From personal experience and conversations with many experts in the field,
there is reasonable agreement that most corporate sales, marketing and PR
lingo suffers from:
Agree or Disagree?
Why is that?
Essentially it boils down to:
And finally, the biggie, not understanding your customer/buyer.
For example, in a recent Yankee Group study of executives who are likely to buy enterprise software, it was discovered that large ERP vendors promoted speeds, feeds and technology innovation to their marketplace. These promotions more often than not entail lengthy and wordy descriptive obfuscations (yes, I know what it means, I’m trying to sound really sophisticated, cool, intelligent and inclusive).
But Guess What?
Buyers don’t care about that. Nope. They essentially want one thing: understanding.
Clear, short, concise messages and understanding.
Understanding of What?
Understanding them, their businesses, their processes. They don’t want or need the wordy intellectual technical features and functions tomes. Keep it simple! Less is more. They throw away all of your cutesy, excessively long-winded brochures as soon as you leave the room.
Some other findings of the study were interesting as well. Buyers would pay for:
But how is that different from 20 years ago? And isn’t that applicable to any buyer?
Buyers Want What They Want
Buyers are pretty basic. They want what they want. Understanding and practicality.
Would You Buy From This Company?
Just a wild guess. But I’m thinking not.
So, we should be able to develop a simple message based on the above attributes that buyers are seeking … right? I mean. C’mon. Simple … right? Okay, then what about
Never work … not enough words.
Ohhh … since I referenced the Yankee Group study, I will point to their corporate tagline:
"Accurate. Reliable. Trusted."
Won’t work either. Needs more words. I guess I’ll have to pass the bad news on to them.
On Being a Simpleton
I like simple messages (I’m a simpleton) that give me four tools to combat the four too’s.
The Four Tools
But, having recently read this message,
"We build, sell and support hypothetical superluminal quantum particle applications with ERP, CRM, BPM, MRM and PLM functionality targeted at vertical market particularities with platform-neutral ‘LMNOP" interoperability.’ "
I find I still prefer
Thoughts to Ponder (From Really Smart People)
Steve Kayser is Public Relations Director, Cincom Systems, Inc. Cincom is a software and services company offering products designed to simplify the management of complex business processes. Steve Kayser relies on two major assets to tell the often complex Cincom story: Cincom's Expert Access epublication and Tom Nies, "the longest-serving CEO in the computer industry." Expert Access is a biweekly email newsletter with over 86,000 subscribers, including Cincom customers, prospects, and the public. Visit www.cincom.com for additional information. Sign up for more of Steve Kayser here.
Many more articles in Sales & Marketing in The CEO Refresher Archives