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Marketing Technical Products with a Non-Technical Background

Marketing a technical product can be challenging, especially if you don't have a technical background.

While my background isn't entirely non-technical—I studied psychology and social science, so I have an education in methods, statistics, and some coding experience, enough to complete my analysis—my first assignment at work was to develop a marketing strategy for an app called Git for Confluence, which embeds Git content directly into Confluence pages. I had to learn what Git was, beyond just hearing about GitHub occasionally, and bridge the gap between complex technical features and their business value.

Here’s a guide that would have helped me back then.

1. Understanding Technical Jargon

Technical terms like "OAuth 2.0" and "access tokens" can be intimidating. For marketers, understanding these terms is crucial to effectively communicate the product's value.

Pro Tip: Spend time learning the basics of these technical concepts. Online courses, tutorials, and consulting with your technical team can be invaluable. A video I found particularly helpful is Git for Dummies.

2. Translating Technical Benefits into Business Value

Technical features need to be translated into benefits that everyone can understand. For example, explaining how the app automatically renders source files, Markdown, AsciiDoc, and PlantUML can be tough.

Pro Tip: Work closely with developers to understand the real-world applications of these features. Ask them to give you a demo and don't hesitate to ask "dumb" questions about the necessity and functionality of these features.

3. Creating Relevant Content

Crafting content that speaks to both technical and non-technical audiences is a challenge. If the content is too simple, technical folks might be bored; if too complex, non-techies could be lost.

Pro Tip: Keep explanations clear and concise. Create tailored content for different audience segments when necessary.

Another Pro Tip: Involve your technical team in your marketing efforts. Technical blog posts, webinars, and demos led by developers can show that your product is built by and for developers.

4. Engaging with the Technical Community

Interacting with the technical community on platforms like the Atlassian Community or Developer forums can feel intimidating for non-technical marketers. Meaningful engagement involves answering technical questions and providing valuable insights.

Pro Tip: Understand common pain points and collaborate with your technical team for accurate responses. This will build your confidence and credibility over time.

5. Build Personas Sooner

Creating detailed personas helps ensure your product and marketing efforts are user-centric and effective. Building personas also helps facilitate conversations with developers and designers, allowing them to explain the product in a more relatable context. Knowing who your users are and what they need helps you understand the product on a deeper level.

Pro Tip: Establishing personas early on provides insights that can significantly influence the product’s direction and marketing strategies.

Marketing a technical product like Git for Confluence from a non-technical background is challenging but doable. Leverage your background; most of your skills are transferable, especially if you are an expert learner. Get to know the product inside out. Your unique perspective can make complex topics more accessible to a broader audience.

To see how what I've done, check out Git for Confluence!




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