Turning tough-to-explain technology into sales
The engineers at your high-tech company are very excited—a more efficient process, better speeds and feeds, or compliance with a new protocol that calls for a big new marketing push. But how can you make it sound exciting to your company’s customers? Here are four ways TDA transforms complexity into compelling messages that accelerate sales.
Tip #1: Don’t forget the funnel
Start by thinking outside the product and inside the sales funnel. At the wide upper end of the funnel, the goal is to cast a broad net and capture attention. Whose attention do you need to capture first? In many cases, it’s the CIO or other high-level executive who makes buying decisions, and you need to help him or her quickly see the business benefit of your new technology. As you move down the funnel, you will need to provide more detail to the hands-on technologists who influence their managers’ buying decisions.
Tip #2: Convert gigabits to dollars
To craft your top-of-funnel message, you must turn that technology advancement engineers love into a business benefit statement. A shift from 10-lane to 4-lane transceivers becomes the ability to boost data center performance at surprisingly low cost. 802.11ac means no more waiting forever to download web pages or upload files—in short, increased productivity.
If you are lucky, your company has a position called “marketing engineer,” an employee who can fill you in on both the technology and its business value. If not, you may need to interview two or three people to get the full perspective. As you interview, keep in mind you’re after three basic pieces of knowledge: What is the business challenge to be solved? How does your company’s technology advancement solve the problem? How do customers benefit from the solution? (Sleeping better at night doesn’t count—think dollars.)
Tip #3: Match the message to the medium
Now it’s time to deliver your message. Blogs and targeted email are great ways to get your business benefits out to a broad audience; use Twitter to point to the blogs. If the technology is particularly difficult to explain, consider producing an animated video to simplify the concept. To cite a classic example, multi-threaded processing is a lot easier to understand as two assembly lines in a factory.
A smart paper, brochure, or solution brief is a good mid-funnel follow-up for those responding to your social media. As the sales funnel narrows further, the executives who liked the sound of your value proposition will ask someone with deep technical expertise to evaluate your solution. A fact-filled data sheet or white paper, backed up by technical proof points or case studies, will help you pass the test.
If you don’t have a sales-ready product yet, consider a thought leadership paper that explains why your company believes the new technology is the wave of the future. Here’s another idea: if you truly have a technological breakthrough on your hands, and you have time in advance, ask your engineer to write a bylined article (edited by marketing to meet publication standards) for placement in a respected technical publication.
Tip #4: Consider going with a pro
All easier said than done. Still, an experienced high-tech agency can help you interview subject-matter experts, develop content for delivery in a variety of forms, and more. For example, TDA creative staff members specialize in turning tough-to-explain technology into clear, simple, and compelling messages that produce results. That takes an understanding of both technologists and business audiences. To see how we accomplish this, take a look at how we transform technical complexity into content that reaches—and excites—prospects.