By Jim McBurney
This article appeared in the August 20 issue of www.marketingprofs.com,
a premier Web resource for marketing professionals and professors
consistently gets kudos for well written succinct articles:
Gather your sales brochures, product bulletins, Web
page copy, white papers,
news releases, sales presentations, annual and quarterly reports,
paraphernalia of your company's communications, and see how
story holds up. How clearly and consistently is a differentiated
If there isn't a communications strategy in the first place,
then it probably reads like
stuff from several different companies.
In their classic and broadly applied work on business to
business sales, Strategic
Selling, Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman reveal that "complex
purchasing is controlled by more than one person), communications
optimally must address four key types of customer buying influences.
They are the
Economic, User and Technical buying influencers plus the Coach
champion. All four need to receive a range of consistent information
to reach a
favorable buying decision. Do your Marcom tools address all
important audiences include target media, market research
sales and human resources. Don't forget external sales if
you use reseller channels. Do your communications tools address
the needs of all key audiences?
If you have a well-differentiated marketing strategy, you
must deliver substantial,
coherent, competitive tools that can be broadly and effectively
applied across multiple
audiences and business information requirements to maximize
success. Most importantly in the tech marketing sector, Marcom
must create a
powerful, in-depth technical story that "sings from the
same song sheet."
"WRITING THE BOOK" If
consistency is essential, then creating a common basis
for all communications is the path. Tell the same story everywhere
by creating the
single, in-depth resource for all users, buying decision-makers
and audiences. A
motherload of information lets all internal and external audiences
draw from a
single complete document, in print or on-line.
Pulling all critical information into a single resource on
your products, markets,
technology and competition may seem like a expensive and onerous
However, its an investment that has a big payoff. Consider
the value of a detailed,
cohesive, credible text and graphically descriptive document
of your company's
technology and business benefit story. For many companies,
one document can
do it all. It spawns Power Point sales or financial presentations,
newsletters, advertisements, contributed technical articles
for trade magazines,
executive speeches, the full array of communications tactics
that are needed.
It's the "well" from which your sales and marketing
teams draw all its
communications. As a whole, it cuts through marketing and
sales clutter and
powerfully makes your case with customers.
A SELLING ADVANTAGE
When your company writes the book on its market, technology,
competition, it effectively puts your products' most valued
features and benefits
forward while clearly demonstrating your expertise. It delivers
all the required
information needed by all key audiences in a single persuasive
way that can't be
duplicated by separate documents.
Comments from those who've pulled their whole story into
a single document as
discussed, run like this.
"Having a high quality document
like this makes it much easier to express our
position that we have world class solutions."
--- VP Sales, Enterprise Software supplier.
Another Silicon Valley-based computer systems marketing executive
"The report helped us pre-empt the market by being first
with our product and
achieving thought leadership among both analysts and prospects.
explains our product's advantages by comparing them to major
a factual technical and convincing manner."
A market research analyst adds ---
"It provides a consistent framework for evaluating technologies
and contains very current, not previously published information.
I found it informative, cogently written
and clearly demonstrating the company's market knowledge."
The book gives sales teams something competitors don't. When
you write the
book on your market, customers listen and buy. It creates
market credibility by
demonstrating proof of expertise. It's the only way to deliver
your whole competitive
technology-marketing story with credibility, persuasiveness
and clarity. Writing
the book becomes your sharpest technical marketing weapon.
Jim McBurney is a sales and marketing
strategist, writer and project manager
who may be contacted in Sunnyvale California at 408-733-9479.