marketing and sales executives from Silicon Valley

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't be correct, be accessible in your marketing message

I recently had a conversation with someone who discussed a "bifurcated costing model for predictive analysis" - and yes, I too almost glazed over as I heard this. While I may have the math and science background to understand that phrase, and it may be technically correct, there's a cost or penalty for using such an accurate description in communicating your idea or message.

I try to look at problems and solutions as a opportunity to explain it to my mother. Granted, she's pretty smart, but she has no reference point to the math or statistical phrasing involved in technical solutions I often have to explain. In fact, all she cares about is that there's a problem and I try to solve it. If she can grasp the problem because I explained it using accessible terms, all the better. I'll explain why this matters later.

Realistically, a "bifurcated costing model for predictive analysis" appears to have no bearing on everyday life, it's worth another look. While "bifurcated costing model" is mostly descriptive and sets context, the key phrase, "predictive analysis", has a real-world application in behavior. The result was framing the message as a solution - a way to help predict people's behavior during online transactions. It may not be perfect, but it gets to the heart of the matter.

Now why is that important? By using accessible language that my mother understands (or the general public can grasp for that matter) has led to connections, introductions, and even future business, as people quickly understood that I somehow helped people manage or improve the buying process. No one in their right mind would ask their network if they knew someone who did "bifurcated costing models for predictive analysis", but they might ask for a contact or reference to someone who might optimize or improve targeted behavior.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finally a good auto-follow response on Twitter

Do you dread following someone on Twitter due to the worry of impending Twitter DM spam?

Maybe you don't face that problem, but let me tell you, Twitter DM's are the new spam. While most people don't spam you too much, I've about had it with the "join my Mafia", "is this you in the picture", and "click here to validate" spam redirections. I've about given up on reading DMs just because of it. But before you agree and give up on the value of an auto-responder, I wanted to share a decent, or better yet, potentially useful DM after following Thomas Korte, or @thomask.

Why should you care? Thomas is an angel investor, so he get's even more spam than most of us, and most of it well intentioned spam from entrepreneurs trying to get his attention. That made me curious to see how he would handle Twitter follow requests, so I followed him, and his "follow response" is one of the rare and useful DMs I've received:
(follow-response) Hi. You might find this post interesting: "How to cold-email me (or anyone else)
Of course, it looks simple and plain, and it could be a spam link. I clicked through and was taken to a very concise and to the point blog post about how to pitch him while showing some respect for his time in the process.

So have I been cured of my worry of DM spam? No, but I do know that there's an exception to the expectation of DM spam. By providing true value and NOT upselling me in his auto-DM, Mr. Korte has set an example that I would like others to follow. So if you use an auto-DM as a follow response, don't blow your connection to your follow - just add value, an maybe you can start you Twitter relationship on a positive note.