Geo Week News

August 6, 2014

Telescope Out, Microscope In: What The New Wave of Clients Want to Know


When I first started writing articles and copy for marketing, I took to heart a quote commonly attributed to Mark Twain, one that I picked up while in college: “Write what you know.” It’s great advice, but I think I need to change it up a bit. The problem is that I tend to take it to mean, “talk about the things that interest you.”

So far, this has worked fairly well, as I’ve been in an emerging industry full of people that were interested in the same concepts and technology as I was. For years, all of us in 3D imaging were, by definition, early adopters. Marketing to another early adopter is pretty easy, you just put out the information you were most interested in acquiring yourself! However, as the 3D imaging sector matures, we are seeing the entrance of parties from all sorts of disciplines.

Nowadays I’m as likely to get a call from a photographer or an interior designer as I am an engineer or a surveyor. A lot of these new customers are interested in 3D imaging at a totally different level than the clients that many of us are accustomed to entertaining. Essentially, it’s not their day job and they don’t want it to be their day job! These guys don’t care about the same things I care about. They don’t necessarily want to know all of the concrete details – sometimes the only things they want are abstract concepts and best uses.

Does that mean that it’s time to jettison the technical specification sheets and start the Apple-like “game changer” promos? I don’t think so, but it might be time to move those specification sheets off of the top fold.

The marketing phrase I’ve heard that seems most applicable is: “telescope out, microscope in.” I think most of us have the microscope part down, so it’s the telescope part that is new. In following this advice, I have it a little easier than those of you on the service provider side of things. From the consulting side, it’s always been about the telescope view until you are sitting at the table with the engineers that need the microscopic details. With hardware and software, you simply move the focus from technical specs to deliverables — don’t look at how it does things as much as what it does best.

But what do you do as a service provider? I think that the focus has to become the Anddeliverables. (I’m not sure that I would even mention how the collection is happening unless I was asked!) This is because, at some point, there is a bandwidth problem. A person can only remember so much information at a time, and I can guarantee you that the brand name of your scanner or how many points per second you can collect are not details that will win over this new type of client. Their interest lies in the much more telescopic idea: What they are buying as a deliverable.

But keep your microscope. You still need those details in your Scope of Work. The details do matter. Just not as much to the person managing the project as they do to you.

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