There are more companies than ever trying to create buzz in today’s tech landscape, but there are also plenty of new and engaging ways to reach customers. PR expert Maggie Zaboura, founder and CEO of Zaboura Communications – headline partner of the PCR Women of the Year Awards 2015 – tells Jade Burke how businesses can get themselves heard...
How can tech brands cut through the noise and make themselves known nowadays?
The landscape of PR and communications has changed so dramatically in the last 10 years. It could be perceived that through social platforms it is now more possible than ever for brands and companies to take charge of their own communications and circumvent the ‘middle man’ by publishing directly to their target market.
But having a plan that communicates directly with customers and consumers should be managed very carefully and strategically. There are so many tools available to make yourself heard nowadays. The most important thing is to figure out what you want to say and how you want to say it – that is more challenging. Get that right first.
Aside from the standard channels such as media releases and social media, platforms like Outbrain can also be quite useful.
It’s all well and good if you’re an established vendor with a big marketing budget, but how can the smaller brands and PC stores promote themselves?
Marketing will always take either time or money. So if a company doesn’t have the money, it will still need to allocate time and creativity. Social media is free to use but must be managed well and consistently – it takes a lot of work to really get right.
The main thing to consider is: who is your customer? Where will you find them? How do you communicate with them? What influences them? These elements will help create and direct your marketing campaign.
Depending on the product, it could be anything from creating your own YouTube channel or starting a blog, to leveraging paid content platforms or PPC/CPC advertising.
It’s always worth investing in help from the experts – just to get the strategy right first. Then you can go ahead and execute the strategy yourself.
How does Zaboura differ from other tech marketing and PR agencies?
Interestingly, when I started Zaboura we were quite disruptive in our approach. Although it may sound arrogant, the market is gradually waking up and starting to change for the better and coming round to our way of thinking!
Our approach was that we would be transparent, accountable and not charge by the hour. This was unheard of in PR when I first started Zaboura.
We are here if anyone needs any guidance or advice on comms and marketing. We have off the shelf solutions for smaller businesses and can easily facilitate communications plans.
What are your thoughts on women in tech and the fact that Microsoft, Intel and Apple are outlining new diversity initiatives?
I believe diversity drives innovation and creativity. I hate focusing only on the topic of women in tech, but unfortunately they are still marginalised in the workforce in pay and in opportunities. On the positive side, the fact that large organisations like Salesforce are launching events like the Dreamforce Women’s Leadership Summit shows that more is being done. This can only be a positive thing.
It is important for ANY organisation that has women in its executive teams to encourage and support mentoring and education programs for the younger female generation. The more role models there are, the more aspirational females there will be – whatever the industry.
You’ve been in the tech industry for 25 years. How has it changed in that time and how will it to evolve in the future?
I’m pleased to say that the tech industry has changed completely. I have been involved in technology my whole working life and this is the most exciting time in tech.
My early years were dedicated to selling bits and bytes in a heavily male- dominated industry. Now, technology permeates all aspects of our lives and the adoption of technology is totally mainstream. Knowing and using technology to make life better, easier, quicker and cheaper is really exciting and very powerful.
Home automation, car automation, biotech, health and medicine, as well as communication, is moving rapidly. Bringing the world closer and bringing a better life to the disadvantaged are areas of interest to me.