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Managing the MarComm/TechComm Showdown

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Speaker: Marilyn Woelk
Presentation Description
How do you create marketing materials for technical products or services while considering the normal technical communications mantra to avoid the soft, flashy advertising approach? If you work in a job where the marketing team and the technical communicators are often at odds or where most marketing materials are viewed as "not intended for technical audiences," then join us to talk about how the "Technical Communicator and Marketer Can Be Friends," or in some cases, how one person can take on both communication roles. We will discuss cases scenarios and your questions about how technical information can be wrapped in "marketing packages" such business case documents, sales materials, newsletters, and websites. We will also discuss how to write technical marketing pieces that don't scare technical audiences.

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Managing the MarComm/TechComm Showdown

  1. 1. Managing the MarComm/TechComm Showdown (The Farmer and the Cowman CAN Be Friends!) By Marilyn Woelk
  2. 2. The MarComm/TechComm Showdown  There is nothing new under the sun. Conflict happens.  The MarComm/TechComm Showdown is similar to another well-known conflict we will examine: The Farmer and the Cowman.  The Farmer will be played by MarComm.  The Cowman will be played by TechComm.
  3. 3. Why Aren’t the Farmer and the Cowman Friends? “Oh the Farmer and the cowman should be friends. One man likes to push a plough, The other likes to chase a cow, But that’s no reason why they can’t be friends!”
  4. 4. MarComm Farmer Characteristics  MarComm makes the land look better. Like fruits and veggies, it adds color. It plants, waters, and gets creative in trying to increase crop yield. It plants things at the right time, in the right place so it produces abundance. If something doesn’t work, it rearranges things in a different order, or plants different crops.
  5. 5. TechComm Cowman Characteristics  TechComm is functional. It gets the cows to the pen and shows them how to access the watering trough. It doesn’t care if the grass and vegetation gets trampled a bit in the process. Bottom line = Did the cows get to the pen correctly? Did they act the way you wanted them to act or do you need to do remediation exercises to show them how to do it? Can the cows be “roped in” so that they behave in a consistent manner, and can they be “driven” to the right endpoint?
  6. 6. The Farmer vs. the Cowman  “He come out West and built a lot of fences…and built them right across our cattle ranges!” >>There is an issue with “territory!”  “ The farmer should be sociable with the cowboy if he rides by and asks for food an’ water. Don’t treat him like a louse. Make him welcome in your house!” >>There is an issue with cooperation!
  7. 7. Farmer and Cowman Perspectives  MarComm sees TechComm as boring and not customer-friendly.  TechComm sees MarComm as glitzy and non-functional/impractical.  MarComm defines marketing differently than TechComm does. >>More categories >>Advertising vs. Marketing
  8. 8. Farmer and Cowman Conflicts  Different purposes for the land (words)  Different outcomes in mind (meat vs. veggies, but it’s all food!)  They often use different tools/terminology/measurements of success.  They sometimes use similar resources for different purposes: cow meat vs. butter and cream.
  9. 9. Mutual Interests of Farmers and Cowmen “And when this territory is a state An’ joins the Union jus’ like all the others The farmer, and cowman and the merchant Mus’ all behave theirselves and act like brothers!” Ultimately, TechComm and MarComm need to get along so that they can produce what needs to be produced and deliver what needs to be delivered!
  10. 10. Shared Land Use for MarComm/TechComm  Share research and content  Learn the travel path of the cows and the behaviors they exhibit. Factor that into your planting/land use design.  Plant the corn closer to the cows. (Mutual benefits)  Connect purposes. Farmers and Cowman both like a shindig with meat and veggies. They might need a barn to have it in and cows for milk/butter.
  11. 11. MarComm/TechComm Cooperation  Create definitions for advertising vs. marketing; awareness comms, vs. instructional comms, etc.  Identify the knowledge that needs to be shared, and to which audiences.  Map commonalities.  Create a Review Board that includes MarComm and TechComm reps.  Make sure MarComm info is factual and relevant to the field.  Make sure TechComm info updates are shared with MarComm team.
  12. 12. MarComm/TechComm Cooperation  Identify a specific person who will be a liaison between MarComm and TechComm reps dealing with the same products. (Who is in charge of making sure the Farmers and Cowmen get along?)  Cross-train a few team members who have an interest and aptitude for being both Farmers and Cowmen. They can help both groups cooperate.  Ultimately it is the consumer of the Farmer’s and Cowman’s goods that will benefit most from their cooperation!
  13. 13. For More Farm & Land News, Contact: Marilyn Woelk President Wingz Creative & Technical Group, Inc. marilynw@wingzcreative.com @bluestoneriver; www.linkedin/in/marilynwoelk * Farmer and Cowman lyrics from the musical “Oklahoma!” by Rodgers and Hammerstein

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