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How to Avoid Innovation Pitfalls for Emerging Tech Startups

Here at EI, we see plenty of startups looking to evangelize innovations. From augmented reality and health tech to the Internet of Things, a slew of new products and services are revolutionizing responses to both consumer needs and industry pain points. But the unfortunate truth is that 75% of these ventures will fail due to issues involving the brand’s business model, approach or focus.

For those looking to break into the competitive technology space, avoiding these common pitfalls will serve you well:

  1. Don’t aim for disruption. Aim for enhancement.

There’s an old guard protecting the landscape and a variety of organizations who believe they can disrupt it. What most do not realize is that the marketplace is already experiencing immense changes that can be categorized as less of a “disruption” and more so “business as usual” with a twist. Sure, there are technologies and behaviors that are altering many aspects of the business. And of course, there are industry giants poised to take on specific elements in the space. But the bottom line is that there are very smart, well-financed and protected organizations that are capable of rolling with the punches. Smart startups will seek to pinpoint challenges within the tech sector and craft innovations to address them. They will not look to upend a very profitable system, but seek to enhance it. Ultimately, they will figure out compelling ways to affect positive changes while realizing that disruption is not the key to success.

  1. Proof of concept is king.

The technology world is a hype-filled place. The industry is fast-paced, ever-changing and offers plenty of monetary gain, so there’s plenty of people constantly trying to enter it. Some of them are great marketers, but that doesn’t mean their products will live up to the excitement they manage to create about them. If your organization is unable to provide a tangible product, all the hype in the world won’t help you. Even before promotional efforts begin, you must prove your technology actually works. There is no such thing as “we’re working out a few kinks.” If a product is ready, it’s ready; and if it’s not, it’s not. On top of proving this validity, a company must also prove the business case. In fact, this is the single most important task for any emerging tech brand. Your business case should be well-structured to perfectly capture the reason and need for your product. In this industry, the folks that live up to the hype and present a proof of concept are the ones that will flourish.

  1. Jump off the buzzword bandwagon for success that is not short-lived.

All too often, startups, innovators and well-established companies will create and innovate new products based on buzzwords alone. The problem with this approach is that buzzwords are fads, and by the time a product finally goes to market there may already be another buzzword in its place. Seeking to capitalize on specific trends is a short-term strategy based on novelty that doesn’t have any real staying power. Marketing a product solely built around a temporary buzzword is not only a giant gamble that typically doesn’t pay off, it’s also a crutch for the less creative to lean on. Instead of relying on words that may be huge today and gone tomorrow, create your own terms that will allow for profitable results.

Any promising startup can make these common mistakes, which is why we are here to help assist with creating and executing the best marketing strategy for your innovative product or service. By keeping these major blunders in mind while working to craft a paramount business approach, we’ll have the best possible chance of successfully launching you and your product into the technology marketplace.

 


Why Thought Leadership Reigns Supreme In Tech and Emerging Media PR

Thought Leadership PR

By:Beth Principi, Staff Writer.

A thought leader. Just the sound is prestigious. But the term is even more effective when used correctly by a company looking to better position themselves in an industry. It’s increasingly beneficial for startups in emerging industries who want to showcase their expertise to potential clients and major players in the ecosystem. But just why are thought leadership articles such an important public relations tool? Well, I’d be glad to show you. This is my thought leadership piece on why thought leaderships are one of the strongest PR tools available (see what I did there?).

First things first. Not just anyone can write a thought leadership piece. In order to do so you have to be an expert in the field. If you’re not, the holes in whatever argument you are trying to make will be big and bright and in plain sight (I’m not sorry for that rhyme) for other players in the industry to see. But if you are an expert, there is absolutely no better way to showcase your expertise than through a carefully crafted and controlled message. By putting yourself out there as an expert and aligning your message with your company’s platform and goals, you can sway readers with a 100% managed message that isn’t altered by the media in any way. You are effectively telling an honest story that indirectly promotes you and your company while sharing your knowledge on a topic.

Thought Leadership pieces are also much more appealing—if done correctly—than a news story. News stories promote news. Thought Leadership pieces provide education. They dig deeper into the industry to drudge out the underlying issues, constant challenges and disrupting innovations. Readers are getting an experts opinion in a way that is as gripping as it is eye-opening. With news stories, you may get an expert quote here or there, but that is just one plot point in an entire chapter of thoughts. Thought leaderships bring you the entire chapter in first person.

In the same vein, thought leadership pieces are a strong lead-in to other media opportunities. A press or news story doesn’t properly demonstrate expertise in a way that leads to you becoming a resource of knowledge in the marketplace. Thought leadership does. It instantly qualifies you as an expert source, where people can turn to for further thoughts and inquiries on a particular subject. The more thought leaderships you write the more exposure you will receive, and in turn the more exposure your company will receive. By positioning yourself as a thought leader in the space you’re also positioning your company as one others would like to work and partner with, instead of bogging them down with the typical press releases, pitches and news stories.

Thought leaderships are your chance to be creative and tell the story you want to tell, while also creating immeasurable exposure. If you’re knowledgeable, show that knowledge. There are plenty of people out there willing and ready to listen.