Baby, the thrill is gone

You can still get results after the hype around a client dies, says Suzanne Block of Merritt Group.

It's common for hyped technologies to dominate media headlines for months, especially when that technology is valued highly by venture capitalists. The media always jumps at the opportunity to cover new exciting trends, discuss predictions, share developments and address market changes, especially when it comes to technology.

But, as we all know, the attention doesn't last forever.

And though there are an endless number of predictions made by experts and industry thought leaders, it's impossible to predict the length of a hype cycle, which varies from one development in tech to the next.

This often means our clients can become hot overnight after a round of funding or an impressive industry award, but then lose that popularity just as quickly.

How do we navigate this cycle when the client's expectations don't change along with the hype and how do you successfully appeal to the media after a trend's hype phase has passed?

First, pay attention to the user and the solution that technology offers. Help the media understand exactly why your ideal users need this technology. Does it make their job less complex? Allow them to perform a key function faster? Enable creativity and/or collaboration?

Telling a story from a user's perspective is the best way to highlight a market's pain points and reach your target audience. Ultimately, providing a solution to a recurring problem that impacts people will always be relevant.

Then, you must consider the addressable market for the technology. You should be able to succinctly and quantifiably explain the size of the market opportunity that your technology is slated to grow.

You can then address the current competitive market gap that your brand fills. That way, your solution becomes a no-brainer and showcases how your brand is still solving this common problem.

Data-driven stories are king in today's media landscape. Use statistics such as cost and time savings or success rates to back up your product. Proving to the media and their audience how a product could save significant time and money is exciting and newsworthy.

If your technology is past the hype phase, steady media exposure is the key to success and there are several strategies that can help you garner attention.

Highlight recent or upcoming partnerships or collaborations and link those to recent trends to showcase how the brand's technology solves a real-world problem for your customer. Stay in touch with what's currently going on in the media and use that information to create new, timely angles and ideas to pitch to journalists.

Or, you can ask a brand executive to speak to industry trends and make predictions (even if they don't pan out) while representing your brand as a thought leader.

The fact is, while media hype waxes and wanes, a brand's product still has the capability to provide solutions to specific problems and that is interesting to the media and their audience. Show off your brand's solution, even if it's not part of the latest, sexiest trend. If it still addresses a market where there's money, the solution is inherently newsworthy.

Suzanne Block is the director of emerging technology for Merritt Group.

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