Want to Market Better? Read a Magazine

November 26, 2007 at 11:35 pm Leave a comment

Here’s something simple you can do to improve your marketing. It’s really nothing new, but a great way to make sure your marketing is on message and ‘with it.’

To make your marketing better, you should go and read a magazine. Specifically, you should go read the magazine that you think your prospect reads. I don’t mean eWeek or InfoWorld (which is no longer printed anyway). I mean go read a business magazine like Fortune or Business Week. Better yet, go read a targeted pub like CFO or Compliance Week.

The reason is quite simple. If you want to convincingly sell business solutions, then you should think like a business person. And there’s no easier way than to read the business publications your customer reads when he/she thinks about their business.

Here are a few things that you will learn:

  • Topics – Probably the most obvious. What’s on their mind? Is what you sell one of those topics?
  • Vocabulary – Find some new words. Stop saying things like “massively scalable” and “we give you improved flexibility and availability.” Do your business customers care about those words? Probably not.  Saying things like “prepare your databases for eDiscovery” and “improve your risk management visibility” will get to the point faster and are what customers want.
  • Style – If you want to sell to the CEO, then how about writing a business justification like he might read in the Wall Street Journal? It will hit home and make you stand apart from your competitors. For extra credit, have your PR person get you in touch with a business reporter. Take them to lunch and ask them for a few pointers on writing a solid business story.
  • Graphics – Want to express a new idea or concept? See how Time explains science and technology to the masses. One of my favorites is Popular Science. If they can explain to the layman how a mind-controlled bionic arm works in a diagram, surely you can explain how your database backup compression software works.
  • Graphs and Charts – Show me the money! Face it, great graphs and charts help seal the deal. They make it concrete. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Business Section, McKinsey Quarterly – all great sources of ways to express numbers (and better than generic PowerPoint graphs).

So go out and take a look. Whether you are selling to bankers, brokers, research scientists, military contractors or manufacturers, you will find a journal or magazine that they read. And don’t think that the IT folks at these companies, especially the senior ones, don’t read them, too. They are trying to know the business just like you are.

If you don’t know what they read, just ask them, or look around their lobby or break room next time you visit.

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Entry filed under: CMO 2.0, Old School.

Pete Krainik on Guerrilla Marketing Janine Popick on E-mail Marketing

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