Category Archives: Education and Engagement

What An Up/Down Switch Taught Me About Messaging

You can learn more than a few solution marketing lessons from travel.confusion

For example, a friend recently checked into a new hotel that had only been open for one month.  And he was the first person to stay in his guest room… imagine the “new guest room smell”.  As he entered his room, he did the usual scan to see what was what… bathroom, closet, a thermostat by the bed with up and down buttons below.

As he got ready to go to sleep, he went to turn down the shades to block out the light. Simple right?  Not exactly.  Turns out the shades lacked pull cords.  And as he scanned the room, he couldn’t locate the cords or an obvious on/off or up/down switch for the shades.  He called the front desk which offered to send someone to check on it for him.

He turned back to the thermostat.  He was certain that the buttons below belonged to the thermostat, and, having had bad thermostat experiences in the past, he was not about to touch the buttons. But he decided to throw discretion to the wind and push the down button anyways – et voila, the shade went down.  No need for the front desk to send someone up.  And he was able to get a good night’s sleep.

So what happened?

Whoever designed the hotel room assumed that guests would understand the purpose of the buttons. The buttons lacked a label or an information sheet about how to move the shades up or down.  And it’s not that a label was really necessary – had the buttons been placed near the windows their purpose would have been obvious.

It’s easy for we solution marketers to do the same as we talk about our solutions on websites, in collateral, sales presentations or just about anywhere else. Too many solution marketers assume that the other person will understand what we are talking/writing about without thinking it through.  But if you know your customer well enough, you will understand everything about them – how they think, what they do know, what they don’t know, the terms and jargon they use.  And you’ll use that knowledge to communicate to them in their language, not yours – without making assumptions.

I have always found that when I do that, I increase credibility (“Hey this guys understands me and my problems”) and can have more meaningful and successful discussions or marketing campaigns with my target audience.  And you can too – when you avoid making assumptions about what your solution buyer/user knows or does not know.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Very Mobile Monday

mobile-monday-solution-marketing-blogAs a solution marketer, you need to stay ahead critical technology trends that may affect your solution and how you market it.  For a while, we’ve been hearing that mobile devices would overtake desktop and laptop devices.  Yes, more people surf the web using mobile devices than desktops or laptops. And the mobile shift is happening in more and more ways.  Let’s take a look at a recent example (as in yesterday!) – Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday is now about 10 years old.  Says Wikipedia,

In late November 2005, The New York Times reported: ‘The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.

That and the fact that you can’t be both at your desk and in a physical store at the same time.

mobile-growth-solution-marketing-blogCyber Monday 2015 saw an avalanche of sales through mobile devices, especially smartphones.  Mobile now accounts for 28% of Cyber Monday sales, with smartphones accounting for a whopping 61% of that number.  Interestingly, tablets have declined from about 66% in 2012 to just 39% of sales today. What’s more, according to Adobe, some 49% of Cyber Monday online visits took place through mobile devices, up from 29% in 2013.  Maybe that’s why IBM and others added the moniker “Mobile Monday” last year.

smartphone-growth-solution-marketing-blogOf course, the massive switch to mobile is driven as much by increasing smartphone penetration, larger phone screens, secure mobile payments, and an improved mobile shopping experience. Mobile shopping makes more and more sense today.

The shift to mobile won’t happen for all solutions of course.  But looking back, say 10 years, who would have thought that so many of us would be shopping on mobile devices today. What is clear is that more and more, solution users will expect a quality mobile experience, even in B2B environments. They’ll expect it both in the way they experience your solution, and in the way that you educate and engage (aka marketing) with them. Mobile is here and of course, it’s not just a fleeting 1-day experience or a consumer-only experience. Rather, we’re living in the era of mobile 365.

What do you think?  How is mobile changing your solutions and how you market them?

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Is Your SEO Worth $315 Million?

– By Steve Robins

What you can learn from the Huffington Post’s SEO strategy

The Huffington Post’s SEO strategy offers great lessons for any solution marketer.  Last week, AOL agreed to purchase the Huffington Post for a cool $315 million.  According to the NY Times,

The Huffington Post’s skill at using [SEO] tactics to increase readership and revenue was one of the ways it made itself worth $315 million to AOL.

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Filed under Case Studies, Education and Engagement, Message, Social Media, Social Media, Solution Marketing, The Solution Marketing Blog

Content Marketing: 5 Things You Should Know

– By Steve Robins

Jon Kranz Speaks at BPMA

Content marketing is a core part of the educate and engage phase of the SIVA or SEVA model.

5 Things You Should Know - The Solution Marketing Blog

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to hear Jon Kranz present at BPMA (Boston Product Management Association) Content Marketing.  I’ve heard Jonathan present before and once again, he didn’t disappoint, adding new insight to content marketing (i.e., marketing using content).  I recommend two of his eBooks, the eBook eBook (seriously) and The Content Marketing Playbook (coauthored).  If you’re a solution marketer, sooner or later you’re going to need to use content marketing.  Here are 5 things that you need to know about content marketing:   Continue reading

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Filed under Access, Access, Content Marketing, Content Marketing, Education and Engagement, Information, SEVA - Elements of Solution Marketing, SIVA - Elements of Solution Marketing, Social Media, Social Media