Market to Experts and Novices Differently

It matters whether your customers are experts or not. Novice buyers will purchase based on easily comparable, uniform features. Experts will look for unique features. That means your expert customers are the ones that care about the one-of-a-kind tools you offer that can’t be matched anywhere else. The novice customers just want to know if your product will do the same thing as a competitor and then compare how well you stack up.


Make it Easy

When marketing your products, whether online or in printed media, make it easy for your expert consumers  to find out how you’re unique and, at the same time, make it simple for the novices to compare you to the competition. So one of your basic marketing objectives should be to show how you stack up against the other guys and why you’re the right choice. You both have features A, B and C, but you can offer it cheaper. Or, you both have features A, B, and C, but your C is twice as big. For the experts, continue the list to show how you have D, E and F and your competitors don’t have any of that.


Make it Relevant

If your widget can widge 3.5 percent faster than your competitors, that’s great – if I know what that will do for me. This is especially true when dealing with novice customers. When comparing one of your strong features against the competition, you need to explain, in simple terms, what that feature, a widget for example, does and why I want mine to widge faster (e.g. “That’s three extra widges every second!”). At the same time, if you’re highlighting a unique feature for your experts, be wary of talking down to them. People who feel like they know a lot don’t like to be treated that way. Use industry lingo to highlight the super-FTL widget after-burner you’ve added that can drop 1.21 gigawatts at 88 miles per hour. Respect their expertise.


Educate Your Novices

Hopefully you can move your novice customers toward being experts. Provide a clear path for them to learn what it takes to understand the lingo. You might post a glossary and FAQ on your site helping them get up to speed. Host a local class in your industry at the community center (e.g. Widging Basics: How to Use Your Widget Effectively). Don’t be satisfied with novice customers, grow with them.


This new study puts a finer point on a truth that’s always been a part of business: know your customer. provides an article on 66 things you should know about your customer. Learn who’s buying your product and speak to them in terms they’ll appreciate and understand. Experts like the unique details. Novices like similar comparisons.

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