If your marketing copy hinges on words and phrases that don’t mean anything to anyone, it’s time for a rethink
Type the phrases ‘cutting-edge solution’ or ‘best of breed’ into Google and what will you get back?
A staggering 45 million results.
Does anyone actually know what constitutes ‘a cutting-edge technological solution that delivers efficiency, innovation and transparency as part of an integrated approach’?
In practice, this phrase could be used to describe anything from an offshore wind farm to an electronic toothbrush – which makes it pretty much worthless as marketing speak.
So, if you describe your financial technology using these phrases, how can you expect it to stand out in the marketplace?
Keep it simple
Despite the uselessness of industry jargon – for that is what we are talking about here – great businesses with great products pay a lot of money for marketing copy that is riddled with the kinds of words and phrases that are both un-impressive and un-informative for their clients.
They ape the industry buzzwords that their competitors use, because they think it’s impressive. But, can you really be impressed with ‘innovative technology that is fully customisable and provides a seamless solution for transparent, efficient operations’ versus ‘a system that allows all global users to view the same real-time information, so there is no margin for error on market positions’?
Does ‘our best-of-breed technology provides fully-automated solutions to meet all your regulatory requirements’ really say that ‘we offer an excellent technology product that exactly addresses the issue of having global oversight of all real-time trade positions’?
Tailor the message – and think benefits, not features
When working on your marketing messages, it is critical that you bear the audience in mind. If you are talking to budget holders, a CFO may have a different level of understanding of technology compared with a CTO, for example, and their priorities may be subtly different.
Nevertheless, all budget holders will still want to know ‘what’s in it for them’ when they are assessing what you offer. So, you will need to focus on the benefits that your platform offers, rather than eulogise about its many ‘cutting-edge, innovative’ features.
Assume nothing – or, at least, very little – in terms of what your intended audience knows about your offering, and your marketing message will come through more clearly.
If your technology really is more advanced than anything that your peers have produced, emphasise this, by explaining which specific features your technology has that are not available anywhere else and how these will benefit your customer.
If you don’t want the entire market to know what it is that really makes you unique, then you would be better off not doing any marketing than indulging in communications centred around meaningless terms such as ‘seamless solution’, ‘integrated approach’ and ‘holistic strategy’, or much-abused adjectives such as ‘efficient’, ‘innovative’ and ‘transparent’.
Avoiding jargon is also important if you are trying to reach out to journalists, who prize simple language that communicates the story so succinctly that they only need to scan-read.
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