TMI – How Much is Too Much for B2B Marketing Collateral?

TMI – How Much is Too Much for B2B Marketing Collateral?
Kate Headen Waddell - Mon Jul 26, 2010 @ 03:29AM
Comments: 8

Too much informationIt’s a fine line. You want to tell your prospects EVERYTHING as soon as you get their attention. They want only enough info to make a quick decision about taking the next step. So how do you keep from scaring them off and / or boring them to death and actually get them more interested in your product?

I could make a lot of comparisons to dating here, which would be totally relevant. But an even easier exercise is to ask yourself this two part question:

  1. What is the next step you can reasonably expect your prospect to take after reading this piece of collateral?
  2. What information will they need in order to take that next step?

Of course, answering these questions is not an easy matter. While you might like every prospect to call you begging to order your latest product from a single banner ad,that’s not very realistic. Unfortunately, a lot of companies – especially in this economic climate – expect a whole lot of bang for their buck. But that “bang” may be the sound of them shooting themselves in the foot.

In general, brochures, emails, product sheets, traditional and social media, and even your top level web pages are an invitation to find out more. While each of these are different length and styles, the main goal is to give the prospect just enough information to pique their interest and then provide them with clear instructions on how to find out more.

Case studies, white papers, technical specs and the like are the main course of decision-making. Your prospects will want to dig into as much info as you are willing to give them – and probably forward it and discuss it around the office – before they pick up the phone to talk to a live sales person.

Once they’ve done their own background research, the next step is to call a sales rep for more answers. So make sure your “deeper” collateral has appropriate calls to action and contact information.

If you try to jump the line on any of these steps you run the risk of looking unprofessional or worse – desperate. That can shut the prospect down and send them looking for a competitor who will give them the information they want – when they want it.

Gotten any “overshare” marketing communications recently?

Have any tips for talking clients out of three-page email blasts?

 

About the author: Kate Headen Waddell is a strategic copywriter specializing in web copy, white papers, case studies, solution briefs and other B2B marketing tools. You can visit her website at www.smartb2bmarcom.com.

Comments: 8

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