Marketers who came to the AV industry from other spaces will surely know how difficult it can be to elevate their company’s message above simple tech specs in a market which basically operates on highly-technical rhetoric.
After all, how many different ways can you possibly say, “our screen is better than your screen!” or “our matrix switcher switches better!”
Of course, there’s much more nuance to marketing AV and IT products than that, but you catch our drift.
Part of that is because IT and integrators alike respond well to straightforward messaging about tech specs.
But how do you form real connections with customers when the sales process and products themselves are so technical?
Darren Zwack, VP, marketing at Nureva, says it’s important to remember that technology isn’t created for its own sake. There’s always a “why” behind any tech product, and therein lies the opportunity for messaging.
“Although IT and integrators need technical information to evaluate a product, they are not robots that only respond to data. There is plenty of opportunity for messaging that creates an emotional connection by describing how the product makes life better for those who buy it and use it.”
Zwack says real connections come from delivering a product or service that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of customers, all while treating them with care and respect. It doesn’t matter how technical the product is, it all comes down to how you make people feel.
Thea Myhrvold, founder and CEO of GetBEE, a B2B software that connects brands to their online customers, says it’s about sharing stories of your product that are relatable.
“The messaging needs to be humanized in order to add context and hold the attention of potential clients. Product specs are definitely relevant for technical feasibility, but it does not speak up your values and what you brand stands for.”
Digital is one of the most competitive spaces and brands that are not using creativity to engage with partners and clients are falling behind, Myhrvold says.
By being empathetic to the problems your products are solving for your audience, you are creating trust which is today’s most value currency for any vendor-client relationship.
This is bolstered by understanding who your ICP (ideal customer profile) is, going deeper than just the demographic analysis.
Start to understand how your clients responds to different messaging, channels, and content. Some might be inclined to know problem-solution. Others, on the other hand, would prefer to get on a trial and inspect feature by feature.
No matter the case, the real connection is formed when you show empathy and are genuine in your conversations.
“Therefore, make sure you are not outsourcing your sales or customer relationship to a chatbot or any other automatic interaction. To build trust, you need to be present and show your clients that you care.”
Thoughts from one of your customers
So far, we’ve heard thoughts from fellow marketing people. But what about one of your own potential clients: an integrator? They also have to consider how their business synthesizes tech specs into deals with clients.
Lionel Felix of Felix Media Solutions has some thoughts:
“It’s important to get the level of jargon that each side knows to an extent, and then nerdy folks, myself included, like to figure out what level the other person is. Are we going to be compatible? So we establish where we are. And then it’s the value.
“I hear a useful mechanism is working the exercise of how do you want other people to describe you when you walk in the room with the highest value potential customers. What’s the elevator story that you want that person to tell to that CEO?”