Home > Uncategorized > I Put That Sh*t On Everything

I Put That Sh*t On Everything

Image of Frank's RedHot SauceWell-constructed marketing messages have a life at all levels within and outside the organization.   If you have a well-constructed marketing message, everyone inside and outside your company knows what your products do, or at least what you do that is in their best interests.  For example, Google went to market as a search engine.   From the beginning, everyone who ever heard of Google knew what Google was for.  How many realized it was a channel for advertising?  Imagine if Google had gone to market as a tool for receiving targeted ads?

 I think about this a lot because I work for technology companies and sell products and services to large enterprises.   I rely on marketing messages created by others that are embedded in advertisements, marketing collateral, white papers, and corporate presentations.  Sometimes they are right on the money.  Too often, they are techno-speak that a) no one can remember, and b) provide no clear definition of why anyone would use the company or product.

I can’t knock product marketing for failing to construct great messages about what products do and why I should sell them / customers should buy them.   It is really hard to do, especially when there are deadlines that must be met for product and release launches.

The best messages I’ve ever seen came from working directly with customers who have a keen sense of what works for them and what it will take to sell their management on a technology product.   For example, back in the early days of Teradata I worked in a group called Industry Consulting that worked with customers on some very detailed proof-of-concept projects working with their data to show them the benefits of having an enterprise data warehouse.  I wasn’t in the retail group, but one of their most popular stories was about working with a retailer doing market basket analysis wherein they discovered that the most common item purchased with diapers was beer.

The “beer and diapers” story about how to determine what-goes-with-what took off like wildfire and was part of the repertoire of benefits successfully pitched by every sales person at the company (in spite of the fact there is some contention about the truthiness of the discovery.)  A customer story that falls into the category of “you can’t make this stuff up” is golden.   The thing is, you really have to work with customers directly to get these stories, and then marketing has to be able to pivot quickly to adopt and promote them.

If you are lucky, the message will be so clear and memorable you will be able to “put that story on everything.”

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