What your B2B technology buyer is really thinking when they’re reading your marketing content and collateral…

By addressing the emotional concerns of your prospective B2B tech buyer, and not just the technical considerations of the project, you’ll engage the person behind the title. For too long, many marketers have pictured your typical IT buyer as a human spreadsheet, ticking boxes and clarifying administrative and budgetary needs.

When developing your marketing materials, remember that technology buyers are people too and if you listen closely enough, you’ll hear their emotional concerns loud and clear…

“I’ve heard that one before” – if you sell B2B technology, you’ll know that everybody wants a piece of the IT or engineering decision-maker. Possibly the most marketed-to professionals in any industry, these guys and girls are promised the sun, moon and stars from people like you every day of the week and as a result, they‘re sceptical about the ability of any solution to deliver on its promises. You can counter this concern by presenting real evidence where possible through research reports and testimonials.

 “I still have to work here you know” – in work, we all want to do the best job we can and how our peers and colleagues see us is very important. Your prospective customer will consider how your solution will impact on their daily working life and they wonder about how it will affect their image and position in the company. IBM have built their marketing message on this very idea thanks to that famous 1970’s cliché – ‘nobody ever got fired for buying IBM’. Recognise this and address it through your content and collateral using, for example, a detailed, role-based case study or success story.

“I’m not sure it’s worth the risk” –when it comes to complex, expensive products and services, risk is intensified.  You should also bear in mind that if there is a high level of technical support or implementation required, your prospect might already have an existing relationship with their current service provider.  And there may be a feeling that whatever benefits your solution offers, the relationship with the existing supplier may be valuable and not worth losing. Your collateral must show you understand any risk and detail how you can reduce it or better still, eliminate it.

 “I just don’t get it” – just because you understand your product suite intimately, that may not be the case for the buyer. When preparing product and service information, consider what might already be preconceptions, and seek to clarify misunderstandings where possible. Be prepared to use diagrams, tables or videos to help communicate complex aspects of your solution.

“Change?… Me?” – sudden change can be scary and when it comes to selling software or hardware that can have a major impact on an existing network or technology infrastructure, it can make buyers very reluctant to fully engage with your marketing materials. If they have already invested in hardware, software, and training for their existing solution, why would they get rid of all that to use your product or service? You need to convince them that this change is certainly worth it and you can do this by showing empathy and that you understand the nature of any specific changes, addressing them as required.

Humanise your marketing content because your B2B tech buyer relies not only on their research and technical knowledge, they listen to their gut too.

And for help in developing those materials, I’ve been writing B2B technology copy for more than 15 years and can give you the expertise you need – email diarmuid(at) oconnellcopy.om now, I’d be delighted to hear from you.

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B2B focus: It takes two – why sales and marketing folk must work together to create content that gets results…and how they should do it

Who doesn’t enjoy the passive-aggressive banter between sales and marketing people, often about content development and who does what? You’ll be glad to know I have a great suggestion to unite them.

The next time you see sales and marketing folk together at a water cooler/printer/canteen, just take them aside and calmly tell them  in an agony-aunt manner that in order to create great content they must work together and that this is how you should do it. They will instantly come together in their overwhelming hatred of you – job done! Easy! Read more ›

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If you’re an SME B2B technology company, define what you want your website to do and build your content around that

Understanding your website communications goals has never been more important for the tech-sector SME. In broad terms, a technology B2B website aims to do one or more, of three things. Identify what you want to do and develop a content strategy that will help you realise your goals. Read more ›

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Selling B2B? – You’ll need a b2b copywriter that understands the difference between writing for consumer and business audiences

On their journey from consumer to professional buyer, people change – a lot!

As a consumer buying just for yourself, you’re probably at your most vulnerable to emotion and impulse buying. And when buying for your family and friends, you tend to be less impulsive and a bit more cautious.  But when you go to work and are tasked with buying something as a professional buyer for your business or organisation – you turn into a completely different person.

If you’re selling b2b (business to business) and creating content to connect with decision-makers in any industry, an experienced b2b copywriter knows that there is a big difference between writing for consumers and business buyers. Read more ›

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Let’s call a spade a spade…why building yourself up through web content can lead to your user navigation breaking down

When I was a kid, everybody knew someone who added ‘fuel injection technician’ to their secondary school CV – as a joke. How we’d laugh at how ridiculous it was to call yourself something that sounded so ‘exotic’ but in fact was quite straightforward.  People are still doing this today with their web content and they’re doing it intentionally. If you’re calling your case studies ‘customer master classes’ or your services page ‘deliverables defined’, you may well be alienating some very important people – your target audience.

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If you have a website, April 21st is an important day for you – how to write the mobile content you’ll need…

The news that from April 21st, Google is going to penalise websites that are not mobile-friendly should focus the minds of website owners and their responsibility for mobile readers and consumers. And this applies to content too. While you may not be penalised for a lack of user-friendly content, mobile content is different from web content and this must be addressed. Make this date your target to sweep your existing mobile content and ask yourself, is this easy for a mobile user to read or even access? In the context of this upcoming change, today we’re looking at the best way to write mobile digital content. Read more ›

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Do I need a whitepaper in 2015?

If you’re a tech sector company that sells hardware, software or services to B2B markets, a whitepaper is not a bad idea at all. Keep reading and find out when and why a whitepaper can help you sell more of your product or service in 2015. Read more ›

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Content marketing tips for selling to heavy industry, engineering, manufacturing and processing sectors

If the mind of an industrial buyer was a room, I’d guess it would be organised, Spartan and there’d be a big checklist fixed on the wall with solid criteria outlined. These people don’t buy on emotions, whims or trends. And if you sell equipment or services to them, your sales and marketing material must reflect that. Read more ›

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Copywriting help…how to write a case study in 15-20 minutes

Brace yourself. It’s not often you’ll hear a copywriter tell you this. But sometimes, you might just be better off preparing a marketing piece yourself. A case study is a fine example. If you are an owner-manager or a small SME, you know your customers very well. So well in fact, that you can list off all their project details in your head …with ease.

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What’s your problem? – The nuts and bolts of marketing messages

If you’re an SME, ‘message-definition’ is a bit like pre-season (marketing) training. It’s the hard work you put in on a windswept pitch in January that will get you results when the sun shines later in the year.  Targeted ‘on-message’ marketing can only be achieved by thoroughly understanding your customers’ problems. And if you’re currently struggling with that very issue, read these four steps to message definition and find out what your problem is. Because their problem is your problem! Read more ›

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