Why tech companies must be more human in their marketing

Tech companies have a problem with their marketing. They focus too much on tech and not enough on humans.

Here’s an example from an app development company’s web content:

“We leverage Flutter’s capabilities from a single codebase to give you a reliable product.”

If you’re an app developer, you’ll know what this means. If you’re a prospective customer, probably not.

But even if, as a prospect, you do understand the jargon, the content isn’t connecting with you on an emotional level. Of course, you want a reliable product, but reliability is a given. It doesn’t stand out as a benefit to sway your decision as a buyer.

tech companies marketing must be more human

Where are tech companies going wrong?

Tech covers diverse businesses and industries, from SaaS, cloud solution providers and telecommunications services to app developers, IT support and specialist consultancies.

However, there are common mistakes these different companies and providers share in their marketing approaches.

  • They presume that their prospects have already bought into the concept, so all they need to provide are details – the how, rather than the why.
  • They position themselves as suppliers rather than problem-solvers.
  • They fail to sound sufficiently distinctive – “We act as your in-house IT partners”, “we provide bespoke tech solutions”, “we offer digital transformation strategies” etc.
  • There’s too much focus on them, and not enough on their prospects.
  • Their chosen words are littered with jargon and insider phrases that only make sense to other people in their industry.
  • Their calls to action are vague and non-compelling – “learn more”, “click here”, “contact us” etc.
  • Their marketing content doesn’t appeal to their prospects’ emotions.

The UK tech sector continues to grow, despite challenging global economic conditions. Tech startups alone were valued at around £820bn in 2023. But this is a crowded field. Tech companies must up their marketing efforts and the quality of their content to compete for new business.

This begs the question, do tech companies understand marketing in the first place?

A random sweep of company websites suggests that many might not.

“The product will match all cross-platform compatibility criteria to give end-users an engaging experience.”

“We build websites for optimum performance and customer engagement across all devices and platforms.”

“We’re a leading provider of business telecoms and business communications.”

This stuff’s hardly going to set the world alight with compelling, customer-focused messages and purposeful prose.

Why doesn’t the tech sector understand marketing?

When you talk to people in tech, they can be very caught up in what they do. They know their stuff. They care deeply about it.

So far, so good, because you’d think that, surely, if they communicated this enthusiasm to their prospects, they’d engage them. Their fierce attachment to their work would be contagious, right?

Except, the focus of this enthusiasm is more on the materials and processes than on how they help users. Or, they fail to provide an easily understood, real-world context for the expertise they offer.

This leads to a fundamental underappreciation of marketing’s role and potential.

What it should offer is a conduit to the external world, beyond tech, a way of translating advanced concepts into products and services that work to improve everyday life.

Instead, in tech, marketing is an add-on, almost an afterthought, after the serious business of researching, developing, testing and launching whatever the team’s been working on.

For your marketing to work, you must integrate it into your business planning at the outset. Marketing asks this one, critical question about your product or service:

Who’s it for?

You must answer that question before you can hope to make a success of your efforts, however diligent or innovative.

If you develop and launch something first and only consider marketing it afterwards, you’re building a strategic weakness into your business model.

How to market tech to humans

The well-worn phrase, people don’t like being sold to, isn’t true. When they’re in the market for something, they want someone to sell it to them. The question becomes how you sell it.

Human beings look for meaningful interactions. They make decisions based on feelings. This applies just as much to B2B customers as to regular consumers. Research shows B2B brands generate far more emotional connections than B2C brands.

A human-centric approach to your marketing builds the emotional connections to drive conversions and sell.

What does this entail practically? Here’s a list of things to incorporate into your marketing.

  • Highlight specific, real-world benefits – if your product or service helps customers be more efficient, how could this efficiency benefit them? Will they save time to focus on sales or recruitment, for instance? Will it help them process big data more rapidly and accurately to compete effectively?
  • Explain your product or service in everyday language and avoid using jargon.
  • Tell your customers’ stories – case studies are a gift to this type of content. Be sure to make them relatable. Think of specific problems and obstacles your customers were looking to overcome and the legacy of your support and input.
  • Tell your brand’s story. What drives and inspires you to develop tech solutions? How do your beliefs shape your business? Focus on the people behind the tech – the individuals in your team and their work and interests.
  • Educate to engage – be generous with your content. Use it to explain how to fix your target market’s typical problems. Address issues and explore themes in your industry relevant to your audience.
how to market tech to humans

It all comes back to your prospective customers. How well do you know them? How will you shape your marketing content to attract and engage them?

You cannot rely on what you offer to attract an audience simply because you provide something tech-based – developing an app, for example, may be attractive to a business prospect, but it’s not compelling enough unless you attach specific benefits to it.

The tech sector is growing, but you’ll only secure your place if you market yourself in human terms.

Marketing content, written by a human, for humans

I’m a copywriter based in Manchester. I specialise in putting personality into B2B content to engage audiences and drive conversions.

Discover how to make your content come alive, book an introductory, no-obligation, chat.

Thomas Ridge_copywriter