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4 Great Examples of 'Real' Partner Marketing Messages

Marketing columns these days are filled with advice about making your content "genuine" and "authentic." The idea is that you want to make your Web site and your marketing messages easy to understand and personal -- like you are explaining what you do to your neighbor.

Problem is, when most IT providers talk about technology, they go way too deep and the neighbor's eyes glaze over.

That's the challenge that most Microsoft partners face with their marketing content, from Web pages to solution brochures. How can you, as a tech firm, adequately describe your services and still connect with prospects on a personal level? Some partners have found the right balance, educating prospects without losing the human touch. 

Get Rid of the Gobbledegook
You know you need to rework your marketing content if the first line on your Web site reads something like, "We help companies drive agility through our world-class solutions delivered by our seasoned professionals." No one is impressed by gobbledegook -- stringing together overused words that have become meaningless.

Marketing guru David Meerman Scott offers classic advice for companies that struggle with gobbledegook. (As a side note: If you are attending Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference this year, make sure to catch Scott's session. He is a great presenter with valuable insights on how to get marketing right.)

The opposite of goobledegook, eMazzanti Technologies' Web site is a good example of simple, straightforward technology descriptions. The tone is conversational so the reader is not intimidated by technospeak. Yet the clear, concise descriptions establish that eMazzanti  is an expert on the subject.

Add Real Faces
There are plenty of excuses that partners use to avoid including photographs of real people on their Web site. It's too expensive to hire a photographer, it's a pain to replace photos of employees who leave, headhunters will poach talent -- the list goes on. While stock photography may be the norm, it's a lost opportunity to connect with prospects. 

As a service provider, you are selling the value of the people who deliver services to your customers. Showing off your people demonstrates pride and confidence in your business' most important asset. Slalom Consulting allows prospects to get to know their consultants -- even what they do with time off. Looking through the smiling faces, what prospect wouldn't want to do business with them?

Customer photographs featured on the K2 Web site draw prospects into case studies and solution descriptions. The photographs don't look posed and are used to help tell the story -- much more effective than the usual canned case study shots.

Keep It Short
We all know that attention spans have decreased. You need to connect with your prospects quickly and tell them how you can help with the fewest possible words. Brevity is key, but it is also very challenging.

The DevFacto Web site is a study in minimalism. The company has distilled each of its service offerings and value down to a few sentences. Graphics provide visual cues for lists of services. Engaging employee photographs convey a very personable message that doesn't require words.

Help from a Friend
If you are not sure whether your marketing materials pass the "authentic" test, enlist the help of a friend who is not in technology. Ask them to visit your Web site and give you honest feedback. Did they understand what value you bring to your customers? If you don't connect with them, you are not connecting with prospects.

In an online world, your marketing content needs to speak for you. Keep it honest, make it personal and get to the point. Make a great first impression on your prospects when they meet you.

How are you getting your message across to prospects? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 22, 2013