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Speak the Language of the Consumer: Application vs. Product Marketing

Application-MarketingBy Tom Murphy – Online Marketing Strategist, Sanctuary Marketing Group

Now in the year 2011, it’s a pretty safe bet that nearly every company has some sort of website.  The question is, how much are they taking advantage of that website?  It has become glaringly apparent that a common weakness in many websites that I’ve come across is a roadblock between their company and the consumer.  That is, they don’t speak the language of the consumer.


Think of the last time that you visited a website and thought to yourself, “what the heck does this company do!?” or “What would I use that for?”  My guess is that it probably wasn’t very long ago.  You see product photos and all these product numbers but don’t have a clue what they’re used for or how they’ll solve a problem.

The Common Mistake

Lets be honest, companies love their products and love all the industry jargon that goes along with those products, but it’s not practical information for the consumers looking for a solution. Consumer’s go to the web because they are looking for something in particular – they’re looking for solutions.

For example, let’s say I need to start packaging golf tees.  Your company might have the perfect product for me to package golf tees, but I will never know it unless you tell me that product can do it.

If I’m on your website, more than likely I see “the G9000” and “the r4500” and all the specs that go along with those machines.  Nowhere do I see it boldly stated “this is what the G9000 is used for and what problem it solves.”

How does this relate to conversion and sales?

With the proliferation of web searching and the shrinking of corporate and government structures, many web searches are no longer performed by engineers and experienced product managers.

Often times, especially in the manufacturing and building industries these searches are initiated by staffers whose expertise may be in accounts payable, or administration – not engineering or manufacturing. We can’t discount the everyday Joe Shmoe that hops on the web to go surfing for something that caught his attention while sitting on the couch at night.

The goal is to first, create traffic by having a well-optimized site that includes useful content that the consumer is looking for, and second (and most importantly) convert that traffic into revenue. Companies need to stop creating websites that just act like a brochure of product codes. Speak to the customer in their language.

Companies that understand this concept are the ones converting the traffic from their websites to actual revenue in their pockets.  Unless someone is very familiar with your entire product line, they probably aren’t going to search the web by product name or number.

That’s where in-depth keyword research and optimization play a huge role in the success of a website.  A company might think they know what regular consumers will look for, but most often this is not the case. If you own or run a business, you may be the one that finds yourself in this predicament.

So what’s the solution?

  • Learn how your consumers speak. That is marketing 101, and doing it online is no different.
  • Think and speak like your target customer. Get inside the head of your potential customer.
  • Start marketing your business and products by application.
  • Ask yourself, what industries do we serve?  What are the applications for product A, product B, and so on?
  • When you can strategically answer these questions, start conducting some keyword research to find out what words and phrases associated with your business are most commonly used and drive the most traffic.
  • Build your content around this concept instead of listing a huge product database with no real world substance.

And by all means, if you need help, contact a professional web marketing firmthat can develop an online marketing strategy for you. We can help.

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About Chris Auman:

Chris Auman is a veteran digital marketer with over 25 years of experience in the trenches. As Sanctuary’s founder and President, Chris has successfully guided online marketing efforts for companies large and small.

Learn more about Chris.

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