Making complex solutions looks simple

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This piece is about the need at the moment in the digital area to be able to explain very complex and complicated topics in a simple way, that everyone can understand and use.

Now more than ever, with the fast development of technology and the increase of complex software/cloud solutions, it is becoming more and more difficult to understand what a product does or what is exactly its new function. If we think about an old Mobile-Phone, the only ability was to make/receive calls.

Afterwards it was made able to send SMS’s, play simple games and memorized telephone numbers. After a while came the possibility to send/receive emails and that for many was already somehow very complicated to manage. If we look at the Smartphones now there is nothing we can’t do anymore! From E-Mails, Games, Applications of all kind. But not only that: security passwords with finger scanning or eye/voice recognition, localisation, mobile payments and many other functions. Are all of this making our life simpler? Well depends. When we understand how these new functionalities work, of course. But everything can do that quickly? Not really.

How many of you spent hours to understand how to set the iPhone new mode connected to Cloud. And the synchronization? New Updates? Privacy settings in Social Media? New functionalities? Of course there are lot of people here who will say that was easy and actually took 5 minutes…Well I am sure there are also many who agrees with me that it didn’t take 5 Minutes and could have been much easier if was better explained.

That is the message of my post today. Makes things complicated, easy is not exactly an „easy“ job. But thankfully I can say I have a pretty experience there. Started with a father who was an very hard-core Programmer of all kind of machines and languages but it was not always yeas to understand him in normal life things 😊 Everything was always very much studied and needed to be understood in all details, but thanks to him I started to use a computer at age of 6. After my graduation in a scientific High School I decided to study computer sciences, although I was already very interested in Marketing and Business, I wanted to have a solid technical background to be able to understand the new technology and the digitalization happening around me. I am glad I did because I am now able to perform much faster in my Marketing Job knowing the graphic software very well.

Coming back to the topic, after having worked for more than 10 years with a lot of technical people, from Software to the Electronic industry, together with a group of wonderful marketing professionals, (who also helped me learn more and more about Marketing), I can say I know the challenges pretty good here.

„I don’t understand anything here. It’s just too technical“ – how many times have we heard this from Sales or Marketing? And if they don’t say it, believe me they think it. And it’s not about being lazy here, it’s really about prioritizing. Between all daily activities it is human to choose the ones who bring more benefit with less effort and something difficult to understand and very detailed is not less effort, is a huge effort.

I also think, if a technical mind is also able to sell, its name is probably Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. It is very hard to have in the same mindset the ability to concentrate and deep think about complex schemes and in the same time visualizing the idea of the result in a way that other people see the benefit and the advantages, without all the processes behind. Engineer or R&D developers are „their product, they know all details about it and are normally so deeply immersed in it, that they might not remember the final benefit for the end user, or better they know it but at some point it’s for them „assumed“.
Marketing and Sales in the other hand tend to be more visual and think about how I can picture this solution in a „nice“ looking way without going really deeply in details about the solution behind. Especially in Software solution it is very hard not to be too technical but still present the solution. We, Marketing, should try to focus on the final use and why a customer should buy it and take his/her time to understand it and learn it.

 

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My advice? Tell and show ONLY what the target customer NEEDS to see, adapting it according to the target.

If you are trying to sell a function of remote controlling, there is not need to show the complexitiy of the Network and cabling/VPN’s or anything else that is behind. Only if the customer is the one who is going to install it ok, but still I would not show it in the „presentation pitch“. It is something to print and leave it. The same for the website, it is reccomended not in the homepage. Unless it is very clear what each piece does always with the customer eye-glasses.

Using very simple words. Not everyone knows what is an IP-Adress or the meaning of RAM or CPU. Yes, for the IT people it’s obvious, but in any decision process there will be more than IT involved. Please keep it very child-simple, to the extreme of using word like „memory“ or Database. It might not be 100% accurate but your customer understands it.

Google likes simplicity. Being found in Google is something that every company can’t avoid anymore, and how are the search made? With complex words or very difficult expressions? Even the most expert person in their business will start looking for a simple key-work in their Google search, think about it.

From simple – > complex is always possible, the other way around not. My advice? Start always from the very first and most intuitive benefit and effect of your programm/solution and from there start going more and more in details. Possibly if want to stay in the digital word, I would suggest a Home-Page without any technical word but only with the name of the company and the first and most important function of the solution, using less schemes and instead more and more visuals of benefits.

Mental associations. The ability here is to compel good product stories, appropriate analogies and memorable metaphors so that the end user immediately knows what the solutions does and wants to know more. Transferring the message that the time invested in getting to understand our product/solution is worth 100% and with this motivation in mind, the customer will be eager to understand and retain the information required to use it. The customer wants to know and capture at maximum within the least amount of time. In Marketing Material, this translates into a demand for the most useful information in the minimum amount time.

