When Techies Do Marketing
August 9, 2011 12 Comments
One of things that never fails to amuse me is coming across a website which was written by a techie – either an engineer, or buzzword-addicted consultant, or – worst-case scenario – an engineer/programmer/consultant.
Let’s say you’re a potential customer – you’re looking for help with something, and you come across a website (or other marketing collateral) with this kind of copy:
(_____) platform takes enterprise listening to the next – actionable – level. We operate in the Web 3.0 world where every bit of unstructured data gets converted into actionable insights. Our state of the art RDFa enabled architecture brings out the meaning from unstructured data of Social Media, Web and internal data sources ( call center notes, CRM notes, documents etc)…In essense (sp) (_______) creates the 4th dimension to the traditional 360 degree view…
Now, there is a place for this kind of technical explanation. That’s called a white paper. But marketing on the web and elsewhere, you have only a few seconds to get my attention with a straightforward explanation that clearly communicates the What’s In It For Me.
It’s the incredibly rare technical designer who can also create effective marketing. The mindset of the technical person is complexity and details. The mindset of the effective marketer is simplicity and value.
It’s amazing how many tech companies will invest a massive amount of money to come up with a brilliant solution, then assume that they’re communicating to people just like them – people whose pulses race to hear about RDFa enabled architecture. And I’ve seen many potentially valuable consultants who hang out a shingle but don’t have a clear, compelling message on it.
You have to wonder how much money gets left on the table – the opportunity cost of an unfocused message.
What’s the value? What’s the unique differentiator? What’s your company story? What can you communicate in 10 seconds that should make me want to find out more, and reach out to you?
I have worked with some immensely talented tech folks, and have enormous respect for their work. But when it’s time to go to market, please – get some creative minds to help craft the message. Or you may end up with Blue Spoon Syndrome.