Why is it that marketing people in big corporations can’t just get to the point? Recently I’ve been tasked to go through a not so small amount of marketing material that is supposed to be aimed at small business people. This material is rife with buzz words that the marketing establishment loves to throw in front of clueless executive types to wow them into praising the marketers for their clever use of verbiage.
But, and this is the important part, they are totally missing the point. This is a common mistake in web site content, print materials and just about any form of written communication I’ve come across in the last 15 years I’ve done design, development and computer support.
No small business owner worth their salt has time to read 15 pages of marketing drivel. They don’t care if it sounds like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. They do care whether whatever it is solves a problem they have or allows them to make more money. Period. End of sentence. That’s it.
Often in my experience selling services that normally have all this marketing attached is down to that and how much the client trusts the person doing the selling. Usually the conversation goes like this:
Small Business Owner (SBO): “Does this solve my problem?”
Sales Person (SP): “Yes, and then some.”
SBO: “How much does it cost?”
SP: “It’s reasonable. $xxx”
SBO: “Ok, we need it. Do it.”
… or if the client is wavering…
SBO: “What other alternatives are there?”
SP: States some alternatives and costs and why this is better than them.
SBO: “Ok, we need it. Do it.” or “Ok, I’ll look into it and get back to you in a few days.”
What the SBO does not do is go read all your marketing materials. They might glance through them, but then they go to their buddy down the street and ask him what he uses, or to their search engine and see what the reviews online say. They mostly ignore anything coming directly from the company offering the service.
Why, you ask? Well, it’s obvious isn’t it? They want an independent evaluation of the product or service before they buy it. Duh!
So I plead with all you marketing types out there, and you know who you are, please, please be more to the point when you write your materials. More is not always better, and much to the chagrin of many a professor, bullshit does not work on small business people for very long.
That’s my rant on marketing materials. I hope someone takes this advice.