I have the luck to work in a place where not only I could learn all of this, but I also have the privilege to be involved in the launch process and I can influence it.

I will do my best to continue to learn and never stop to improve myself.

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What a cell has to do with communication?

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What is a Cell? Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. What does a single cell do alone? Not that much. What do cells do when they’re together? A combination of cells together transform a single unit to the most complicated and yet powerfeul organism that is a human being. It is only the unification of different elements that bring things in reality.

We are US only in relation with OTHERS. Us as human beings, exist only if we exchange with the external. Our personality is such, because it is established through experiences that have impacted and molded it. Those experiences come from the exchange (positive or negative) with other individuals. Even the most solitary people, after period of loneliness urge the need to go back in a society and interact again with human being . The movie “Into the Wild” of Sean Penn is a great biographical movie that testimonies exactly that.

“Happiness only real when shared” – Jon Krakauer

What does it has to do with the iSocial being then? It has a lot to do. Nowadays people communicate more and more not only in person but using lots of different virtual ways. And communication must develop and adapt accordingly. Behind the screens and the online profile there are people, with feelings and emotions like us. We are not used to substitute the verbal communication in writing, as we were always taught in school to write to explain things, the majority of us have learnt a descriptive way of writing. But with the new technologies in development, the need is now to write as you were talking, and interested the reader as well as if it was the listener. Not so many people/companies are ready to take their communication to that level. More importantly, not some many companies yet understand the need to do it. Or if they do, they might not have the right people to do it.

Talking about what products you do or which great solutions you offer might interest or not. Talking about the experience of other people with that product/solutions, thinking with the readers in mind, not the product, is how companies should communicate now.

The Empathic Social Network movement says:
“The world is always changing, but our generation was born into a world in which letters were handwritten and has come of age in one in which everyone on the planet is only a click away. I this new environment, we need to communicate with greater precision to overcome language and cultural barriers that separate people of different nationalities”
(http://www.tootoom.com/en/ – from the Empathic Social Network).

And I add we need to learn how to interest the others, how to transfer emotions and create exactly virtual empathy.

The iSocial philosophy (and myself) is trying to exactly that. Urging the importance of being in the net and offering food of thoughts of new way of communicating in Social Medias. Including graphics, animation, videos, image, sounds…and In the future way not, smells, touching, and who knows whats’s more.

Life is a set of relations. Without others, we would not be who we are. Reality is an allusion, relations is wha

My coach is me, and the YouTube videos

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Kenyan Julius Yego yesterday (Aug. 26) secured a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing in javelin after learning how to throw on YouTube! Yes, he almost entirely self-taught how to throw watching the tutoral Videos of Jan Zelezny and Andreas Thorkildsen, both of whom won Olympic and world titles.! (complete article is here ). Now, why is that so important for us in Marketing? Because it shows once again how online Tools are becoming more and more imporant and crucial in our lives.

I’m always amazed when I read such things. The power of digital new technologies and digital tools is really changing everything all around us, even without us realizing it. The way we communicate is transitioning from verbal to written, liking it or not. The way we exist it not only physical but also virtual, even if we don’t have online profiles, there are a lot of info of ourselves in internet anyway. Even NOT having an online kind of form tells something about us.

How companies cope with this transitioning? It is crucial their presence on the web to create a strong online visibility. And what is the key there? Providing interesting contents. Network is not only to promote products but also to create the brand awareness. As well we have to establish our brand off line as we have to dominate it online.

How do we implement a new brand online?

ONLINE VISIBILITY It is not only about creating a website and various social media profiles – That is the mandatory – It is creating the expertise in the specific market that will put our brand to be the first. Being the first source of information when it comes to that products is what makes people think it is we are “the expert”. Thinking what and where the customer would look for our products and providing content to full fill their need.

– INTERACTIVITY Maintain and create as many interactions as possible, dedicating resources only to be there on the time when customers need. Use online chat, twitter comments, LinkedIn forum, email fast answering, whatever it takes. Never forget: “Consumers rule” Jeff Bezos – CEO Amazon.

CONTENT RELEASES. Never leave too long customers without contents and information. Follow the positive momentum and softly but frequently repeat the selling proposition within communications, in the same time maintaining the relation with the prospect/customers.

GOOD COPY-WRITING. Content such as posts and articles need to be simply written , clear and effective. A content must conduct the customer through a message long enough to win all possible objections and rejections. A short copy does not provide information but is it manly promotional and it does not work anymore. High importance has a catchy Headline that attracts immediately users to stop and read the article. Only at the end of the page, insert a call to Action.

Easy no? See you next time!