Theme without the Park

A good friend once told me that to be effective, any marketing message should be written in a way that an intelligent 12 year old can understand.

Spending the majority of my working life in the software world, it’s common for me to witness technologists promoting products in techno geek speak – language which nobody understands but them.

Think about how you market your product or service. Can you summarise it within 20 seconds? Is it clear enough for your young niece or nephew to understand? Do you promote it in a creative manner, or are using the same tired techniques all your competitors are?

Think about what you have that’s truly unique. Here’s a tip – stating that you have the most experienced consultants doesn’t cut it. Your competitors are claiming the same. If you are a small independent software house, stop using the same language as the big boys – think about how you differ – speed of response, agility, flexible delivery models, personal touch, faster time to value, service guarantees, unique values – you certainly don’t have to be the biggest anymore to be the best.

If you have a complex offering or numerous products to position, think about how you can create a unique “theme”. A company theme which is deeply aligned with company culture helps communicate complex propositions with ease. For one of the best I’ve witnessed in a while, take a look at IBM. This technology powerhouse has uniquely positioned thousands of software, hardware and services offerings under the “Smarter Planet” theme – taking numerous complex products and not only simplifying them, but aligning them alongside a major worldwide drive for better environmental performance. Genius.

IBM has over 350,000 employees and millions of product and services offerings. I’m guessing you have a lot less. If this giant can theme, you certainly can.