Tag Archives: Messaging

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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Filed under Education and Engagement, Solution Marketing

Speaking Customer-ese

Power up your solution marketing with your new customer language skills.

Follow up post to Learn a New Language

– By Steve Robins

Yesterday, we talked about how to develop your customer/buyer/user language skills through a six part process in which you reviewed the target market, culture/jargon, market drivers, the business opportunity, and industry influencers.  Today we’ll talk more about the final phase, Translation. Continue reading

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Filed under Message, Solution Marketing

Learn a New Language

Win New Customers: Speak Their Language

Learn your customer's language - The Solution Marketing Blog

– By Steve Robins

Six years running industry and solutions marketing at EMC Documentum underscored an important lesson for all solution marketers:

To engage on any level with business-oriented prospects, you need to speak their language and understand their business and culture.

From conducting research to developing new solutions to leading marketing and sales training – you must speak the same language as your customer in order to engage in meaningful dialog, to know what solutions they need, to market to them and to teach others to market and sell to them effectively.  And this post will help you to get there, in 6 steps.

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Filed under Information, Message, SIVA - Elements of Solution Marketing, Solution Marketing

It’s the Business Problem, Stupid

A Lesson from AMD’s Consumer Solutions

– By Steve Robins

AMD Simplifies Chip Labeling

AMD Simplifies Chip Labeling (Source: TechSpot)

Several months ago, chipmaker AMD updated their consumer marketing to focus on the total value of their PC chips rather than the speeds and feeds that consumers often found confusing and nearly meaningless.  This case study offers a great lesson for solution marketers.

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Filed under Case Studies, Information, Solution Marketing

Think Like Your Customer

The Key To Solution Marketing: Understand the Customer

By: Steve Robins

I came across a great blog post, How to Use the Secret Desires of Your Customers on Michael Martine’s Remarkablogger.  While the post is about blogging, it also applies to solution marketing.   Continue reading

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Filed under Information, Messaging, Solution Marketing, Solutions

The Skinny: Solution Taglines

By: Steve Robins

A major part of solution marketing is, well, marketing the solution.  And a very small part of marketing (tongue in cheek) is the tagline.  Actually, the tagline is not really so small.  The tagline succinctly describes the value of your solution.  The tagline attracts attention.  It creates interest and draws people in to learn more.  And it’s memorable.  

But do taglines really matter for solutions?  If you want to attract attention, create interest, and have folks remember your solution, taglines can definitely help.  Think of the tagline as the simple, attention-grabbing statement at the top of your collateral, at the start and end of a slide deck, as a header on your website.

At the same time, if you want them to be taken seriously, solution taglines shouldn’t be too clever or fluffy.  Focus on the business value of your solution, without distracting from it.

For more on taglines, check out this great (and succinct) post from the Kherize5 blog: 9 Tips for Creating Great Taglines.

Update: The “9 Tips…” link has now been updated (2/1/2010)

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Filed under Information, Messaging, SIVA - Elements of Solution Marketing, Solution Marketing

It’s Never Just a Demo

Lessons from WebInno22

A few weeks back I attended WebInno22 in Cambridge MA, founded by David Beisel of Venrock.  The gathering of 500+ technorati – entrepreneurs, investors, potential customers, analysts, press and others, is designed to showcase the work of innovative Boston area Internet and software firms through 5-minute demos.  And those 5-minute demos provided some great lessons.   Continue reading

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Filed under Demos, Messaging, Product Marketing, Solution Marketing