Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Viral Marketing Video

Let’s face it, marketing has we have known it will soon be a forgotten art. Within the next five years, we will see the transition of advertising taken from text on a page to scripts on the TV to viral efforts destined to bring customers to your Web site and create brand recognition. It’s a proven fact commercials on NBC, who are celebrating NBC Green Week this week, and other networks are allotted times to get up off the couch and accomplish something time in most homes. You know, pee breaks!

To win business these days, you have to have a powerful social media presence. If you really want to win business, you need something that goes viral. The Great Office War is a perfect example of a video that has gone viral. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my idea, which is sad because there are Nerf guns all over the office I work in. It’s nothing to come under attack by a foam bullet at our office, so it would have been a perfect video to go viral to get our company noticed.

Last Christmas, Office Max was the winner in the Christmas viral marketing campaign with ElfYourself. Their Web site went crazy after they give it the ability to place your face on an elf and make it dance around. It’s really the simple ideas that are the best, but coming up with those simple ideas seems hard these days in a post-modern sort of way. Dancing computer images were nothing new—remember the creepy dancing baby?

So the challenge was given to my team today to come up with the next big viral marketing campaign. No pressure there! Where do you even begin? Plus Christmas is just over five weeks away. Talk about limited production time!

This is one of the joys of being a technical writer. You always get other stuff thrown at you—stuff you didn’t prepare for in school and must learn on the job. It does keep things interesting.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Technical Sales Forces Could Benefit from a Technical Writer

Sales teams across the nation face challenges dealing with selling advanced technology. Many times sales reps are placed into technology sales without a proper understanding of the technology they sell. They are trained to solve pains, not necessarily trained to explain advanced technical concepts.

Sales teams could benefit with a technical writer on staff. Many times during the sales process, customers need documentation. Obviously sales proposals and hardware and software requirements are a given. They often fail to reinforce the solution to the client’s pain.

Sales reps can give generic information in the form of brochures or CD ROMs with basic video presentations, but they fall short of addressing the pains and explaining the details of the intricate solution. A technical writer can bridge the gap between technology sales rep and technology consumer.

Sales reps are paid to close deals. They need to be on the phone finding leads, finding needs, developing opportunities, and closing deals. If they spend time developing customized technical documentation for the potential client, they are losing time developing new business.

A technical writer provides a sense of consultation to the deal. Technical writers can develop materials that will reinforce how the pain will removed for the client by explaining in writing with images why the specifics of how the product will work in a client’s business. Think of it as a personalized addition to the sales reps presentation.

It’s a simple process really. A technical sales rep gets past the demo stage and writes up the proposal. As the proposal is written, they provide basic details of the sales scenario to the tech writer. The technical writing then creates a custom report that’s personalized featuring the technical solution an layman’s terms. The entire solution is explained by solving the pain in the report while describing the implementation processes so they are at ease with the decision to complete the deal.
A technical writer can be a valuable tool for any sales force.