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Subject:Marketing Writing From:Scott Goodhue <goodhue -at- SMTPGATE -dot- DISCLOSURE -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 27 Oct 1995 10:56:12 EST
Robert Plamondon answered Grechen Toth's question about marketing
writing with a list of maxims that overall agree with my experiences.
As a hardcopy/online documentation/copy writer who works with a
marketing department, I've found straddling the technical and the
"salesy" both rewarding and challenging. Here are some of my
Robert commented that marketers are more in-touch with end-users than
This is typically the case. Through marketing research findings,
we've been narrowcasting (to use a Negropontean term) a line of
products to specific audiences. These products are then engineered
with the audience in mind. Marketing is both up-front and
post-production intensive -- targeting the audience and requirements
first and then selling the product to them through literature, direct
mailings and demos. The engineering is in-between, actually creating
the thing. But trainers are even more in-touch with end users. If
you can get feedback reports about their visits, you get to find out
what tasks users really want to know.
Good technical marketing requires accurate coverage of technical
Because ensuring technical accuracy is endemic to technical writing,
this is a role that should come quite naturally (or easily
Maybe you've heard a salesperson tell you about a past job where they
were saying to themselves during a pitch, "I can't believe this spew's
coming out of my mouth." When you do marketing writing, you have to
develop an integrity meter so that you're not unduly hyperbolic but at
the same time taut the benefits of the product.
Pressure output makes you get a round-to-it faster.
Although being with marketing is more stressful than writing apart
from it, you have the challenge to sound both enticing and fact-filled
rather than just matter-of-fact-filled.
Marketing materials are usually encouraged to be highly visual in
their display of information.
This gives your creative side more leeway, or at least the graphic
designers will attractively arrange your writing.
Demo disks and even direct mail themes allow you to use sexy or catchy
exposition -- you get to explain in the most alluring way :o
If you can get involved with demo disks, do so because it's fun and
cultivates sales, that bottom line that justifies the effort.