I can help you with all facets of instructional design—from identifying the target audience, to defining the objectives, to developing the instruction and graphics for each lesson, to measuring the effectiveness.
Marketing and sales professionals use programs (like PowerPoint™) to make presentations to individuals or groups, using a desktop, laptop, or LED projector. Presentations are very versatile. You may narrate the slides sequentially, jump to different topics as needed, or connect to other resources with internal and external links. You can deliver a presentation with or without speaker notes, or design it to run on auto-pilot for the web or trade shows.
Key Marketing Pieces
These key marketing pieces give you the most bang-for-the-buck:
Core Message Platform
Tip! If you have never done a Core Message Platform (CMP) for your product or service, that is the place to start! It lays a strong foundation for all of your marketing materials.
A core message platform is a comprehensive document that contains all of the marketing and selling statements about your product or service. Its purpose is to serve as the “master message document” from which you can spin off all of your essential marketing pieces.1
Tip! Because the market, your competitors, and your own products and services are always changing, you must think of your CMP as a “living document.” You should enhance and update it regularly, then make corresponding updates to all your marketing materials.
Core Message Audit
If you already a have a CMP, you may (from time to time) need a core message audit (CMA) to verify that all your marketing materials are as strong as possible.
Most B2B websites focus on their products and their features… when they should focus on identifying the benefits to their potential customers. The purpose of a website audit is to validate that every page, paragraph, phrase, and picture convinces the reader that your product or service will solve his/her problems and increase the bottom line.
Every B2B company should have a website and update it regularly. A site should have several standard pages and other pages, depending on the types of products and services.
Tip! The key to a successful website is: knowing the target audience, then presenting your products and services in a way that stresses their benefits to that audience. Every page must reinforce the Marketing Sequence: Attention, Problem, Solution, Proof, and Call-to-Action.2
White Paper Plan
A white paper plan (WPP) is a low-cost, low-risk deliverable that sets the frame of reference for a white paper. It helps both the copywriter and client to engage, define a project, and manage it more successfully.3
White Paper (Special Report)
A white paper is not a sales pitch, advertisement, brochure, case study, direct mail piece, or flier. A white paper is a persuasive essay that uses facts and logic to promote a certain product, service, or solution to a problem. An effective white paper provides useful, practical, and educational content.
A white paper may also be called a “special report” or “executive briefing.” Companies use white papers to generate leads, impress their prospects and customers, and position themselves as leading experts.4
There are three basic types of whitepapers: a problem-solution (a high-level overview of an entire industry), a numbered list (a lively set of questions, points, or issues about a topic), and a backgrounder (which focuses on the features, benefits, and payback of a product or service).3
Tip! Because a white paper contains solid research that oozes credibility, as well as an impressive quantity and quality of material, it can easily be repurposed into other marketing materials, such as articles, slide presentations, blogs, and press releases.
Other Marketing Pieces
These are my other favorite marketing pieces, but if you don’t see what you want, feel free to e-mail me.
People read articles for enjoyment and information, so they attract more readership than most other forms of marketing materials. Each year, B2B companies publish thousands of articles for their own newsletters and e-zines, as well as business publications, so they are a great way to spread the word and build an aura of credibility.4
B2B companies produce audio-visual materials—audio/video tracks, CDs, multimedia, etc.—for many reasons… such as to promote their company, demonstrate the product/service in action, train marketing and sales people, and tell success stories.4
Traditionally, companies created glossy brochures to present the features/benefits of their products, services, and capabilities… to mail to prospects, hand out at trade shows, and leave after sales calls. Today they are still viable but have largely been replaced by websites.4
A case study showcases the positive experiences of a happy customer.2 When marketing your product or service, the key to closing the sale is often social proof. Showing how it has helped others reassures your prospect that she is making the right choice.5
No matter how well you write, it always helps to have a “2nd pair of eyes” edit your writing. According to Rebecca Matter, President of American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI), “there’s just as much need for editors as writers.”6 Whether you are selling a product or service, teaching and training, or advocating a cause, I can help you organize your presentation, tighten up your copy, improve the readability, and (most important) make it more powerful and persuasive.
Email (electronic mail) is really “Internet direct mail.” B2B companies use email to send special offers, newsletters, announcements, seminars, catalog updates, etc.4
An email campaign has two parts: the email message itself [See Email] and the landing page [See Landing or Sales Page] that appears when the reader clicks a link in the email to respond to the offer.4
Landing or Sales Page
When an interesting email, e-zine article, or banner ad persuades you to “click here” to respond to an offer, it will likely open a special web page that is an order form.
The purpose of a landing page is to convince the reader to download a white paper, sign up for a newsletter… or whatever else you want them to do. When the purpose is to sell a product or service, it is usually called a sales page.4
Manuals and Workflows
Operations manuals and detailed workflows ensure quality and consistency in your business processes. They help you to remember tasks that are performed infrequently, train new employees, and maintain best practices, so you can focus on improving your business, rather than simply running it.
A process diagram maps critical processes or procedures, with decision boxes and branches for each option. It may be a simple linear process or have several complex, nested layers.
The purpose is to simplify the process as much as possible and to ensure that every possible decision is accounted for. That is especially true for written procedures that are difficult to interpret and may have gaping holes. Process diagrams are especially important for developing software and providing technical support.
Research & Analysis
I love to search the internet—websites, articles, blogs, etc.—to find relevant data, carefully analyze the relationships and patterns, and build powerful presentations [See Presentations] and special reports [See White Papers (Special Reports)] .
UI/UX Design & Documentation
Software is typically designed by programmers then sent to software documentation, which is exactly backwards! Software should always be designed by a user-interface (UI) or user-experience (UX) expert then sent to the programmers. From the beginning of the software design-development process, the user-documentation expert should be an integral part of the team.
Tip! Don’t expect people to think and act like computers! The user interface should be extremely intuitive. It should “think” and “act” like people.
1 Casey Demchak 2 Bob Bly 3 Gordon Graham 4 Steve Slaunwhite 5 Casey Hibbard 6 Rebecca Matter