• Ronnie’s Mustache

    Great column, Andrea.

    Some of the B2B’s I work with try to be “everything to everyone” in their primary messaging.

    A good way to illustrate the need be more succinct is to ask or listen to how the executives (and other staff) explain the company to people in conversation. Then compare it to what they’re conveying on the site.

    The two examples you highlighted are perfect. This description is almost something you could actually SAY to someone without it sounding like contrived & cold:

    “Acme is a global management consulting firm. We are the trusted adviser to the world’s leading businesses, governments, and institutions.”

    In a conversation it might sound something more like:

    “We’re a global management consulting firm. We advise large businesses, governments, and institutions.”

    Citigroup’s approach is pretty good. They summarize and then going into more detail based on their segments.

    http://www.citigroup.com/citi/about/our_businesses.html

  • Ronnie’s Mustache

    Great column, Andrea.

    Some of the B2B’s I work with try to be “everything to everyone” in their primary messaging.

    A good way to illustrate the need be more succinct is to ask or listen to how the executives (and other staff) explain the company to people in conversation. Then compare it to what they’re conveying on the site.

    The two examples you highlighted are perfect. This description is almost something you could actually SAY to someone without it sounding like contrived & cold:

    “Acme is a global management consulting firm. We are the trusted adviser to the world’s leading businesses, governments, and institutions.”

    In a conversation it might sound something more like:

    “We’re a global management consulting firm. We advise large businesses, governments, and institutions.”

    Citigroup’s approach is pretty good. They summarize and then going into more detail based on their segments.

    http://www.citigroup.com/citi/about/our_businesses.html

  • BeVast

    I’m dealing with this right now with multiple clients. You have this nailed. Especially when we’re talking about tech, clients feel like they’re diluting their message by speaking in simpler terms. But the simpler terms help solidify the sale. I love Ronnie’s example below – when would a tech company pitch to a potential client with the heavy industry language? They wouldn’t because they’re trying to make the sale. Trying to refocus clients to understanding the website is a SALES and information tool sometimes proves difficult.

  • Tad Miller

    Sometimes the hardest thing you can get a B2B to say on a page is “Company name does __________ for these specific kinds of businesses.” It shouldn’t be difficult, but often times you get product managers that haven’t quite got that figured out.

  • Eric Weidner

    Lots of good, sensible tips! Thank you.
    This is a bit of a dilemma for B2B companies that have niche or very technical markets. They know that only folks who are familiar with their general industry would have any interest in their site, so they can “geek out” a bit, but that doesn’t mean the language they use needs to be overly technical or obtuse (particularly on the homepage).
    And rather than focusing on the gray “here’s what we do” content (nobody reads marketing blather anyhow), show interesting examples of what they do through stories, white papers, posts, etc.
    Essentially, B2B companies need to architect the site so the content is arranged in a way that is familiar to their market, but at the same time make the content accurate, clear and have some zing.