Last week, Hampson Nattan Williams set up shop at Tech Show North, exhibiting at one of the UK’s most prominent technology and business events.
Sure, a tech show might not seem like the most obvious place to find a copywriting agency. It’s the kind of place you’d find exciting tech start-ups, new software providers and amazing new devices. But, we’re not just a copywriting or marketing agency. We specialise in messaging, tone of voice and copywriting for tech companies.
So we thought we’d fit right in.
And we learnt a few things too.
We learnt that:
Great messaging is only great if your team understand it and stick to the script
The best-tasting coffee we’ve had in a long time could only cost your office 14p a cup.
Far too many tech companies and SaaS providers have feature-focused messaging
But a few get creative (and they’re the ones with queues outside their booths)
The same piece of software can be used to catch bad guys and drive more sales of make-up
AI could play a big role in the future of content
A member of our team closely resembles a large, monosyllabic, much loved Game of Thrones character
Your message must be understood by everyone
It’s no use having a killer message if you don’t understand it. If you’re asked by punters at a show what your messaging means, you’re going to want to be able to explain it.
We stopped by a stand that had a beautiful image of a swan. But the product it was promoting was coffee. When asked why they had a swan promoting their coffee offering, the team on the stand weren’t sure. They thought it might be to do with the swan neck of the coffee spout.
They hadn’t read the strapline that went with it. Marketing hadn’t explained it to them.
The strapline was how there’s a lot going on beneath the surface. A swan looks graceful on the water, but underneath it’s kicking frantically. This coffee maker looks super simple and elegant on the desk, but underneath, there’s a lot of hard-working machinery.
It was a clever analogy.
But if marketing has to brief the sales team, or you have to work hard to figure out what a message means, it’s probably not right.
It’s definitely not right if it misses the key benefits of the product you’re selling and doesn’t resonate as well as it should with your target market.
Because the thing about this built-in coffee unit for offices is that each cup tasted amazing. Delicious, freshly ground coffee – any way you want it and nicer than any high street coffee chain – in an instant. Lattes, cappuccinos, mochas and flat whites, all customisable, all ordered straight from an app.
We know you’re at a tech show, but why focus on the machinery?
We’ll forgive them, because for around 14p a cup, their coffee was flipping brilliant. It kept us going throughout two days of meets and greets, and we reckon every office should get a TopBrewer.
The age old ‘benefits over features’ holds true with all modern tech
Features tell, benefits sell. It’s one of the first sayings you learn as a copywriter, as a marketeer, as anyone promoting a business.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling razors or SaaS, holidays or VR tech. The benefits to your target audience should be front and centre in your message.
The coffee machine missed the mark a touch. But some of the other companies at Tech Show North missed it by a mile.
It was disheartening to see all these tech companies decide it was more important to create large signage with messaging focused on MRP functionality, cloud hosting options or multiple types of data.
Everyone at Tech Show North knew technology. They knew all about functions. They knew about software and engineering. And if they didn’t, they probably didn’t care.
What’s more important was how that technology could help them. How it could improve their work or their daily lives.
Thankfully some companies had embraced their creative side and focused their messaging on the benefits to customers. Our award for the best message of the show goes to Ship Station.
‘Get Ship Done’ is super simple and yet super effective. It’s a play on words, it hints at the brand name, and it tells you exactly how their product can help you. A more efficient way to ship goods.
Language analysis is going to play a big role in the future of content
For tech companies of all shapes and sizes, and in fact for any business selling to customers (B2B or B2C), language analysis could transform your marketing.
We chatted with the CEO of Relative Insight– and heard him present at the show – about their unique software which performs some really incredible analysis of language and words.
Their software helps police find paedophiles posing as 13-year-old girls, as well as supporting cosmetic companies tailor their messaging for different make-up wearing age groups, or showing mobile companies which features certain demographics are most interested in.
It does this by matching, analysing and pinpointing the differences in the way people talk and write, highlighting key words that stand out or key topics that are more important to some types of buyers and not others.
With make-up, for example, 20-year-olds wear it. But 50-year-olds apply it.
That simple little nuance could make all the difference when it comes to personalising a message or targeting an ad campaign.
Using data and technology to analyse language is definitely going to play a huge role in the future of content. Although artificial intelligence might be a long way off from writing effective copy, it can play a big role in supporting smart messaging and effective content.
Code makes software, words win business
Our key takeaway from our time at Tech Show North is that there’s loads of brilliant software and technology out there – but it has to be marketed correctly. Tech on its own doesn’t sell itself.
Technology is amazing. But it’s what that technology can do that’s the real, powerful message.
It’s why we stand behind our message as a tech-focused copywriting agency. Code makes software, words win business.
You focus on the amazing technology and engineering – what’s under the hood – and we help you sell it with the words that resonate most with the people who matter most.
Get in touch to see how we can help you transform the messaging for your tech company.
P.S. Want to know what our other important takeaway was? When packing up after the show, we discovered that one of our number – the incredibly talented Mr. Nattan – resembles one of the most beloved characters of Game of Thrones. Loading him up to carry tables, chairs and signage out of the exhibition hall, we couldn’t help but be reminded of Hodor.