Understanding B2B Technology Audiences: Technology Experts vs. Decision Makers

Jill  Vanoncini

November 04, 2014

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Top Agency Extractable

Developing messaging and content strategy for B2B technology products can be challenging. In many cases, your company has to reach two distinct audiences with very different needs:

  • Technology expertsThe engineers and developers who understand the nuts and bolts of how your technology works. They're the ones who are going to design something with your component or use your software.
  • Decision makers: The managers, directors and C-level executives who make or approve purchasing decisions. Decision makers may have a technical background, but if they've spent the last several years managing a team or program, they aren't likely to have the same depth of knowledge as technology experts. In some cases, they may even be a line-of-business manager with little or no technical knowledge.

These two audiences view information differently, and it's important to address both on your website, even when they're at odds with each other.

Technology Experts

If there's one thing engineers hate, it's marketing. They tend to be skeptical of anything that looks too promotional. So, what will get their attention?

  • Measurable facts that back up your claims. If you say your product is fast, you'd better tell them how fast. And, you'll get bonus points if you can describe how you measured the speed so they know you're using accurate data.
  • Quick access to product specs and features. Make it easy for technical users to find specific details about your products. You can try presenting features or specs in a table or comparison chart. A simple, straightforward presentation is more appealing than a flashy, complicated design for this audience.
  • High-quality documentation and support contentIn their quest to learn more about specific capabilities and functionality, technology experts may review your documentation, support content and user forums to see how well your product really works. These users also want to know that your company will be ready to support them after they've become customers.

Decision Makers

Managers, directors, and C-level executives want to see how your technology can benefit their business. They tend to be less interested in technical details, and more interested in how you can help solve their problems. To appeal to them:

  • Focus on the outcomeGet a decision maker's attention right away by showing what your products can accomplish for them. User research can help you determine which of their problems and pain points your products can address most effectively.
  • Demonstrate your expertise. Decision makers want to be confident that they're making the right decisions. Building your reputation as a thought leader through your blog and other content marketing initiatives helps decision makers associate your brand with knowledge and expertise, which makes them more confident about choosing you.
  • Tell them something they don't already know. Fresh, original content that shows decision makers how to meet an organizational need is highly appealing and shareable. Appearing knowledgeable and confident becomes more important to decision makers as they move up in their organizations. Genuinely helpful content enables them to make a better impression on their peers and helps cement their loyalty.

Stay tuned for our next post on more content strategy and messaging tips for reaching these different-and sometimes-conflicting-B2B technology audiences.

And if you’d like help with your content strategy, reach out to someone in our content department today!