Everyone Needs to Know How To Write with a Marketing Spin
Many of the marketing and sales techniques we take for granted were invented over 200 years ago by Josiah Wedgewood (yes, of Wedgewood china fame). The NY Times wrote an interesting article in 2009 about a sad event…Wedgewood’s bankruptcy.
Josiah was an unlikely hero. He was the 13th child of an impoverished potter; a childhood case of smallpox left Josiah with a bad leg that was later amputated, making it impossible for him to turn a potter’s wheel. But if he could not physically throw a pot, he could — and did — find new ways to get goods to market. He threw himself into various schemes to improve roads and canals. And, more fundamentally, he developed new ways of selling. Most, if not all, of the common techniques in 20th-century sales — direct mail, money-back guarantees, traveling salesmen, self-service, free delivery, buy one get one free, illustrated catalogues — came from Josiah Wedgwood.
Self-service?! Do you think Wedgewood had a premonition about the invention of the Internet and how it would turn the world of communications on its ear?
What we do know is that he was very in touch with his customers. We also know that activities that used to be the domain of marketing and sales now touch every function inside the corporation. In fact, email use is increasing at work, per Silicon Alley Insider…
…and much of our communication with prospects and customers takes place via one-to-one emails.
Customers and prospects communicate with an Applications Engineer about whether a particular feature will work as needed…with Customer Service about a maintenance plan…with Design Engineering about tweaking a product configuration for a potential OEM order…etc.
66.7% of emails delivered during Q1 2011 were categorized as marketing messages, down from 74.4% the previous quarter.
– Epsilon “Q1 2011 Email Trends and Benchmark” (2011)
What this means is that writing is now a critical function for the organization…from marketing materials to sales presentations to customer emails to engineering reports used to close sales. Each of these interactions is an opportunity to influence decisions at a point along the buying cycle.
All customer-facing employees must understand:
• How to frame an issue to highlight your organization’s strengths
• How to position your company as a thought leader
• How and when you can influence prospects’ design decisions before they occur
• How to turn emails and proposals into opportunities to build your brand and outmaneuver the competition
How prepared are your Engineers? Your Applications Engineering group? Your customer service reps?
Competition is fierce. You need everyone in the organization to be able to contribute to your value proposition and bolster your image as a thought leader…before your competitors do.
Announcing a new Workshop from Telesian Technology:
Technical Writing for Engineers…with a Marketing Spin™