By Esther Francisco Ballesteros, Marketing & Communications Manager, The Scotland 5G Centre.
First published by FutureScot.
With the rapid evolution of traditional marketing and the appearance of digital marketing, technology and innovation has become part of any marketer’s life without the need of working for a digital technological company.
Technology and innovation companies are known to be fast moving and new ideas are what gives them their competitive edge. However, technology jobs are not all about being close to industry leaders and tech geniuses, there are opportunities for those looking for a more meaningful role where technology and innovation will help others.
And that’s what attracted me to join The Scotland 5G Centre in 2021 – the national centre to accelerate the adoption of 5G in Scotland, the opportunity to work with technology leaders and breakthrough innovation that are having a significant role in changing Scotland’s society while working with local authorities, communities and SMEs to understand what they need and how 5G can improve their lives, business and economies.
And here is where marketing and communications positions play a key role in organisations like The Scotland 5G Centre, where they need professional communicators and all elements of the marketing mix to do it effectively.
I see marketing and technology as the perfect partners as they both need each other to become effective. Communication is crucial at the start-up and spin-out stage of an innovative business. A time of endless rounds of funding applications, each one requiring clear messages and a simple ‘elevator pitch’ to attract attention and investment. For more established companies and public bodies, there is a greater need to build collaborations to share ideas to develop a business where marketing campaigns are essential for it.
With a background in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), business to consumer (B2C) and selling a definitive product, I enjoyed the challenge and the range of skills I needed to master for this role, but that was not the only career move. I moved from Spain to Scotland almost seven years ago, and ever since the rural areas and remote communities have drawn me further in. As an avid walker I could admire their beauty and majesty. I also recognised that the communities in these remote areas needed support to survive and thrive.
I recognised the crucial role that being able to work and be educated remotely would make. Joining The Scotland 5G Centre was a win-win for me. I didn’t need to know the intricacies of how low latency works, but I understand how improvements in communications will support communities to live and work remotely.
This larger societal role that the technology sector has is really appealing. I find the high ratio of women in leadership roles at The Scotland 5G Centre encouraging. Our work opens the opportunity for technical skills in remote areas and we offer the gateway for all genders looking for a more “meaningful” role and I think they can definitely find this in the tech sector.
One of the key challenges is to be able to convey complex information in terms that everyone will understand. Often what my team and I have to do is turn the information we are given on its head, rather than talking about the details of the technology, we start with the solutions and benefits of what we do. My role is to create and frame the conversation depending on the audience.
Although marketing has evolved and the focus is on digital marketing and new ways of communicating, it’s important to stress that marketing for technology doesn’t mean you are dropping traditional methods. We may be in the business of digital technology but we use face-to-face events to raise awareness of our work.
We support events with marketing collateral and branding, reports and presentations. Again it is about understanding the diverse audience and using a combination of traditional formats of offline communications to dovetail with our online marketing campaigns.
It all comes down to what communications an organisation needs to meet its business objectives and be successful.
Although technology companies are not seen as a traditional route for marketeers, I would like to suggest that they should be. Marketing and communication is about creating and contributing to a brand. To do this you need to be interested and engaged and if you see past the tech you will recognise the benefits – and more importantly how marketing skills and talents can improve things for others.
I think you will agree that innovation and marketing are the perfect partners and when you utilise them both you can really make changes that matter.