Sunday, May 15, 2011

Marketing Perspectives: We We Text vs. What’s in it For ME!

A few years back at a “Writing for the Web” workshop sponsored as part of NNg’s “Usability Week” series of events, the facilitator introduced the term “we we” text and the “We We Calculator”. 

We We text refers to the practice of writing company-centered marketing content that’s all about the “we”. 

Think of the “We We” as a website or brochure that stresses front and center when a company was started (“we have been providing services since 1988”  “we are proud of our long heritage in the widget industry”  “Since 1994 we have lead the market in fully integrated widgetry”), a laundry list of services (“we do this and we do that, and to top if off we also do this and that”), a thorough listing of the team members and their stellar backgrounds.

But your prospects have other things on their “important” list.  They want to know how your services or product can meet their needs.

It’s the old What’s In It For Me concept. 

Also note: your prospects are busy.  Web users have short attention spans that are getting shorter.  Thus, making prospects work to find useful information that pertains to them on your website isn’t the best strategy.

Is a busy prospect vitally interested in how much your company has grown?  Do they want to know about every facet of every widget you have produced from day one? Is it critical to put front and center what year you started in business, or the number of clients you serve? Do you force folks to wade through the photos of your buildings, work areas and an officer or two? 

If you met with this message in a one to one sales meeting, you'd zone right out. Yet corporations (and corporation-speak) assume that people have been waiting all their lives to hear this type of self-focused monologue.

It’s proven that the opposite approach is more effective. 

Focus on your customers and their needs and wants.  Don’t have a clue?  Then ask your customers or prospects to help you figure out:
                 What are their problems, pains, needs? 
                 In what way does your product or service solve their problems?
                 What are the real benefits your product or service delivers? 

Once you have a sense of this perspective, use your communications to show an understanding of your prospect’s needs.  Make it about them.  Connect with the "pain" your prospects suffer—then describe how you can ease that pain.

(PS:  When I first heard about the We We Calculator at a UsabilityWeek presentation, I recall it was a stand alone website – now it is part of FutureNowInc.)    

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