Writing Marketing Materials for Different Management Levels

Another valuable piece of information in a sales guide is a hierarchy of managers who make the decision about whether or not to buy a product. The overwhelming majority of businesses have such a hierarchy whether the business develops software, publishes books, or runs grocery stores, and the managers on each level must be approached appropriately because their responsibilities and concerns are very different.

Why Decision Maker Information Is Important to Writers

Information about the managers involved in product decisions is important for writers because the pieces written for each level need to provide different amounts of detail and address different issues.

To illustrate this with our SecureFlush example, I will provide information about the Chief Facilities Officer (the highest executive level), the Bathroom Operations Manager (middle management), and the Bathroom Administrators. I will quickly describe their roles, responsibilities, activities, and focus, which is the information normally included in a sales guide.

Management Level Example

Chief Facilities Officer

Role: Responsible executive – Approver

Responsibility: Responsible for all bathroom resources and their integration with overall corporate facilities strategy

Activities: Sets overall corporate facilities policy and budget

Focus: Concerned with corporate bathroom standards, overall bathroom efficiency and availability, and overall bathroom management costs 

Bathroom Operations Manager

Role: Primary user – Decision Maker

Responsibility: Responsible for overall management of bathroom resources

Activities: Sets security, air quality, supplies, equipment, and usage strategies based on corporate need and budget considerations

Focus: Concerned with maintaining continuous system availability and throughput for mission-critical bathroom activities 

Bathroom Administrators

Role: Primary or Secondary User – Influencer

Responsibility: Assures that bathrooms are maintained consistent with corporate policies

Activities: Performs bathroom monitoring to ensure high level of both performance and availability

Focus: Concerned with the time required to monitor, detect, analyze, and resolve problems when they occur

Management Level Discussion

Salespeople generally try to speak to the “approver” level first, if they can, because the person on this level must okay the purchase. Writers need to concentrate on high-level benefits in pieces for this person, along with testimonials (especially from companies that are the prospect’s competitors) and specifics like cost-savings and customer satisfaction. Anything about integration with other types of “facilities” (if available) is also helpful since this person oversees many related areas such as the cafeterias, elevators, parking lots, etc.

For the lowest level (administrator), writers need to provide lots of details, such as specific features along with benefits. Ease of use is particularly important because this is the person at this level that actually uses the product most often.

Pieces for middle management need to strike a balance between the level of information for executives and administrators. This person is interested in his or her area as a whole running smoothly and efficiently, and not with the very lowest level of detail. Emphasis should be placed on benefits, with some information about features. Information about efficiency and cost savings are important because this person must often “sell” the product purchase to the executive level and so needs to be given as much support as possible in doing that.

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About Regina Domeraski

I am a writer and have been for as long as I can remember. I worked as a technical writer and now a marketing writer for high-tech companies, but my interests go far beyond technology and include writing as an art and a craft, creativity, film, classical music, and the mystery genre (after all, Hamlet is a murder mystery).
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