Re: Technical and Marketing Communications

Subject: Re: Technical and Marketing Communications
From: Kelly Hoffman <kelly -at- NASHUA -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1993 12:17:58 EST

Saul Carliner <MSTSACX -at- GSUVM1 -dot- BITNET> writes:

> The primary difference between technical and marketing communications is
> the PRIMARY intent of the information. If the information is primarily
> intended for sales efforts, it's considered a marketing piece. If the
> information is primarily intended for instructional or documentation
> purposes, then it's technical communication.

I've found it helpful to use the following (artificial) distinctions
between marketing communications and technical communications:

o If the primary audience hasn't paid for the product (yet),
it's marketing.

o If the primary focus is what the product does, rather than
how to use it, it's marketing.

I'm currently updating a manual that accompanies a fully-functional,
evaluation copy of a software package. The primary audience hasn't paid
for the software, but the primary focus is how-to, not what.

The same manual is part of the doc set shipped to paying customers.

Is it marketing communication? or is it technical communication?
Both, I guess. :-)

Kelly K. Hoffman kelly -at- nashua -dot- hp -dot- com
Learning Products Engineer
Hewlett-Packard, Network Test Division "Reading the manual is
One Tara Blvd., Nashua, NH 03062 admitting defeat."

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