The following piece originally appeared in Human Infrastructure Magazine, a twice-monthly Packet Pushers newsletter. Get a free subscription by becoming a Packet Pushers member.
The other day I was researching a product for a blog I was writing. After twenty or so minutes on the Web page, I still had no clear idea what the product did or how it worked.
Like a fortune teller reading entrails, it was up to me to make sense out of a bloody mess of the marketing grizzle strewn among the bones of “intent” “automation” and “machine learning.”
And then I realized that was the point.
If, like a fortune, a vendor’s language is broad enough and vague enough, it can encompass just about any problem a potential customer is trying to solve.
The language that vendors use on their Web pages isn’t meant to inform. It’s meant to entice me into further contact and turn me into a lead.
I can’t get my question answered until I hand over some contact details, which starts me down a sales funnel like a pig through a chute.
Good Leads And Leadership
I get that vendors need to sell products. They have employees to pay, facilities to operate, and shareholders to satisfy.
And I understand that to sell products, vendors need to keep the sales pipeline flowing with leads.
But are 100 crappy leads from confused and irritated engineers more worthwhile than 3 or 4 strong leads from engineers who actually know what your product does and want to find out more?
Are you enhancing anyone’s productivity—your employees’ or your potential customers’—by sitting through innumerable calls, meetings, and white board sessions just to find out you’re not really a fit?
Tech organizations are always looking for ways to be thought leaders. Well, here’s a great opportunity:
Demonstrate industry leadership by jettisoning all marketing bullshit and buzzword-washing. Commit to clear, descriptive language when describing your product or service.
It might mean a smaller pipeline, but also one that requires less filtering of crap and waste. Isn’t that better for everyone?