Marketing a product or idea can be challenging. In the end, the most important goal of marketing and PR is convey a message of why a product or service is valuable or different.

David Scott has conducted analysis the of jargon used in typical marketing and public relations documents from 2007. I’ve embedded the pdf below.

How to market a startup

The most important sentence of the presentation is this:

Here’s the rule: when you write, start with your buyers, not with your product.

The key question for customers is  ”What’s in it for me?” If you can provide a definitive, clear and concise answer, your marketing and sales will generally be effective.

Conversely, serial entrepreneur Steven Blank writes in his book, The Four Steps to Epiphany, that there may be some occasions where obfuscation in particular product features or pricing in marketing materials may be important. This ties into Scott’s point that B2B marketing tends to be the worst offender when it comes to business babble.

Blank argues that getting a customer on the telephone chatting with a sales person can be a critical part of the sales process. Providing too much initial transparency may obviate the opportunity for an upsell over the phone.

Nevertheless, startups need to get that customer intrigued enough to call. To do that, follow Scott’s point. Start with your buyers.

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