan, a concrete sales and distribution strategy, and more. 

6. The Ability to Simplify Processes and Topics

A technical marketer works on complex issues and data to ensure the maximum impact of marketing initiatives. However, non-technical marketers may find it difficult to process such topics. 

Hence, a tech marketer should possess the skill to break down complex topics into simpler phrases, thus allowing non-technical people to understand and plan their own actions.  

Building Technical Marketing Skills 

SaaS technical marketing is a challenging field to be in. Several technical marketers start as subject matter experts and transition to better understanding their audience. 

Regardless of your background, here’s how you can develop your technical marketing skills. 

1. Invest in a Relevant Course 

Depending on the skill you wish to develop, enroll yourself in an online course or a certification to specialize in it.  For instance, advanced marketing analytics courses and certifications from top universities and organizations can help you sharpen your ability to work with data, understand the top marketing issues, and improve the overall marketing strategy and ROI. 

2. Follow Subject Matter Experts 

Subject matter experts often have extensive knowledge of job processes, functions, and technologies. To develop certain skills and build innovative processes, you should network with and follow subject matter experts. This will enable you to learn through their  practical experience and research and study.

Several subject matter experts have advanced degrees in their areas of expertise and offer lectures, continuing education, and courses across channels. Make sure you are active on these channels to hone the necessary skills. 

3. Be an Expert at Using Your Software 

Great tech marketers know their software like the back of their hands. 

Work with your developers and engineering team to understand each feature of the software and how it impacts the end user. Becoming an expert at using your software will help you better demonstrate its benefits to your customer. 

Further, when you are an expert in your field it's easier to understand customer objections and overcome them. 

4. Build Your Tech Stack Wisely 

To access, integrate, and manage data technical marketers often use a variety of tools. For instance, they use data pipelines or data management platforms to get all the data to a central destination. 

Similarly, they may use data warehouses, data visualization tools, and spreadsheets to store process data. 

However, as a smart tech marketer, you should ensure you have the right technology in place (while avoiding tools that unnecessarily add to your cost!) 

Instead of investing in a bunch of analytics tools, it’s wise to invest in an all-in-one advanced marketing analytics tool that effectively automates the process of turning data into insights, and insights into actions. 

A revenue marketing platform like Revlitix can take the weight off your back by allowing you to make sense of data with surprisingly very little effort and at a minimal cost.

You save on the cost of building dashboards that no one uses or hiring a separate analyst for the job. The platform empowers technical marketers to build custom, multi-channel dashboards within a few clicks. 

Thus, technical marketers can leave this complex technical task for Revlitix and focus on the creative aspects of their job. 

Summing Up 

Owing to the intense competition in this domain, SaaS businesses need to invest their resources in data-driven marketing. Leveraging data effectively can help SaaS firms to unearth insights valuable to the sales, marketing, and support teams. 

Technical marketing is a subset of marketing that specializes in managing the growing volumes of data stacking up on various channels. We are sure this post has offered you adequate information on technical marketing, enabling you to use it to scale your business. 

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