One of the challenges in getting your message out is that your audience is typically quite diverse, especially when dealing with a technology product. Engineers have one way of talking; Chief Financial Officers have another, and end users yet another. Effective marketing and business communications dictates that you offer a message for each of your targeted audiences to ensure your message is understood by all relevant stakeholders. You need to speak in their language.
Complex software or other technology sales are seldom performed in a vacuum or decided by an individual. Therefore, a consensus must be achieved before a final “buy” decision can be reached. For business communications in high tech industries, you must address a wide, diverse group of individuals. Finding your audience for a cult movie such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show might be equally difficult!
The challenge is how does one accomplish this task?
First, you need to realize that you can’t speak to each of these different “personas” at the same time, in the same venue. Not only would this be complicated to write, it would be difficult to read! Your best course of action is to pick different media or channels to conduct your varying messages.
Here are five different venues for your consideration when speaking to your different audiences:
- Write a white paper that offers a detailed explanation on how your product works, how it is use, why it is better than the competition, etc. Point is that this is a venue that highly technical IT or engineering audiences can understand your message or communications
- Record a video interviewing your president, speaking to how he / she is committed to the direction of your company, the research that has been done to ensure the product is delivering maximum value … busy “C” level executives might have time to listen to a 4 minute video of your president
- Get a placement of a contributed article in a publication that speaks to return on investment (ROI, return on assets (ROA) etc, to entice potential senior financial management audiences to read and understand the financial impact of purchasing your product
- Post a blog entry for middle management or “line of business” personnel to read, on a topic that concerns actually using your product, or what specific challenges can be addressed … getting more into the “weeds” of what your product does
- Be a sponsor at a trade show with a booth, staffed by employees. This type of venue offers a different “slice” of who you can speak with about your product, but one audience that it is quite effective at reaching are your partners, who might also be exhibiting or attending. This is an important audience to speak with , both from a future partnering perspective as well as to convince them that your product is viable in the markets you serve
Teachers understand this task, as seldom do each of their students learn the same way. Some might be visual learners; others learn by doing and some may learn only by reading. Marketing or business plan writing is no different. Marketers must recognize that quite often a different language and medium must be chosen to communicate with each of these different stakeholders. Business plan writers must know what type of investor they are writing for, to then better understood what level of industry terms and jargon should be included and what should be defined better, for novice readers.
Who do you write for? I would be interested in hearing what other venues have worked for you in the past.
Gordon Benzie is a marketing adviser and business plan writer that specializes in preparing and executing upon business plans and marketing strategies. Gordon can be found on Google+.