Re: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!

Subject: Re: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!
From: Mike Starr <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 05 May 2009 20:40:36 -0500

Couple of things I've learned along the way about marketing...

1. In many cases the target buyer is not the user but the person who writes the check. Users are often *not* the person who makes the purchase decision. Make sure you're providing good reasons for the purchasing agent or VP in charge of these sorts of decisions to select your product. Don't necessarily make this the *only* approach but make sure you take it into consideration.

2. Tell them how you're going to help them solve their problem. All the seamless ease of use isn't going to sell your product if they can't see that the product will solve their problem.

3. As an adjunct to #2 above, I also learned that telling folks how you can accomplish something in "three easy steps" gets their attention as well.

Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Technical Illustrator
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
(262) 694-1028 - mike -at- writestarr -dot- com -

Nancy Allison wrote:
> I have been asked to put on a marketing writer's hat and write some stuff for the web site.
> I am a tech writer in my bones and want nothing more than to give people the information they need as concisely (not to say *tersely*) as possible. I'm all about figuring out doc structure, page structure, topic structure, sentence structure, with associated headings and keywords and formatting so people can find what they need and recognize when they've found it.
> Marketing is a related but definitely foreign language.
> I've been down this path once before and crashed into the prickerbushes much too soon.
> "It's too list-y,' grumbled my manager. "You've got a header, then a sentence-and-a-list, then a new header, then a sentence-and-a-list . . . that's not marketing writing."
> I kinda got what he meant. I used bulleted lists because, for busy users who are trying to get their work done, that's what makes info pop out. (Yes, I know, tables, too. You get my drift: Terse and pared to the bone and organized to make key topics obvious.)
> But marketing pieces, on the company web site, are trying to lure someone into a relationship with the product, right? They're more in seduction mode. Correct?
> Please don't get hung up on the listy bit -- I have some marketing pieces in front of me and I do see bulleted lists hither and yon, but they do also have more of a conversational feel. I think that's the difference.
> What advice would you give a tech writer who wants to do better this time? What's the difference, after all? When you put on your Marketing writer hat, how do you write differently?
> Any suggestions gratefully received.

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Shazam! You're a marketing writer!: From: Nancy Allison

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