One of the things that I had to self-excise from my Your Baby’s Ugly presentation last week was a discussion on how companies tend to market themselves in this sector. So many get caught up playing Buzzword Bingo that it’s increasingly tough to cut through the crap and sort out what the companies actually do and sell.
I had 25 minutes to work with in presentation, so I hacked that off to get in some other key points. But the problem is a biggie in this space. Ask people new to digital signage, who walk onto a trade show floor or start sifting through vendor websites, and they’ll almost certainly tell you how they struggle to tell the vendors apart.
We get the right message to the right people at the right time was a good line 10 years ago. Not so much now.
When I have my act together, I like to look at the exhibitor list for a trade show before I actually go and walk the floor – so I know what I want to hit and what I don’t want to bother with. We’ve all been trapped in conversations with sales guys who have stuff you’ll never buy or recommend.
So I was running through the exhibitor list for CETW next week in New York, and reading stuff like this:
<Company Name> is a retail technology provider offering a one-of-a-kind Omni-channel solution to help fashion retailers create engaging experiences for their consumers and drive ROI. Our technology and accompanying products bridge the gap between retailers physical stores, e-commerce, and social networks to create one centralized brand experience. We differentiate ourselves by engaging retailers’ customers through our <—> fashion mobile application, and patented in-store digital mirrors and tablets, while simultaneously collecting powerful consumer data to help retailers make decisions and communicate directly with their customers.
What does that mean? What the F-word do they do???
Drill down into the company site and you can see they have interactive apps and gadgets that enable shoppers to tell their friends about apparel they’re thinking about buying, which can drive sales and inform retailers about what interests shoppers and what they’re doing.
SO SAY THAT!!! Sheesh.
Words like omnichannel, engagement and experience are so over-used and subject to interpretation they’re almost pointless. You have a matter of moments to get people interested in your pots and pans. Don’t waste it blabbering on about nothing, as your prospects tune out and physically or mentally move on.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.