One of the things that saddens me is seeing great technological innovations fail, mainly due to a lack of marketing and sales.
I’ve seen that happen in many guises from inventors tightly holding on to their stuff, but leaving, they’ll get ripped off by copycats. So they wasted years, and often 1000’s of dollars trying to get worldwide patents, rather than just getting it out there.
Or technical experts with deep expertise, who’ve created something truly remarkable. They’ve invested years of blood sweat and tears into it. They understand the product and its sophistication intimately.
So they try and go to market looking for people who understand the sophistication and vibe with it. But these people are often highly technical themselves and early adopters, as outliers. they’re few and far between, you cannot create a long term viable business relying on them.
To succeed, you need adoption by mainstream users.
With our clients who sell to the enterprise, these are generally business buyers.
They’re interested in how the product will help them reduce costs and risks, improve production and the bottom line.
And while the technology might look incredibly sexy, ultimately, they’re hard-nosed about spending money. If what they’ve got is good enough, they’ll stick with it.
So my advice to technical inventors is to stop selling the technologies sophistication. Great products only succeed with great marketing and sales.
Apple products are a classic example.
So we sometimes need to simplify message. We’re looking for the simplicity on the far side of complexity.
Now, this is not to devalue the product, far from it. It’s to give it the best chance of success.
Now I’m not suggesting you don’t need to have material which explains the complexities, but that is only for the people who are interested, not the general buyer.
So think in terms of layers, start with a global picture, then go into more and more detail for the people who want it. That way you don’t lose people first off.
Car brochures are a classic example.
A 20 Page glossy brochure starts with pretty pictures, different angles. And as you go further, you start to get cutaways of struts, gearboxes, etc. The tables of gear ratios and acceleration. This caters to the different types of buyers and what they’re interested in.
Remember, your job is not to dazzle people with your technical brilliance, it’s to meet them where they’re at, understand their problems deeply and show them a better way of accomplishing their goals.
Simplicity is often the key.