There is a difference between a marketing message and a sales message.

Your marketing message is aimed at gaining as much attention as possible from as wide an audience as possible. The sales message, on the other hand, is aimed at converting a handful of truly interested people into clients. It’s a difference often missed by B2B companies focused on showing off their technical expertise.

Your marketing communication should not be technical or overly detailed. It should be easy to understand so that as many people as possible can know and talk about what you do. On the contrary, your sales message should be technical and detailed because it must address the specific questions and concerns a potential client might have.

I often see engineering, software and other industrial companies dip their toes into marketing, such as posting on social media, but making the message too technical. They are making the mistake of thinking they are talking to the same person that they are trying to sell to. They’re not.

The person you market to is often not the person you sell to, but someone closely related to them. It can be a spouse, a friend, a secretary.

Using me as an example, I can post on social media about how I have helped Company X develop a compelling brand position and visual language. Or I can talk about how I helped them develop an exciting brand and marketing material. Both messages say almost the same thing, but the second version will be far more effective.

Next time you do marketing, ask yourself if what you say will be understood by the most important people in your client’s life? Their spouse, children and secretary.

Don’t confuse marketing with sales.

Dumb down your marketing.

Bernard Jansen is a brand strategist and marketing consultant to entrepreneurs. Visit his website ( to learn more.