Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What is it you guys do again?

In the course of my travels, I came across a web site that had a name similar to that of the company I was really looking for.

I paused for a moment to try to figure out what exactly this company did. Well, that was quite a pause - and it wasn't exactly the pause that refreshes.

I am going to disguise this company (and their messaging) because my guess is that they're small and trying to make their way in the world, and probably the last thing they need is some smartier-than-thou marketing consultant moaning and groaning about their web site.  Microsoft: fair game; little guy, play fair!

I know what it's like to be small - and criticized. Years ago, shortly after my company had unveiled a new web site, we interviewed a fellow for the job of VP of Engineering. Although it was pretty clear that I was in charge of marketing and, thus, had likely had something to do with the web site, this guy - who looked just like Mr. Bean - launched into a monologue on how terrible our web site was. How the images were ridiculous, the navigation clumsy, the content devoid of content. Furthermore, our collateral was out of date and misleading. He waved a fistful of our old collateral that he had gotten somewhere along the line.

Despite his criticism, I like to think that I would not have been so thin-skinned and eager to reject this fellow if he hadn't clearly written on the top of his resume that his prime attributes included the ability to see all sides of an issue, operate as a conciliator, and defuse friction-filled situations. Hah, I say, hah.

He didn't get the job.

Of course, maybe his criticism was exactly what I needed. And it may be exactly what the nameless company needs. So, what I'll do at some point is drop them a note and let them know what I think.

Anyway, here's what they say about themselves for starters.

Nameless, Inc. has achieved tremendous results for our customers by offering software solutions that really work for them.  Nameless also delivers large and measurable returns on the major investments our customers are making in our technology.

Admittedly, I have rewritten their copy, and theirs is actually better and more interesting. But this is the rough gist, and the point is that I read this intro paragraph and came away with absolutely no idea what these guys do - other than it's software. (This is no small something, of course. I've read home pages without learning whether a company provided hardware, software, or services. All I knew was that the offered "solutions for something.")

On to exactly where Nameless customers achieve their phenomenal results. Why through productivity (leverage those resources!), scale (watch your business grow!), greater efficiency, customer satisfaction, better decision making....

Then we start getting a bit more of a clue about what Nameless actually does, because we now we're told that they help make sure that the information that their customers need in order to make those better decisions is going to be right where they can get their hands on it.

Now I get it. Or at least I think I get it. Nameless develops some type of data management software.

Wouldn't it have been easier if they'd just said so to begin with?

Nameless makes data managent software.

There, was that so hard?

1 comment:

Mary Schmidt said...

But, gee simply saying what you do and why the customer should care...that's not "innovative enough." ;-)

As for your Mr. Bean guy - one of my pet peeves is that some of the worst communicators are - um - "facilitators" And, people who love to tout how open-minded and giving they are turn out to be the most closed-minded and grabby. (Also, don't beat me over the head with your glorious open, caring life view after you've just deeply insulted me.)

Of course, I'm perfect in every way! ;-)