If you’re in a highly technical field—agile software development, for example—or advocate for technical industry processes like the Kanban Method, you’re likely passionate about what you do.
If you are responsible for marketing these highly technical products and services, you are likely frustrated when you write about some new software approach and your non-technical prospects don’t seem to respond enthusiastically.
Are “non-techies” really that indifferent toward technical industry processes? Generally speaking, no.
They are, or want to be, excited about the efficiencies and effectiveness offered in technical fields. It’s up to you and your fellow marketers to communicate technical value (and the techies’ zeal) in a way that’s accessible to anyone.
That can be easier said than done since, sometimes, you’re discussing abstract concepts or specialized explanations. However, by applying these tips and with a little practice, your marketing communications will engage “non-techie” and “techie” audiences alike.
Tips for Translating to Non-Techies
1. Don’t make assumptions about your audience.
Customers and prospects may not know everything—or anything—about technical industries, but:
• Don’t confuse a lack of knowledge with stupidity
• They are experts in their own areas, but not necessarily expert in what you’re explaining
• Never underestimate your audience, regardless of knowledge level
2. Choose words wisely.
Using industry buzzwords and acronyms is easy, provided your audience knows exactly what the jargon means. But that’s not typically the case. Remember:
• You don’t have to lace your writing with fancy terms or big words to sound credible
• Use short sentences and relatable vocabulary that isn’t condescending
• If you must use complex terms or acronyms, explain them using everyday language
3. Focus on broad concepts.
Drilling into details may be interesting, but it can also be distracting, especially to a non-technical audience:
• Communicate concepts at a high level, simply and clearly
• Include enough about the basics to inform the “non-techies,” but not so much as to bore the average reader
• Commit to educating your audience about how the technical service or product benefits them
4. Think like the customer.
You’re communicating important information about a highly technical topic, which ideally answers some questions. It also typically raises more questions. Anticipate the “And then what?” in your customers’ and prospects’ minds to add depth to your writing. It will help cultivate mutual understanding.
5. When you’re finished explaining the topic, stop writing.
Sounds easy, right? But, when you have a topic that has many sub-parts, it’s oh-so-tempting to talk about those too. Do yourself, and your readers, a favor—focus on your one main topic, deliver your message, then stop writing. There are two reasons for this:
• A “non-techie” could find extra information difficult to absorb
• A reader with intermediate knowledge may not be interested in anything other than the main topic
For more ways to maximize your marketing communications, check out our free guide below.