Are you a techie? Is your target buyer a techie, too? Probably not, and in order to reach your target buyer, you’d better be speaking their language and not just your own.
You may sell a complex, highly technical product or service, but as it turns out, using fancy, technical jargon doesn’t impress anybody and can actually turn potential buyers away.
Using technical jargon is widely accepted in the high-tech business world when talking amongst peers, but when used in marketing materials and sales correspondence it becomes confusing and is usually lost on the decision maker.
Who Is Your Audience
Determining who reads your marketing materials is the first, vital step to developing relevant marketing and advertising messages. However, oftentimes a marketing piece will be read by different groups of prospects and the message must somehow relate to each of them.
For example, a high-tech product prototype developer would have two target readers of a corporate brochure: the engineer (influencer) and the executive (decision maker).
First, the engineer would read the company’s marketing material to decide if the prototype developer has the appropriate machinery and technical knowledge in place to build the prototype.
When reading the brochure, this reader is looking for technical knowledge, key terms and buzz words. Although, this reader understands the technical jargon, very little is needed to sell this influencer – either you have what they need or you don’t.
On the other hand, the executive or decision maker will also read the prototype developer’s collateral. However, this reader is less interested in the machinery (i.e. details) and may not even understand the technical jargon. Using too much jargon and listing too many features without their benefits, will only turn this buyer away.
Divide and Conquer
There is a happy middle-road. You can successfully speak to both technical influencers and decision makers in one marketing piece, if it is crafted well.
First, most of the marketing piece should be devoted to the benefits that your service or product offers to the decision maker. They, after all, are the ones with the final power to buy your product or service, or not.
When you mention an important piece of machinery, tell why it’s important to delivering your service, or how it adds value to the buyer. For instance, you may use a high speed machine that is faster and more accurate than doing a particular task by hand. This machine allows your company to offer faster delivery and higher quality assurance in the finished product.
Second, use lists and tables to visually separate highly technical information from the rest of the brochure copy. This allows the reader to quickly scan what they do and don’t want to read. This is where you can talk to the technical reader, but the executive reader can see quickly if it pertains to their decision and move on if it doesn’t.
Use Jargon Sparingly
Jargon can be dangerous when left in the wrong hands. Too much and you loose the reader, too little and you don’t appear competent. So how much is the right amount?
If you can’t get through two sentences without an acronym, techie-term, or words that includes capital letters in the middle of them, then you probably have too much jargon clogging up your marketing piece.
Copy should flow easily and be readable by an intelligent person. After reading your marketing piece, they should be able to tell what you are offering. If they can’t, then revisit your marketing piece and rework the placement and amount of jargon that you use and include more benefit statements.
Remember: Benefits sell features, but features don’t sell benefits.
Don’t confuse and enrage your decision making reader. Rather, educate and enlighten them to get the best response from all of your marketing pieces.