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14 August 2011

re-focus: b2b marketing for high tech companies

Welcome to our relaunched, refocused blog! The website has changed focus, so we thought it only natural to change the focus of our blog as well. We're transitioning from strictly doing technical writing to focusing on technical copywriting. What's the difference? Well, there are a lot of differences and a lot of similarities for the longer marketing materials.

For one, technical writing is much more involved with the end user of the equipment or the application. And that's not a bad thing. In fact, that's a good thing because we can easily take our "user advocate" skills and apply it to creating b2b technical copy. The WIIFM factor or "what's in it for me?" It's only a bit more complicated because we have to address the WIIFM factor for not only whomever will end up using the product or service, but also the manager's WIIFM and the accounting department's WIIFM, and the senior managers WIIFM, and so on. These additional WIIFMs must be addressed in addition to the primary WIIFM somewhere in the marketing materials, and for technical marketing it's often in the success stories, white papers, and on the website. All of those are naturals for the technically-inclined writer.

Success stories, white papers, and websites along with newsletters and social marketing are where we're focusing our b2b efforts. These longer marketing materials (success stories, white papers, and websites) are a natural for one who's been writing the longer-form technical documents (installation and configuration guides, procedures, policies, online help, IT department newsletters, and so forth).

So over the weeks to come, we'll examine those longer forms in this blog. We'll start with newsletters next time only because we have a long history of writing newsletters of all kinds --- IT department newsletters, professional technology transfer newsletters, even neighborhood HOA newsletters.Then we'll move on to white papers and success stories. 

Lastly, we'll start delving into websites because that's a rather large subject area because the way a page is crafted depends on what it is exactly you want it to do, as well as what you want your reader to do. Buy something? Subscribe to a newsletter? Sign up for your e-mail list? Just like in technical writing and any form of writing really, you must nail the audience first and what it is you want them to do. Then craft the page or document to persuade them to do just that. 

Persuasive writing is marketing writing. And building relationships build trust. In the b2b world, your client or customer is going to spend thousands of dollars (not just $29.95) on a purchase that may last them several years. You're also going to try and get them to purchase a service contract for that piece of hardware of software, so you'll have an on-going relationship with them. That's why building that relationship on trust is so important. And that's why this type of marketing is so different from b2c. 

What's that? Social Marketing? FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter?  Yep, we'll look at that after working through the details of a b2b website because what you're usually trying to do at that point is drive traffic to your site. At least from a b2b perspective. You may also want to have your Help Desk or a "social marketing director" monitoring all the chatter because one tweet or remark about your "bad" service or product can quickly go viral.  :) 

until next time,

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