Why We Are Here
Five years ago, I couldn’t imagine YO! Marketing ®. I had a few clues about how I might make a difference to the market performance of engineering ideas. I was surrounded by great ideas that needed a little something more to translate to sustainable revenue streams.
One clue was my ability to translate complex ideas into simpler terms, drawing out deeper insights. I was an engineer with a desire to go out and meet customers. I research what the market needs and successfully position market solutions. The translation of ideas into marketable terms is my passion. I am not your typical engineer. Neither am I your typical marketer. Hence, YO! Marketing ®.
Where We Add Value
At YO! Marketing ®, I’m particularly interested in business-to-business marketing of complex solutions (products and services) in a global market heavily influenced by technology drivers. Within these markets, it is crucial to:
(1) Monitor and keep ahead of industry peers
(2) Understand (and anticipate) the needs of customers
(3) Involve customers in product development
(4) Ensure that you have the technological capabilities to provide future products. Such capabilities are not built in a day or even a year.
For instance, the ability to provide a subsea pipeline that can operate in 3,000m of water, under high pressure and high temperature could take several years. You’d need to build, test, get qualified and bring to market. If your customers will need this in three years, you need to have already started the R&D work! Similarly, gaining insight into your competitors’ commercial situation and factory loading outlook could mean a competitive advantage for you when bidding time comes. Hence, YO! Marketing ® strives to operate at the intersection of marketing, product management and commercial strategy, our sweet spot.
What We Do
There are a number of tools for analysing the market. But at the forefront, you will find product or market positioning. What problem does your solution solve for your customers? And then there is market intelligence, which should be a constant stream of monitoring and updating. Ideally, delivered to your management team on a regular basis. This is a great way to keep abreast with movements in the market. And also how your solution (product or service) captures the market. The lack of such intelligence, and more importantly, not taking action on vital market movements could be tragic for business.
Think Nokia. Great product (I still have 2 Nokia phones, solid). But the company ignored market movements and customer behaviours, thus losing market share that was once 40% globally.
Once you have a product position and market intelligence, other activities follow such as a commercial strategy, branding and tactics for spreading your relevant messages e.g on social media. I’m a fan of employee social media advocacy. It’s not easy to relinquish power to employees to share content online. But with the right training, content and trust, a company can amplify brand reach a hundred fold. Furthermore, recent research shows that 78% of companies achieve increased brand visibility through employee advocacy. Another survey of 875 engineers reveals that 42% of engineers get information from social media, second only to a company’s website where 57% get information.
Who We Collaborate With
I often hear marketing criticised for being vague and wishy-washy. Sometimes, it can appear so. Marketing can be a parallel universe, failing to impact on the real business issues on the ground. At YO! Marketing®, we are all about collaboration for smarter marketing management. Product positioning needs to be aligned with R&D, Commercial, Business Development and Sales.
Employee Advocacy has to involve Communications, Social Media and even HR functions in order to ensure an effective onboarding process, ongoing content production and employee engagement.
© All illustrations are the creation of Yekemi Otaru of YO! Marketing ® and must not be copied or distributed without prior permission from the creator
Yekemi Otaru is Managing Director of YO! Marketing Limited, a B2B marketing agency with combined experience in engineering and marketing roles. Recently named as one of 40 Under 40 by Scottish Business News, she is a published author and has contributed to business innovation in Scotland in roles at Schlumberger, GE Oil & Gas and Lloyd’s Register. She particularly adds value when there’s a blank sheet of paper so she’s the one to call when you’re not sure where to start.
This post was initially published on LinkedIn on 17th September 2016