Four key success tips for hi-tech growth companies based on fourth annual Market Measures survey

An on-going mission to find the formula for Kiwi hi-tech marketing success is the driver behind the fourth annual Market Measures survey, authored by technology marketing companies Concentrate and Swaytech, and sponsored by NZTE and PWC.

New Zealand technology companies (based on a representative sample of 275 firms) continued to invest in sales and marketing, on average spending 28% of turnover . Consistent with international benchmarks, start-ups and early growth companies in the survey investing 32%, spent significantly more than mature tech companies at 21%.

Companies in the survey were still achieving stunning growth rates, with respondents achieving an average 53% growth in annual turnover, impressive against the backdrop of a weakening global economy and our high exchange rate.

Examining what sales and marketing attributes correlated with high growth amongst survey respondents showed four interesting insights into how the typical Kiwi hi-tech company can further improve their performance.

  1. Improve your market understanding: high-growth companies have a very strong understanding of their target markets, an 'outside-in' perspective critical to achieving strong growth. The average company is too internally focused and doesn't build a strong enough understanding of their target markets.
  2. Get better at developing market entry strategies: top technology companies are confident in their ability to develop effective plans for entering new markets. There is no hit and hope; they have a clear view of the best way to attack a new market, a confidence tightly linked to our first growth insight i.e. the more information you have about your target market the more obvious the strategy becomes.
  3. Focus on the right attributes when selecting channel partners: high-growth companies focus on the partner attributes that really matter. In previous Market Measures surveys it has been shown that using channel partners is correlated with high-growth for Kiwi hi-tech companies, but the average firm was going it alone.
  4. The insight from this year's survey was that 'partner market knowledge' and the 'size of customer base' were the attributes of a good partner that high-growth companies found most relevant. High-growth companies were less concerned with credit/financial stability and the strength of a partner's reputation/brand.

  1. Adjust the focus of your promotional approach: 91% of companies felt it was important that potential customers were able to conduct at least part of their buying process online (i.e. finding information about their products and evaluating them), and 53% felt this situation has become more common in the past 12 months.

In this online world the highest growth companies were taking a different approach. Instead of using traditional marketing content like flyers or brochures for their promotional activities, they focussed on producing knowledge-based output like ebooks or whitepapers.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

James & Wells Intellectual Property, three time winner of the New Zealand Intellectual Property Laws Award and first IP firm in the world to achieve CEMARS® certification.