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Technology Evangelism

What is technology evangelism? It's the future of marketing. Here's my personal view on how it's defined, and some tips on being an evangelist

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Technology Evangelism

  1. 1. Evangelism Timo Elliott, July 2013
  2. 2. 2 Introduction Timo Elliott Innovation Evangelist “Passionately part of SAP’s future” @timoelliott
  3. 3. 3 What Is An Evangelist? The Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (latinized to Evangelium) originally meant a reward given to the messenger for good news (εὔ = "good", ἀγγέλλω = "I bring a message“) Some prefer “advocate” or “champion”
  4. 4. 4 Self-promotion is a necessary part of the role! What I Do – Other Evangelists May Be Very Different Present at 40+ conferences and events / year 100+ Blog posts / year (multiple channels) “Social Ambassador” role at events Customer strategy days Press and analysts Internal evangelism Other social media (9.7K on Twitter, etc.) “Probably one of the best Powerpoint presentations I have seen to date!” Trevor McConnell “Please accept my sincere appreciation for the outstanding presentation. This presentation was the most interesting I have had in years.” Tony Betkolia “Your presentation was one of the best presentations I have experienced in a very long time. Excellent delivery, good examples and contents as well as great supporting visuals… Sales Manager, Component Software, Norway. “It really was a pleasure to hear your presentations… -- it’s wonderful to meet people like you that are passionate about what they do.” Paul O'Sullivan, Bank of Ireland “[Your presentation] was the best one I've seen by a mile, and my colleagues agree with me.” Joe Ferreria, Deutsch Bank
  5. 5. 5 What Is Evangelism? Basically, it’s “just” marketing [but not as in “that’s just marketing”]
  6. 6. 6 Enterprise Software is Complex and Confusing Potentially confusing products to solve complex and confusing business issues. To “help people buy,” companies must explain and describe: How the technology works How to buy products How to install and use products What other customers are doing And customers are buying into the future as much as today’s product (or more), so: Thought leadership Brand image Inspiration = “Evangelism” = Marketing
  7. 7. 7 Evangelism Content, Communication, and Community Find something INTERESTING Tell STORIES SHARE, discuss, im prove
  8. 8. 8 Content Social has brought a lot more transparency – and if you’re naked, you’d better be buff! But marketing still has a megaphone. What should they do with it?
  9. 9. 9 Be “Interesting” Howard Gossage
  10. 10. 10 Marketing ROI = Return on Interesting
  11. 11. 11 Evangelists Have An “Interesting” Advantage Evangelists have a lot of marketing advantages: • Domain knowledge (so they can tell what is interesting) • Direct communication (encourages candor) • Fast-paced (typically don’t have to coordinate big teams) • Instant feedback (presentations, conversations) • Iterative (can adapt develop over several conferences) • Sink or swim (strong incentives for “quality,” or not invited back) • Typically not measured (directly) on leads, less paperwork!
  12. 12. 12 “Interesting” is A Very Elastic Concept* Educational Funny Controversial Startling Emotional New Etc. Vary, reuse formats -- don’t “sing in monotone” Align with messaging * But “professional, slick, polished” is NOT INTERESTING on its own
  13. 13. 13 Interesting is HARD Make sure you’re adding to what’s already out there
  14. 14. 14 Communicate PASSION
  15. 15. 15 Keep It Real Authenticity is the key to success. [Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made…] Tests: • Am I interested? • Would I talk to my own relative this way? • Would I still say this if I worked for a competitor?
  16. 16. 16 My Role Model (Yours May be Different)
  17. 17. 17 Use Analogies “300x faster” is just a number. Imagine you’re a world- class marathon runner. You could finish the race in 33 seconds. Would that give you a competitive advantage?!
  18. 18. 18 Use Analogies Cost of 1 Mb of memory in 1990: €46 / Mb 2010: <1c Should expect changes!
  19. 19. 19 Vary by Audience: Belgium Atomium 102m Cost of 1 Mb of memory in 2000: ≈$1
  20. 20. 20 Vary by Audience: Stockholm Kista Science Building Stockholm 124m Cost of 1 Mb of memory in 2000: ≈$1
  21. 21. 21 Vary by Audience: Russia Capital City, Moscow Tower 306m Cost of 1 Mb of memory in 2000: ≈$1
  22. 22. 22 Vary by Audience: Russia Cost of 1 Mb of memory today: ≈1 cent Alexander Sizonenko: 2.39m Height of hoop 3.08m And shrinking….
  23. 23. 23 Use Analogies A transformative technology that slowly but surely upturns the whole industry
  24. 24. 24 Tell Stories
  25. 25. 25 Some Other Evangelist Skills
  26. 26. 26 Evangelism by Team I believe the future of marketing is evangelism, but carried out by agile, collaborative teams rather than individuals: Subject-matter experts Messaging experts Journalists and storytellers Editors Data analysts Project managers Community organizers
  27. 27. 27 Community Community is now PART OF THE PRODUCT
  28. 28. 28 Use Community To Increase Quality Come down from the marketing ivory tower, and iteratively engage with the community. 1. Come up with, or find, something you think is interesting. 2. Test whether it is indeed interesting by generating discussion 3. Use those discussions to refine the idea to make it more interesting 4. Then invite others to the conversation (= “a campaign”) 5. And invite them to join the community!
  29. 29. 29 In an Ideal World, Marketing Would Could Get Out Of The Way The customer community would evangelize, sell, and support new customers E.g. Instagram at acquisition by Facebook Users: 30 Million Employees: 13 Marketing staff: 0 Community evangelists: 3 Value: $1 Billion
  30. 30. 30 What I Find Hard About Evangelism More work than you might think – just keeping up is hard! “Appropriate authenticity” Aligning with corporate message and branding Company brand vs own brand Measurement • Important, but hard to do, and watch out for bad side-effects Tradeoffs and prioritization • Live vs. online, broad vs deep, business vs technical, new vs reuse, internal vs external, content vs community, etc. etc. Staying connected internally, organization LEVERAGE AND SCALE
  31. 31. 31 Actions and Next Steps Use social to engage with customers, influencers, competition… Figure out your passion Be Interesting Practice random acts of Evangelism Use social to measure, iterate, and improve our marketing Help us all figure out how to apply Evangelism at scale
  32. 32. Thank you Timo Elliott Email: Twitter: @timoelliott Blog:

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What is technology evangelism? It's the future of marketing. Here's my personal view on how it's defined, and some tips on being an evangelist


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