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.