Hands up who has to write marketing copy for engineers. Hmm, that’s most of you. Who thinks that engineers are a breed apart? Almost everyone. So why do we not have special rules and considerations when writing for this very specific market? Why do we not shout down the folks who say “it doesn’t matter who you’re writing for, it’s all about pushing the right emotional buttons”?
Not with engineers, it isn’t. The best discussion I’ve ever read on this subject is on copywriter Bob Bly’s website. In Six Things I Know For Sure About Marketing To Engineers he explains why you can’t use the copywriting skills you learned at college or in Marketing Copywriting For Dummies.
Engineers, like many professional groups, think they’re above advertising. So even if your copy is advertising, give them the facts, not the claims, however unsexy that may seem. The purchase decision will be far less emotional, and far more logical. And while the benefits are always paramount, in this case they mustn’t be at the expense of the features. “What’s in it for me?” can mean numbers, when it comes to engineers. Also, don’t forget jargon, tables and diagrams are all much more acceptable to technical buyers than they are to traditional consumers.