Is Your Marketing Putting Your Audience to Sleep?

I vividly remember having to sit through drab, boring seminars during my time as a wet-behind-the-ears PhD student. 

If you’ve ever attended some of the research presentations at scientific conferences, you can probably relate to this. If you haven’t, take a break from the tradeshow exhibit and wander on over to the talks at your next conference (pandemic pending, of course) – session after session of long-winded seminars where the presenter seems determined to bore the audience to tears.


Of course, they’re not all like this 

Some talks can be interesting, engaging, and informative. However, we can all agree that scientists aren’t the best at creating excitement or engagement during a talk.

I should know, I’m one of them! And yes, I’m a little guilty of giving boring talks myself.

When I would give a scientific talk, I would normally launch into a detailed presentation of results and data… without showing why this was important or why the audience should listen to me. I got a lot of yawns and folded arms, particularly in the front row. A lot of people would be texting or doing something else with their phones. Ouch!


I eventually figured out my mistake

I needed to open with why my talk mattered and why the audience should spend the next 15 to 20 minutes listening to me. I needed to provide valuable information and share a story that appealed to the audience.


So what does this have to do with marketing scientific technology? 

Well, as a marketer responsible for promoting this technology, the burden falls on you to get your message across. There is still a need to convey your story to an audience. Technical people get bored just like everyone else, and if they can’t relate to your presentation, they switch off. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. Technical buyers want and need to see technical information. This stuff is important because they want to know if your solution solves their problem. But this is more important at the end of the sales cycle when a technical evaluation of several options needs to be made.  


Don’t drown your potential customers in technical data too early 

This will just turn them off. Lead generation and awareness at the beginning is better achieved with a combination of technical copywriting and persuasive storytelling.

And just to be clear, the persuasion I’m talking about is not the exaggerated hype and persuasion that you see in consumer copy. We’re not trying to play on emotional triggers here. You don’t need to convince a technical or business buyer that they need a solution.


But you do need to tell them why they need YOUR solution

It is possible to blend technical details with subtle persuasion in such a way that gets your message across… and shows how you can solve your prospects’ problems.


An example of this is a white paper

Sadly, many scientific tech companies see a white paper as an opportunity to regurgitate a pile of research data they’ve collected. Then, they throw it up on their website and call it a day. But those who do this are leaving opportunity, leads, and revenue on the table.

Instead, a white paper should be seen as an opportunity to present a solution to a business or technical problem. As an added bonus, it can position your company as a provider of valuable information for those looking for it. The benefits of this alone should be enough to convince you to incorporate a story-driven approach to your marketing.


But I’m selling complex scientific products. Will this work?

This is a common objection – probably the most common, actually. If you’re wondering if storytelling will work when you’re selling complex technology, you can rest easy. In fact, I’d argue that scientific products need a story even more than non-scientific products. 

Remember, scientists are people too (duh, right?). They have their own problems, needs, desires, and stories in their heads about why they do what they do. It’s your job to understand these needs and these stories. And then use this info in your communications, so you can speak to them in a way that really captures their attention.  


Nothing captivates an audience like a great story

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in. To quote a recent Zoominfo article, “It can help your prospects and customers see your company as more than just a faceless corporate entity building complex products–instead, a collection of real people solving real-world problems”.

So remember this when crafting your next marketing campaign. Leave the deep, technical information for later in your sales cycle. And try not to fall asleep at your next scientific conference :).


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