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By Jim McBurney

This article appeared in the August 20 issue of,
a premier Web resource for marketing professionals and professors that
consistently gets kudos for well written succinct articles:

 Gather your sales brochures, product bulletins, Web page copy, white papers,
news releases, sales presentations, annual and quarterly reports, all the
paraphernalia of your company's communications, and see how consistently the
story holds up. How clearly and consistently is a differentiated position expressed?
If there isn't a communications strategy in the first place, then it probably reads like
stuff from several different companies.

In their classic and broadly applied work on business to business sales, Strategic
Selling, Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman reveal that "complex sales" (where
purchasing is controlled by more than one person), communications tactics
optimally must address four key types of customer buying influences. They are the
Economic, User and Technical buying influencers plus the Coach or customer
champion. All four need to receive a range of consistent information to reach a
favorable buying decision. Do your Marcom tools address all audiences?" Other
important audiences include target media, market research analysts, investors,
sales and human resources. Don't forget external sales if you use reseller channels. Do your communications tools address the needs of all key audiences?

If you have a well-differentiated marketing strategy, you must deliver substantial,
coherent, competitive tools that can be broadly and effectively applied across multiple
audiences and business information requirements to maximize technical sales
success. Most importantly in the tech marketing sector, Marcom must create a
powerful, in-depth technical story that "sings from the same song sheet."

"WRITING THE BOOK" If consistency is essential, then creating a common basis
for all communications is the path. Tell the same story everywhere by creating the
single, in-depth resource for all users, buying decision-makers and audiences. A
motherload of information lets all internal and external audiences draw from a
single complete document, in print or on-line.

Pulling all critical information into a single resource on your products, markets,
technology and competition may seem like a expensive and onerous chore.
However, its an investment that has a big payoff. Consider the value of a detailed,
cohesive, credible text and graphically descriptive document of your company's
technology and business benefit story. For many companies, one document can
do it all. It spawns Power Point sales or financial presentations, customer
newsletters, advertisements, contributed technical articles for trade magazines,
executive speeches, the full array of communications tactics that are needed.
It's the "well" from which your sales and marketing teams draw all its
communications. As a whole, it cuts through marketing and sales clutter and
powerfully makes your case with customers.


When your company writes the book on its market, technology, products and
competition, it effectively puts your products' most valued features and benefits
forward while clearly demonstrating your expertise. It delivers all the required
information needed by all key audiences in a single persuasive way that can't be
duplicated by separate documents.

Comments from those who've pulled their whole story into a single document as
discussed, run like this.

"Having a high quality document like this makes it much easier to express our
position that we have world class solutions."
--- VP Sales, Enterprise Software supplier.

Another Silicon Valley-based computer systems marketing executive said ---
"The report helped us pre-empt the market by being first with our product and
achieving thought leadership among both analysts and prospects. "It clearly
explains our product's advantages by comparing them to major competitors in
a factual technical and convincing manner."

A market research analyst adds ---

"It provides a consistent framework for evaluating technologies and contains very current, not previously published information. I found it informative, cogently written
and clearly demonstrating the company's market knowledge."

The book gives sales teams something competitors don't. When you write the
book on your market, customers listen and buy. It creates market credibility by
demonstrating proof of expertise. It's the only way to deliver your whole competitive
technology-marketing story with credibility, persuasiveness and clarity. Writing
the book becomes your sharpest technical marketing weapon.

Jim McBurney is a sales and marketing strategist, writer and project manager
who may be contacted in Sunnyvale California at 408-733-9479.


For more info call 1-408-733-9479 or email