Metaphors are tricky things — push ’em too hard and your premise crumbles. But I think the ebook, 7 Infectious Diseases of B2B Marketing, manages its analogies in ways that are both clever and apt. Kathryn Roy, the ebook’s author and principal of Precision Thinking, tells us more about her book and why she wrote it:
I was spurred to write the 7 Infectious Diseases of B2B Marketing because I was working with so many companies that were confident they were doing the right things, the right way — but weren’t. It goes back to that Mark Twain quote: “It ain’t what we don’t know that will hurt us. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”
Take a look at what is happening with home pages. I have a big issue with what I call, “Sleep Apendea,” in which passionate marketing people try to convey all the messages they think might resonate with their visitors. For example, I see many more B2B websites use Flash video or slide shows to convey complex positioning messages to their visitors. But this assumes visitors will stay engaged as the screen changes. Eye-tracking studies show what really happens: people glance at something on a web page when they detect motion, stay there for 3 – 5 seconds to see if it’s what they’re looking for, and then scan elsewhere on the page. If visitors see too much irrelevant material, they stop reading altogether.
I’m working with clients to streamline what they say to prospects. Here’s one example of a before and after value proposition for a web site:
In this example, XYZ company wants to claim leadership. But if you check Google Analytics, you’ll find that there aren’t a lot of searches for “3D direct modeling” not related to this company. So XYZ is emphasizing a category that’s based on terms searchers aren’t using. Your home page is just not the place to start educating prospects on what you call the category.
I think that many marketing people, like XYZ, give up before they have found a more powerful and succinct means of communicating their value proposition in terms that prospects understand. I hope that by posting more examples of how we can strengthen our messages, we can get more people to see what is possible and reconsider their own home pages and marketing materials.
Curing Sleep Apendea is no easy task — we’re dealing with addiction. I’m working on a new ebook to share more specific examples.
For more information on marketing cures, you can visit Kathryn at her website, http://www.precisionthinking.com