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Tech marketing: From geeky to utility

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It is stereotypical to say that technology is for geeks. This category of geeks has actually engulfed the world in its ambit. For marketers, however, selling technology products is nothing less than a challenge. Consumers today are well versed with technology but technological jargons are equivalent to gibberish for an average consumer.

“Selling a product that is never seen and felt by the customer is always a challenge for a marketer since more often than not, purchase of such products are low involvement in nature or dependent on another purchase decisions,” says Raka Khashu, Director–Marketing, AMD India.

Emotional twist
The low involvement nature of this category puts the pressure of engaging with consumers on marketers. It is for this reason that there has been a sudden increase in TV commercials by such brands, one of them being Kaspersky Anti-Virus. The average consumer remains oblivious of a product such as an anti-virus. This makes the task of a marketer even tougher. It is for this reason that marketers are getting in an emotional twist to the tech world. This is in addition to keeping the communication focused towards the benefits or advantages of the products to consumers.

Similarly, SanDisk too is approaching consumers with the functionality of the products rather than talking to them in speed and memory sizes. Manisha Sood, Country Manager and Director, India and SAARC, SanDisk Corporation, explains, “We’re saying that if you have, about 100 photographs and they are wiped off then what will you do. If you’re buying a cheaper card without paying attention to the brand, then you’re risking your memories. We are trying to have an emotional connect with a technology product which is- your moments are precious and important, store them in SanDisk products.”

Targeting it right
As per a recent research, over 54 per cent of the country’s population is under the age of 24 and as per the recent ComScore research, 75 per cent of the web audience in India is under the age of 35, compared to 52 per cent of the global average and 57 per cent of the regional average. The heaviest internet users in India are between the age group of 15-24 years, driving the highest internet consumption in the country.

The marketers in technology sphere are realising this concentration of technology usage amongst the youth. Khashu says, “With youth as the most significant part of the target audience for consumer technology products, our marketing strategy and media plan were designed to build brand affinity and customised to suit this target segment.” AMD came up with a targeted campaign, ‘Future is me’, mapping its brand highlights and product experience with that of the preference and personal passions of Gen Y.

Breaking down the jargons
Technology companies are constantly trying to communicate in languages the consumers understand. Technology, which is not an urban phenomenon is finding maximum users in Tier II and Tier III cities via mobile phones. This was the insight that SanDisk got while executing its Memory Yatra campaign in 2010. Under this initiative, a mobile van was parked for seven days in 12-14 cities concurrent with different festivals that were happening.

Sood says, “Mobile users are mainly in Tier II and Tier III cities. They don’t have access to many devices. They’ll play videos on it, music on it, surf internet on it. So that makes their devices very memory hungry.” SanDisk’s memory kiosks in retail stores like Staples aim at communicating memory to consumers in terms of the number of photographs and songs they wish to store in their devices against gigabytes or megabytes.

Undoubtedly, with consumers evolving, technology marketers are also evolving and becoming savvy in the way they communicate to the target audience.

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Jyotsna Sharma

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