Time to translate those marketing messages?
We’ve been having some exciting meetings these days with fast-growing technology companies. Some of them are doing extremely innovative things in their fields. What I love about meeting technology bosses in companies like these is their enthusiasm: it’s infectious, as is their optimism.
Also, they often have an excellent grasp on the competitive landscape, because they’ve been looking hard at what the market is and isn’t providing, they’re certain they have something new to offer. (It got me thinking about how far many companies can drift from that genuine sense of market awareness although that’s probably a post for another day.)
When it comes to communications, a lot of these early-stage companies face a similar translation problem. Often their earliest marketing materials (like website copy, brochures and white papers) are straight from the brain of their technical experts, aimed at fellow technical experts rather than at a more lay audience of end-users.
If the company has spun out from a university setting, there could be the added challenge of academic language being woven throughout the materials.
Look at your marketing messages. Is it time to translate?
The good news is, it’s fairly straightforward for companies like these to make the leap to the next level with their marketing materials. All that’s needed is a willingness to go back to basics and talk freely about those things that they know so thoroughly, they’ve forgotten they know them. Things like the history of the market; why there is a market opportunity for what they’re offering; why current solutions aren’t solving the whole problem; and what benefits customers stand to gain by adopting this innovative solution.
It’s also vital, of course, for the technical expert to clearly iterate the “how” of the solution. But it’s a mistake to get bogged down in the gears and sprockets when what you need at this stage is a clear sense of the story you’re telling.
And, you absolutely require an outsider to tell that story to. Ideally it should be somebody with marketing experience and messaging experience, who’s also a good listener. Your technical experts – and usually, there is one chief brain best suited to this task – should be open to a wide-ranging discussion about those factors I mentioned above, and not consider any question too basic to answer.
Marketing messages are not static things chiselled in stone. They need to be verified and refreshed so that they stay in line with the customers you need to speak to right now. Many fast-growing companies find that their audience can change quickly, especially as they transition away from luring investors and need to focus more on securing customers.
Who’s your marketing material aimed at? Is it time for a refresh? We’d like help you, drop Sheila a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +441875 341583. Or if you’re in Ireland, contact Deirdre on +35321 234 8474.
Main photo: Rosetta Stone by Biggleswade Blue on Flickr
This blog originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse.
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