Often I’ve mentioned that there are B2B marketers who believe that using big, complex wording in their B2B marketing copy makes the company look smart and sophisticated.
The best example I’ve ever seen of this B2B marketing copy approach was discovered and reported by Peter Helmer, which I discussed in a previous post “B2B marketing shalt not speak in strange tongues.”
“We provide CMOs with best-of-breed, next-generation, scalable solutions that optimize revenue and enhance customer value. We act as a change agent empowering a paradigm shift using a value added synergistic approach that enables clients to take a deep dive.”
The lack of clarity in this communication is pretty obvious. But B2B marketers often use messaging in their companies’ Web sites, emails, direct mail, brochures and other sales materials that makes perfect sense to the B2B marketing team and company execs — but leaves the prospect clueless.
In the end, only the response from the market — or lack thereof — can tell B2B marketers for sure whether or not their messages resonate. But here are a few tips to help ensure that marketing copy has a chance of generating the desired response, before it’s seen by the market.
- Talk to the lowest common denominator: B2B marketers can’t control who sees their messaging. Don’t assume the reader knows and understands anything about what is being offered. Simple language and a straightforward presentation of information have proven to be the most successful approach, even to a highly educated audience.
- Focus on the first impression: Read the copy one time after it’s been drafted. Anything that feels awkward or unclear in that first read needs to be revised. B2B marketers should not read the copy 25 times and keep revising it. They should remember that the prospect will read it only once, so the first impression is the one that counts.
- Use an outside reviewer: Have someone who is outside of the company and not familiar with the product or service read the messaging and report back what they learned, or did not learn, from the copy.