B2B Articles - October 04, 2023

It Isn’t The Tech; It’s What The Tech Does: An Engineers’ Guide to Buyer-Centric Messaging

You’re the Einstein of fidget spinners! The spinners you pioneered are state-of-the-art. Cutting-edge. Unparalleled. They spin faster than any other fidget-soothing device ever assembled. Why wouldn’t a fidgeter want to buy one?

Because buyers often aren’t looking simply to buy the next great thing. In the B2B space, they’re looking to solve a business problem for which your innovation may provide a fix. How does your solution solve that business problem, then? 

If tech innovators fail to tell that story, clearly and immediately, their helpful innovations may not get the attention of those who could benefit. Here’s how to ensure the people who need your solutions can actually see the solution.

What You May Be Doing

Far too often, engineers, inventors, and others on the technical creation side make two critical mistakes in commercializing their inventions. And those errors hinder both visibility and sales. So, what might you be doing that undercuts buyer buy-in? Let’s look:

First, you primarily tout the expertise and effort you brought into creating the invention, offering an autobiographical approach demonstrating your smarts and commitment, which are surely considerable. Left out or minimized far too often is a clear explanation of how your invention will benefit buyers in ways they want to be benefited, such as boosting sales, improving customer experience, and so on. Discussing product performance is not enough; you have to relate that performance to business outcomes.

Let’s be clear: your smarts are important! But buyers buy based on what your smarts can do for them, especially when those business outcomes can be substantiated and measured in terms of ROI.

Second, your tone is only understandable and compelling for like-minded peers who are technical experts. The problem is that language can be hard to understand for the other essential buying stakeholders. Think chief financial officers, salespeople, directors, and the rest of the C-suite. 

Even worse, the benefit to end users is often buried or not fleshed out at all. And so the CFO can’t see the business benefit of technical advancement. 

Again, buyers aren’t buying products because they want the latest cutting-edge tech. They’re interested in something state-the-art because it does something that optimizes core business functions, saves or makes money, and/or delights customers.

That’s true whether you’re talking about any kind of solution. Like data, for example. “To make it out ahead and justify our work, providing data isn’t enough. It also needs to be reliable and purpose-built. In other words, data teams need to get closer to the business,” Barr Moses recently wrote in Towards Data Science. (You can substitute “data” for whatever your product, industry, and/or market are.) “If you don’t intimately understand consumer needs, your reports and analysis will be as valuable as a 5-foot stuffed penguin.”

What You Should Be Doing

First, start by listening to buyers and other stakeholders to understand their pain points and the business-centered value points they want. “The first thing data leaders should do when it comes to driving value is talk to their consumers and business stakeholders,” says Moses in Towards Data Science. “This is obvious advice, yet the task of ‘requirement gathering’ is often delegated to analysts or embedded teams. That works up to a point, as anyone who has played a game of telephone can tell you.” (Again, you can substitute “data” for whatever your product, industry, and/or market are.)

The goal of listening is identifying the challenges buyers face in meeting their business goals. Then, you can align those challenges to what your product does to solve such challenges. From there, you should identify business outcomes enabled by your solution.

Then, create buyer-centric messaging around buyer business-related value points enabled by your product. Don’t just say, “Our fidget spinners are 100x faster than industry norms.” Link it to a business outcome like, “Our fidget spinners reduce employee anxiety by 100%, enabling workforce optimization and driving ROI.”

"Copy should talk about the problem the product solves in an empathetic way, showing that the brand understands the challenges … professionals are facing," Vesna Mirosavljev, a B2B copywriter, says in a Wynter Workshops presentation on copywriting for cybersecurity professionals.

Indeed, Ironpaper’s content marketing methodology dictates that “we create a messaging strategy that focuses on buyers' needs – rather than take an autobiographical approach.” Don’t focus on your qualifications in business or how long you’ve been in business. Zero in on how you help the buyer do what they do, only better.

Pair Complex Ideas With Simple Words

Next, put processes and outcomes into simple language. Retain the context a technical expert can appreciate, but use terms and phrases that a non-expert stakeholder can easily understand.

Indeed, a recent webinar by Wynter Workshops on copywriting for cybersecurity professionals included “assuming all cybersecurity purchases are led by cybersecurity professionals” and “getting too technical” as common mistakes.

“Err on the side of simplicity unless you know you’re speaking to highly technical people who want highly technical details,” the presentation suggested.If non-technical people are an important part of your audience, keep things simple on your homepage and segment.”

Then again, it also cites “not getting technical enough” as a mistake. Is that contradictory? Not necessarily. Simply make more technical descriptions easy to find. Provide signposts and links. Let it supplement the story you’re telling. It helps to focus on business value as the message and the tech process as background on how you get there.

When to Start? Now is a Good Time

You don’t need a fidget spinner to do this (though if it helps, have at it!). The only necessary things are a mindset, vision, and an open ear that puts engineers in the shoes of buyers to understand the latter’s problems and what solutions your solution truly solves.

And if you ever need any assistance along the way, there’s no need to fidget: you can peek at Ironpaper’s content methodology or drop us a line any time. 


Towards Data Science, The Next Big Crisis for Data Teams, 2023

Wynter Workshops, How to Write Copy for Cybersecurity Professionals, 2023

Ironpaper, Inc., B2B Content Creation & Strategy, 2023

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