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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