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.

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