It tough being a marketing professional, don’t you think?
Let’s face it, your boss, your colleagues and the sales team all expect you to know your target customer inside out.
And they all watches your marketing campaigns to see what happens.
Will you bring in the leads? Speed up the sales cycle?
Or totally miss the mark and waste a pile of money?
Basically, the success of your marketing communications depends on how well you connect with your target audience – scientific and high-tech buyers.
But…. and this is a big “but”…. unless you know how to craft compelling marketing communications so your message gets through to these decision makers, you’re taking unnecessary risks.
Now, before this begins to sound too much like a sales letter, you should know it’s relatively easy to minimize this risk.
By knowing what to say and how to say it when talking to your audience. Ultimately, what you say can win or lose you sales.
And as someone responsible for marketing communications, writing is how you get this message across.
Writing to a scientific audience requires a specific approach. So here are 5 writing tips to keep in mind when communicating to high-tech and scientific buyers.
1. Features first, then benefits
I’m a scientist and have worked in labs and with research teams for the last 7 years.
So I’ve learned a thing or two when it comes to targeting and connecting with a technical audience.
And scientists and engineers respond best to features, not benefits.
It’s still important to include personal benefits in your copy. But features should be given equal weight, if not more weight than benefits.
A few ways of working both features and benefits into your copy include:
- Use a specification sheet at the back of the document that details the technical features of the product. It’s a good way of separating all the features from the rest of the piece.
- Use a features and benefits table
- Use the “what, so what” technique. Sometimes called the “cause and effect” method, you state the feature and then give the benefit next to it.
2. Know your reader
Ok so we’re obviously talking about marketing to technical folk here.
But often, you’ll be writing to other audiences like top management. And in many cases, you’ll probably be communicating with more than one audience.
Maybe your copy needs to address end-user scientists, purchasing managers, someone in finance and facility managers in one go.
Now, the best way to handle this is to create marketing copy for each of these groups. But this is not always practical, so you’ll also be writing content that needs to address multiple groups at the same time.
Either way, it goes without saying you need to know exactly who you’re talking to.
Technical folk need the nitty gritty specifics and lots of detail before purchasing.
Top management wants the high-level overview of how your solutions help them. It’s a good idea to keep it short and emphasise the benefits.
I give an example of doing this with case studies here.
3. Write conversationally and simplify
I’ve already talked about simplifying your writing. This is crucial in any kind of communication and marketing copy targeting scientists is no different.
Simplifying your writing is one of the easiest ways to improve it.
Simplifying means ridding your copy of any filler and unnecessary words. It means shortening sentences and paragraphs. Using simple words to convey a message makes your copy easier to read.
Take the following example:
“Most refractory coatings to date exhibit a lack of reliability when subject to the impingement of entrained particulate matter in the propellant stream under extended firing durations”
Even most technical folk would be scratching their heads after reading a sentence like that.
But when we simplify it down, it reads:
“The exhaust gas eventually chews the coating of existing ceramics.”
4. Specifics sell.
Double check all numbers and make sure they’re accurate. And make sure they’re consistent throughout your copy.
Also give as much information as you can, especially if it’s just techies you’re writing to.
A few paragraphs back, I said what you write and say can win or lose you sales.
Well, what you don’t write can also win or lose you sales. One of the worst sins of marketing copy written for a technical audience is not giving enough information. I talked about this a couple weeks back about brochures. So if you’re not sure, lean towards the side of too much information, rather than too little.
Remember, your copy must tell scientists or engineers exactly what it can do for them. The more details and specific information you give, the better.
5. Understand how the copy fits into the sales cycle
Selling instrumentation and equipment to scientific buyers can be a lengthy process.
Unless you’re selling consumables like TEM grids or everyday lab products like glassware, it’s going to need several steps. And that means you need content for each of these steps.
You might be using a sales letter to generate inquires, distribute a catalogue, or promote a white paper or
So knowing where the copy fits into the cycle allows you to write it for the required response.
To sum up, you already know your message is key.
It’s the most important part of any campaign.
Getting your writing up to scratch and making sure it’s written for the right audience means your message is more likely to resonate.
All the best,