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Are you underestimating your customers’ intelligence?

Would most marketing people in the business-to-business environment rather be in the consumer sector? You’d think so, based on a lot of the stuff I see. Whether you sell to engineers, scientists, architects or other highly-qualified professionals, your target market has one thing in common: they’re smart, and they like to think they’re above being persuaded by marketing. Consumer marketing specialists would love to be able to find this sort of commonality in their target market.

Yet time and time again, technical marketing looks like it’s aimed at the sort of people who respond to daytime TV ads: the sort of people who find advertising entertaining. Engaging with technical people on their level is difficult, but it’s an essential skill. I believe it’s about stating the benefits of what you’re selling in a clever enough way that the reader will always be able to draw the right conclusion and think that they’ve done that bit. Look at something you’ve produced recently – an ad, or an email perhaps – and ask yourself: “if I hated the idea of being sold to, what would my reaction to this be?”

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