Why you’re struggling with your marketing…

Have you ever felt like marketing your complex tech or engineering services is like trying to navigate a maze blindfolded? 

You know you need to reach the right people, but the path is filled with twists, turns, and dead ends. Unlike simpler products where a catchy slogan might be enough, your offerings require a much deeper understanding – not just of the technology, but of the intricate decision-making process behind it.

Here's the frustrating truth… Many marketing agencies shy away from this complexity. They're more comfortable with straightforward products where the ideal customer is easily defined and the path to purchase is a straight line. But for businesses that sell complex products and services, where the ideal customer persona might be a multi-layered "decision-making unit" within a large organisation, and the "buyer journey" resembles a multi-stage puzzle, traditional marketing tactics simply fall short.

This is the challenge of marketing tech, engineering, and complex services – it's not a one-size-fits-all fix. The problem is, if any of the following things are complex, then your marketing is going to be complex:

1. Ideal customer persona

With simpler products and services, a customer persona might be someone with a specific age, income, or location. But for more complex businesses, it's a multi-layered puzzle. We need to understand the technical expertise, decision-making authority, and specific problems and challenges faced by different individuals within the target organisation. This "decision-making unit" could involve engineers, project managers, budget holders, and various C-suite executives, all with varying needs and priorities. We have to understand all these individuals and their concerns and objections if we are to market to them effectively.

2. Value proposition

Imagine trying to sell a high-performance sports car to someone who only knows about bicycles. Sure, your car is fast and sleek, it might use the latest technology to go from 0-60mph in record time or use some new biofuel, but that's not enough. You need to tap into your customer's specific problem. It might be that they’re interested in how it might increase their efficiency, reduce accidents, or help them get closer to net zero. Similarly, your complex service doesn't just offer features; it solves critical problems for your target customer. You need to translate technical jargon into a clear value proposition that relates to the problem they’re experiencing – how your service impacts their bottom line, improves safety, or streamlines operations.

3. Buyer Journey

Your buyer journey is how your customers go from never having heard of you before to buying in and being loyal, raving fans of what you do. The path to purchasing a chocolate bar from the shop is pretty short: you see it, you like it, you buy it. But, for most of our clients, there are a LOT more stages involved in their buyer journeys and, in general, it takes their customers much longer to decide to buy. Potential clients might need to conduct in-depth research, compare proposals, involve multiple stakeholders, and navigate internal approval processes. This makes your marketing far more complicated as it means your marketing strategy needs to address each stage of this journey, providing relevant content, building trust, and guiding them towards a confident decision.

4. The decision-making unit

Unlike a simple purchase where decisions lie with one person, complex services often involve a team of people. Engineers might evaluate technical specifications, while management considers cost and ROI. When this is the case, we always recommend our clients focus on one customer persona at a time. Each persona has different wants, concerns and questions, so trying to market to all of them at once makes things very complicated. The hardest part is often working out where the most opportunity lies so we can start there. Once we have a strong foundation laid, we can then begin adding content for other people, whether they're customers, influencers or gatekeepers, so that, eventually, you have content that speaks to each member of this decision-making unit with tailored messaging that resonates with their specific concerns (for anyone wondering, this is just one of the reasons why content marketing is so important when you have a long buyer journey!).

When just one of these cogs in your marketing is complex, it can be difficult to get it meshing and running smoothly with the rest of your marketing machine.

And for many of our engineering and technical clients, several of these components in their marketing machine are highly complex, making their marketing more of a challenge. When we point this out, it's usually a relief for them to finally understand why they've been struggling with their marketing for so long. 

We’re not ones to shy away from a complex strategy so if you have questions about how to get your marketing machine running efficiently, book a call with us today



Ros Conkie


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