Clarity in Internet, marketing and sales messaging is a topic we have been writing about for the past five years as it critical in creating marketing messages for B2B technology companies that resonate with buyers and help them get found on the Internet.
I watched the recent Marketing Experiments Webinar Clarity Trumps Persuasion, with interest as Marketing Experiments showed how small changes in a landing page to make the offer and value clearer, made a 200%+ change in conversion, (if you haven't seen it I recommend it and it can be found here). This is not surprising for a Pay Per Click (PPC) advert for a business to consumer (B2C) product, as creating landing pages that convert is a science in itself and Marketing Experiments are thought-leaders in this space.
The issue of clarity in messaging is critical for both marketers and sellers in the Internet age. Marketing Experiments quote as little as 3 seconds and 7 seconds as the maximum time a visitor will spend on a site if the visitor cannot figure out what the site is about and what's in it for me (WIIFM) to stick around. The questions visitors ask are as follows;
- Where am I?
- What can I do here?
- Why should I do it with you?
In the B2B technology market, these questions are extremely important in site design, but they are a part of the larger problem of creating clarity in selling technology products. Clear messaging that aligns both sales and marketing around buyer needs, should be the goal of every company.
How does your Messaging rate?
- How many versions of the truth are circulating in your company?
- Are sales people making up their own stuff because they cannot decipher the 30,000 foot messages from marketing?
- How easy is it to figure out how your products/services create value?
- Does your Web-site product-speak (features and benefits) or does it speak to the needs of your customers and how they use your products and how your products create value?
Criteria for Clarity in Messaging for Technology Companies.
- You can figure out what the company does in less than 5 seconds of landing on the site,
- Buyer needs/goals/problems are identified,
- Relevant product capabilities are clear, copy is well written, consistent across blogs, PR and white-papers
- Value-creation and ROI are spelled out on the front page and every subsequent page and call to action,
- If you use images, they must convey meaning - smiley faces are visual SPAM,
- Proof-points, case-studies and other evidence criteria are accessible in a mouse-click,
- Clear and compelling calls to action, (see Marketing Experiments presentation)
- Technical features and benefits are accessible via a menu for those who need it in product spec. sheets or .pdf's, not on the main pages.
- No "leading-edge, next-generation, or paradigm-shifting" Gobbledygook words anywhere in copy.
- Sales and reseller channels use the same messaging in verbal and written communication with buyers when engaging, qualifying, analyzing, proposing and evaluating products.