Technical writers convey important information to a reader

Cities like Pittsburgh, Boston, and San Jose are centers of technology, and hundreds of start-ups have developed an incredible variety of software and hardware innovations in the past 25 years. But a tremendous number of those businesses have failed or have been bought out by larger competitors.

Many closures or acquisitions resulted because the highly skilled technical people who founded and led these start-ups didn’t put enough emphasis on selling. They’re not alone, though. Even long-established technical and industrial companies struggle because their sales message doesn’t resonate with buyers.

What We Have Here is Failure to Communicate

“Well, if I’m selling tech, I need to have good technical writers, correct?”

Absolutely. You need people with deep technical understanding to convey important information to existing customers and employees, such as changes to network security protocols or what the latest software update includes.

But technical writers aren’t marketing writers.

And the outlook for your company isn’t good if you’re relying on tech writers for sales copy. That’s why having solid marketing writers on staff is equally important. You need the best of both worlds.

Expert marketing writers possessing technical know-how can take material from a subject matter expert and make even the most complex technology immediately understandable and desirable. Such writers make buyers (many times not technical themselves) shout, “TAKE MY MONEY!” Apple is the best example of a company that successfully markets technical products to mostly non-technical customers.

Masters in Marketing

Two western Pennsylvania companies that have successfully marketed their technical and industrial products for decades are Ansys and New Pig.

For 50 years, Ansys has innovated engineering simulation software used in the development of computers, infrastructure, aerospace vehicles, self-driving cars, and mobile and wearable devices. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is! But Ansys does a masterful job of copywriting that excites the engineering market and the people who make buying decisions.

New Pig, headquartered near Altoona, manufactures and sells products that clean up hazardous leaks and spills — and it’s done so with marketing writers using humor to sell to industrial customers. New Pig’s unorthodox copy and innovative products have made it the world’s #1 absorbent brand since 1985, and its Pigalog catalog has been frequently recognized by Multichannel Merchant for its motivating marketing approaches.

Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak

You’ve heard of this saying. Think of your product as the steak and your technical writers and engineers as the grill masters. You still need marketing writers with the seasoning to sell the sizzle, build your customers’ appetites, and make their mouths water.

If you want customers to buy, you have to want to sell. Good marketing writers make sales happen.

By Steve Fleishauer

Steve was a managing partner at a local agency for more than three years and brings 25+ years of direct client engagement and business development experience to our organization. His personal mission is to fully understand the ever-changing needs of each unique client.