Tech-based entrepreneurial startups are finding hi-tech solutions to all sorts of problems. It is frequently a highly-trained intellectual with specialized knowledge who has the ability to bring these new tech-based ideas to market.
Getting people to understand the benefits of your technology can be key to growing your company. Whether you want to attract investors, or if you are ready to start selling the product to end customers, if they can’t quickly comprehend the benefits of your technology, you’ll have trouble closing the deal.
Selling highly-specialized, technical products (or services) to a niche group of buyers requires a deep understanding of the market. And it can be easy to let yourself say:
It’s OK that only people in this discrete sector will understand what I’m selling.
It’s not enough.
To get your product successfully to market you’ll need acceptance beyond your end users.
5 audiences who must understand the benefits of your new tech product
Here are five people or groups who will need to understand your offering:
- Support staff who do preliminary research. It is not uncommon for staff to delegate some of the initial research for new vendors. If you cannot make your product offering understandable to this group, who may be less technical, you may miss making it on to the short list of businesses to receive a call a web site visit or an RFP.
- The business and financial-focused team members. With a high-tech product, you will need to clearly articulate the features to the end users. But there may be CFO or other buying agents who will approve (or disapprove) a purchase based on the business benefits.
- Investors. If you are looking for VC money or other investors, you need to make your product appealing to them. You will often be pressed for time when you make these pitches, so the benefits need to resonate quickly without getting stuck in the details around the technology.
- The media. Many startups plan to use a PR strategy to gain earned media. But if a writer or editor cannot understand the benefits of your high tech offering, they will be hesitant to write about it. Make sure you connect your benefits to real user value and make sure any specialized language or jargon is clear.
- Your end users. This is the category that most entrepreneurs focus their messaging on. Even with this group, do not overestimate the impact of translating your tech-filled text into easy-to-read benefits.
This week I attended the Merrimack Valley Sandbox Summit in Lowell, Massachusetts. During a panel discussion, Dan O’Brien – Business Editor of The Lowell Sun made this exact point. He said it was critically important that entrepreneurs make their product understandable in clear, basic English, using laymans terms, if they hope to get coverage in the media. A business editor, like many in the newspaper and online news world, knows a little bit about many different subjects, but needs to quickly be persuaded why his readers would care about your new offering.
When promoting a new tech-based product or service, it will be critical to outline key features to end users. But do not neglect the importance of demonstrating the benefits in clear, easy-to-understand language.