What is it about new ways of work that brings back old messaging mistakes? Product marketers learned long ago that you need to be specific about what you are actually offering, how you fit into the prospective customer’s environment, and what market you participate in. But in all the excitement leading up to new ways of work (NWOW) some of these best practices have fallen by the wayside.
My newly released document “Top 5 Messaging Mistakes for Vendors of Innovative Digital Workplace Solutions ” examines the five most common messaging and positioning mistakes that I see being made by vendors trying to enable new, clever ways of working.
This type of document is knowing internally as a “best practices” document, but of course the driver for them tends to be seeing too many bad practices. Here are the bad messaging and positioning practices I see too often:
Messaging that describes how the product improves some high-level concept like “productivity” or “collaboration” without any further explanation of what it means in this particular context
Messaging that assumes every company has already bought in to their idea of a future workplace (or enough companies to sustain their business)
Messaging that assumes companies have budget to solve an annoyance that they’ve managed to live with for many years
Product positioning that asserts their product is so unique it is the only product in its market
Messaging that says everything will be OK if they are annointed the center of your digital workplace, with everything that employees do connected through them
Would you buy that product? I don’t think I would even call them back. The end user organizations I talk to don’t have budgets (or even an owner) for annoyances, have a complex environment that can’t be superceded by one product, and need to solve specific problems (even if, at a higher level, they connect to positive attributes).
Yet I see this kind of messaging over and over in messaging for vendors selling products like digital transformation services, clever forms of content authoring, intranet frameworks, virtual personal assistants, social networking and graphing tools, and more.
Selling offerings to facilitate new ways of working requires old fundamentals. Buyers want a specific, buzzword-free value proposition. Technology product marketers want to (and should) leveragie digital workplace momentum. But they must use clear language and position themselves in a recognized solution space. If they don’t, then that ideal workplace of tomorrow will stay out of reach.
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