Poor communication can cost companies up to $420k a year. If a marketer can’t explain to customers what their tech does, the company will burn through its runway in no time.
Technical mumbo jumbo and salesy jargon alike turn off prospects — whether that’s for a blog, website, or article.
So what are the questions to ask to find, hire and guide the perfect marketer who can write about tech?
“Can you tell us the benefits of our technology?”
Can they do that immediately? Great. They’ve done their research.
Nope? It still might be okay. Tell them about your tech. See if they can figure out what the benefits are for customers.
We love technology because it makes life easier. You may not know exactly how Alexa responds to her name. But you love how easy it is to dictate a shopping list.
See if your marketer can distinguish between features and benefits, and pinpoint which one your audience needs to hear.
Do Apple watch users need to know how a watch can track their sleep? No. But do they need to know the benefits of sleep tracking? Absolutely.
“How would you raise awareness of our technology niche?”
If your company is marketing a laptop or a new phone, the educational foundations are laid for you. Pretty much everyone has a smartphone these days. They know what they want their laptop to do.
But if you’ve got a piece of tech that isn’t widely used yet? Your marketers need to be part of that foundation of knowledge. If you wait for the conversation to start before joining, you’ll be one of many voices.
Look for a marketer that can recognise key conversations that are happening in the industry, and where you can fill the gap.
Say you’re building a piece of software that employs quantum computing. It’s an area of tech that has come a long way, but the conversations around it are minimal.
Your marketers need the confidence to take content from the tech team and join the conversation as an authoritative voice. If you’re the leaders, you need to appear as the leaders in industry outlets.
“How is tech content different from other industries?”
What your tech team thinks is straightforward and clear, may come across as a foreign language to others. Marketers can’t make the mistake of assuming the audience lives in the same bubble that tech experts do.
When you look for a marketer to talk about your tech, you’re looking for a translator. This individual or group of individuals needs to be able to see the technology from the eyes of the tech team and the consumer at the same time.
If you’re unsure of how to qualify this, try having your prospective marketers describe something that they know about, but you don’t. It could even be as basic as a movie or a game — but are they getting the key concepts across?
“How would you explain a particularly complex concept?”
When reading an article or watching a video, people don’t absorb 100% of the information they see.
So depending on the content your marketing team is producing, the core points and benefits of your product or service need to be reiterated throughout.
This doesn’t mean repeating the same line over and over again. For a marketer to talk about tech, they have to be able to reiterate the same point in many different ways.
This can depend largely on the audience. If you’re speaking to consumers vs. businesses, the different examples, metaphors and general descriptions will revolve around what they understand and are familiar with.
If you’re looking for a new marketer to talk about tech, don’t limit yourself to a comms pro that has worked in tech for years.
These are transferable skills, and you’re more likely to find them in a marketer that has worked in multiple industries as opposed to just one.
Shani Kotecha is an Account Executive at the tech-focused PR agency, Mind Meld PR.