What Can Tech Marketers Learn From Superheroes?

Inspiration can be found in the oddest of places. Tech marketers, for instance, can learn a number of lessons from superheroes.

Martin Smith

2nd Jul 2020

1. Have A Great Origin Story

Pretty much every superhero has a great origin story. The shy teenager bitten by a radioactive spider. The baby sent by its parents from a dying planet to a noble future on planet Earth.

Now think about your tech company. How inspiring is your origin story? Can you even determine what your origin story is?

Your company’s founders did not sit down one day and decide that they wanted to be a leading company in blah blah blah, providing innovative solutions to the blah blah blah industry.

They saw a problem, and they tried to fix it. Maybe they had a chance encounter with an old colleague. Or they read or saw something that sparked an idea. Perhaps they were working at another company and were amazed that there wasn’t a solution to something so seemingly obvious.

People love stories. Stories are memorable. They are relatable. Stories are what makes you read the tech industry profile about the founders, right to the end. And it just so happens that we are The Tech Storytellers.

People buy from companies that they understand and like, and a large portion of our job as a B2B tech PR and marketing firm Think again about your company’s origin story and how it can turn your tech company into a real and relatable entity.

Be the best there is at what you do

2. Leave People Wanting More

The episodic nature of superhero comic books and movies resulted in stories with cliffhanger endings. A well-written cliffhanger keeps people wondering what will happen next. But they don’t give everything away. Instead, they appeal to our sense of curiosity, which can be a strong driver of future loyalty and interaction.

Try leveraging this “curiosity gap” in your own technology marketing efforts. In your social media efforts, for instance, leave some room for curiosity. We have found that a “curiosity gap,” can result in 10x greater engagement.

You don’t need to be overly clickbait-y about it or use Buzzfeed-esque teasers like “This cat tried to open a cupboard door and you won’t believe what happened next!!!” Instead, utilize a clever teaser that draws the viewer closer to you.

That might look like changing something like “We announced our solution that blah blah blah” to “Find out what we announced about…” We’ve done this with a number of clients to positively impact their social and digital marketing efforts.

3. Do Good

Admittedly, superheroes have become a little darker and more human in the last few years. But at their core, they fight for good. They do more good than harm.

What about your technology brand? Can you actually put your finger on why outsiders might view you as one of the good guys?

Not everyone can save a bus full of children from a falling bridge, of course. But that’s not what we’re talking about. As a technology brand, are you actually helping people do their job (the good guys), or are you just trying to make money off them (the bad guys).

This question feeds into content marketing. When you provide data, guidance, ideas and strategies that help people, you become the good guys. And as a massive by-product of that, you become more trustworthy, and you sell more.

4. Be True To Who You Are

Superheroes have a cause – some purpose or characteristic that makes them easily identifiable. Sure, they can have a costume change or epiphany once in a while. But a flakey superhero who isn’t recognizable from one episode to the next won’t build a following.

Relating this back to tech brands, one of the smartest things Google did in the last decade was creating its Alphabet parent company. Before Alphabet, it was difficult to put your finger on what Google was. They were the search engine that you relied on. They were the massively wealthy company that bought anything they want. They were the Gmail guys, the YouTube guys and the Android people.

Alphabet gave Google the ability to become a technology conglomerate, while uniting its widening interests and product lines. Google can be Google. Nest can be Nest. YouTube can be YouTube. And for your company (assuming you’re not working at Google) there are lessons here, too.

When you’re in charge of public-facing branding for your company – which is a mainstay for technology marketers – you have the responsibility to speak for the customer and make sure that there’s no confusion on his part (confusion about your company is the slow death for any technology brand).

Salespeople will always want more products to sell. And engineers will always want to create more features that are cool. But your first priority has to be promoting your brand strategy and positioning for the customer.

5. Keep Fighting

Superheroes face a constantly growing body of threats and supervillains. At times, tech marketers can feel the same.

There are always new challenges, new fights, new struggles. It is that variety and intrigue that attracted many of us into the tech marketing industry. And most of us thrive on it (while wishing for a boring day here or there to catch up!).

While there are times when it’s overwhelming, don’t ever give up the fight. Until you’re ready to retire to do something easier (whatever that is), keep moving. Keep thinking. Keep optimizing.

Wolverine said it best: I’m the best there is at what I do. You wouldn’t pay to watch a movie where Wolverine sits in his kitchen and grumbles about how much he’s got on his plate. Your clients don’t want to hear that, either. They want you to be the best at what you do, and you owe them nothing less.

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