To win an iPod Touch and giving a damn!

By Eoin Ó Riain, Foilseacháin Read-out Publications

I got an email this morning offering a prize if I wrote something on my blog about marketing and sales. I was to include a link-back to this page on the ISA Marketing & Sales Summit site. Oh! Yes! this site is the official one of the Summit, “In search of the Holy Grail: Integrating Sales & Marketing,” which takes place next week in the Olympic and Gone with the Wind City of Atlanta, Georgia in the US of A 1st to 3rd September 2010. And I hope you all give a damn!

In search of the Holy Grail: Integrating Sales & Marketing

Well guys it worked!

But I thought it was for an iPad first and got all excited as the few times I’ve actually played with one I liked very much what I saw. But an iPod Touch I had to look up to see what exactly it was. I knew it would be good because I am an Apple Mac guy who goes all contrary when confronted with a Windows based program or a mouse with more than one button.

There have been extremely good blogs recently on marketing and sales from the point of view of the journalist whom most companies rely on to get the message out there in the big bad world.

There are several things which drive me absolutely bananas when it come to this so maybe somebody would sit up and take notice.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin!

Websites! Why have you a website? I convinced that some people have no idea why they have a website. I go to the site of a company and usually I look for “press releases” or “media”. Failing that I go to “Contacts”. If I get a form to fill I loose interest. I loose interest even more quickly if they ask me to register, especially if it is only product information I am looking for. What are people afraid of? Do they give a damn!

I sometimes want to find out where a company is located, or what their telephone number is. Try a few sites and see how easy it is! Give a damn?

I remember being at a conference in Dublin Castle in the early days of the web, prior to the dot-com collapse, and the speaker asked a question the leading companies who had dabbled in this new technology hardly aware what it was for. “How many of you have your prices on the website?” No response was the loud reply. He than asked why. Most people said it was because their competitors would then have their prices. “Nonsense!” he said (or words to that effect!). “If you competitors want your prices that much they’ll find them anyway, whether they are on the web or not!” He went on to ask what is the question that people who call ask you. “Prices!” Having this type of information on the web can save telephone time. I know your correspondance put his prices on the web the following week and they are there ever since. Take a look!

There are far better journalist than I have spoken about the wording of press releases, many times written by so-called pr professionals. Full of phrases like “the leading solutions provider to industry,” or lovely words like “leveraging” and this morning I came across a sensor that had a “very high dynamic range!” I’m not sure what that means. Please speak in bog-standard language. These writers are students of the Donald Rumsfeld school of oratory:

    “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don’t know.”

And then there are the people who send press releases as a locked pdf. We read it, decide to use it and find that we can’t get at it. Frankly my dear!

Another problem that arises is a product of the “new” globalisation of information. Products launched in the US for instance are sometimes not launched in Europe for some months (or vice versa), partly due to different standards but also partly due to the historic reality of lack of access to different media on the two contiments. Nowadays thanks to resources like Facebook, LinkedIn & twitter the whole world knows contemporaneously (nice word!). The problem is that many companies are not ready for this and so when the Irish branch is contacted about exciting new transmitter with a bluetooth widget attached they have to admit ignorance. People do understand when a product may not be available in a certain market but they really do not understand when the comapany’s representative knows nothing about the product. Give a damn?

Anyway those are a few thoughts jotted down and I know that several of the exciting speakers in the programme for the ISA M&S Summit will address these and many other common sense ideas for automation sales and marketing people. You can still register here!

If you can’t attend at least look in as some of the sessions will be in the form of live webcasts. And, Organisers. please ask the speakers to speak out clearly and slowly. I’m sure they’ll give a damn!

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