Just say it!
Believe it or not, copy written about technology CAN be easy to read
and understand. Here's the key: Use words people know, and kick
the geek-speak and marketing mumbo-jumbo to the curb (notice I didn't
say, "Laymanize the manuscript").
Of course, the main thing is to know your audience. If you're writing a brochure to promote all the killer iPhone games your company has created -- and you'll be handing it out at GeekCon2013: The Mobile App Design and Development Expo -- feel free to mention objective-c and XCode; talk about your adherence to scrum methodology; or explain how your engineers use plists to make your games more data driven and flexible. Otherwise, stick to basic English.
How many times have you read a business website and come away without understanding what, exactly, it is they do? Cloud computing companies come to mind, but it happens all the time, in every industry imaginable. A lot of this stems from the desire to come across as a smarty pants ... I mean, thought leader. But heavy use of industry jargon (or my pet peeve: saying "utilize" when you can just say "use") isn't smart; it's distracting.
And speaking of jargon, check out the infographic below, which I created to show how much better it is to write in plain English than it is to pepper copy with industry jargon.
You know the scenario. You’re sitting in a café, waiting for a friend or a client to arrive. Before you even take a sip of your latte, you pull out your smartphone. You don’t need it for any particular reason, you just reach for it out of habit. It gives you something to do while you wait (actually, it gives you lots of things to do while you wait). Gone are the days of coffee and cigarettes; now it’s coffee and smartphones.
Our addiction to smartphones is powerful and pervasive. And of course, our growing use of mobile technology isn’t confined to coffee shops. It’s everywhere.
With mobile search now surpassing desktop search, more and more businesses are scrambling to implement mobile marketing strategies. For many, the first step is to optimize the company website for mobile viewing, ensuring that pages load quickly, navigation is smooth, and content fits the mobile screen. Getting visitors to stay on the site, and not click away because it’s just too hard to view, is the first hurdle. The next is to ensure all content on the mobile website is clear, engaging, and relevant to target customers. If smartphones are the new cigarettes, content is the new nicotine. Its potency is what keeps customers coming back for more.
Upon winning her Golden Globe this year, Jennifer Lawrence said, "Harvey, thank you for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here today."
Clearly, nobody was killed during the campaign for Jennifer Lawrence's performance in "Silver Linings Playbook." She was joking.
As with any industry, it's not always the best product (in this case the best actor, director, or picture) that comes out on top. That's not to say quality has nothing to do with it. It plays a huge role. Jennifer Lawrence is a good actress. But is she really better than Meryl Streep, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith? In my daughter's opinion, Jennifer Lawrence is the best actress of all time (something to do with "The Hunger Games"). But it's subjective.
Lawrence's win is a clear example of a good quality product, boosted by a well designed and well executed marketing strategy. Harvey Weinstein is well known for his savvy marketing tactics, and he's been incredibly successful during awards season. As far as I know, no bodies have been found.
My appreciation for case studies is nothing short of gargantuan. They're the "sleeper" of all B2B marketing tactics. That is, they may not seem like much, but for B2B companies that use them wisely, case studies are hugely effective at attracting exceptionally qualified leads-- and at closing sales. In fact, they're arguably the best tool around for giving cautious prospects the confidence they need to move ahead with a purchase. This is especially true for higher priced products and services like app development, cloud computing, and enterprise software solutions. Case studies are like testimonials on PEDs. But totally legit and legal.