Once upon a time, we all expected B2B companies to communicate very differently than the rest of the world. And boy, did they deliver.
Corporate brochures and ad copy were stuffed full of pretentious language, ambiguous adjectives, and boring buzzwords. Don’t forget the acronyms and vague benefits. Synergy, anyone?
But as communication technologies evolved to the point where brands could reach prospects in a matter of seconds, the corporate world got wise to the fact there was always a human at the end of every transaction. And most humans aren’t won over by meaningless jargon and pomp. The early innovators started using contractions in their writing—and began treating prospective customers like the humans they always were.
Today, B2B companies that hide behind stuffy language and corporate-speak are shooting themselves in the foot. They look practically antiquated—but more importantly, they miss vital opportunities to connect with customers on the kind of emotional level that was once reserved for consumer brands.
But some companies have mastered the art of human-friendly business-speak. Here are a few that get it right—and surprisingly, all of them operate within the technology industry.
In an industry riddled with jargon, software analytics provider New Relic knows how to speak with clarity. It take a very technical product (data and intelligence) and breaks it down to its core components using simple, compelling language.
And sure, jargon is still common in the tech industry and wouldn’t be lost on anyone with a background in advanced IT solutions. But the company’s clientele spans a range of industries, from airlines to retail brands—and when non-technical executives may be involved in the purchasing process, layman’s terms could make all the difference between a bust and a sale.
With inviting headlines like “Let’s build beautiful software together,” New Relic’s website can appeal to all—without any intimidating geek speak.
SEO software company Moz has a code to describe their mission—TAGFEE. No, it’s not some strange new tech-jargon you haven’t heard about. TAGFEE is an acronym for the six simple tenets the company tries to live up to—being transparent, authentic, generous, fun, empathetic, and exceptional.
They’re human traits any customer can relate to—and Moz’s marketing reflects them all. It doesn’t rely on flashy graphics or an overly-elaborate website to convince companies to use its services, and it doesn’t have to. The tagline on the front page says it all:
“7 Billon searches are performed each month. Be found.”
Sometimes, two simple words can sum up the biggest benefit a company has to offer. This winsome way with words also extends to the Moz blog, an industry leader featuring fantastic “Whiteboard Friday” videos that teach viewers the latest SEO best practices.
With everyone jumping on the video bandwagon, companies often fail to realize they don’t have the bandwidth to support playback for all those pretty videos. Oops.
For both the Spielbergs of the world and the thumb-over-the-lens first-time filmers, video hosting platform Wistia has you covered. It uses straightforward, simple messaging to explain what its service does for your company—its website even greets you with a friendly “Hi.”
Maybe video hosting isn’t the sexiest service out there—but Wistia’s playful explanations of what it does even throws a little personality into the mix.
Who knew that monkeys made email fun?
MailChimp infuses cheeky humor into every message while explaining the benefits of its service in clear, convincing terms. From its logon screen to the confirmation message after every successful campaign send, their brand voice never wavers.
Their mascot Freddy the mail chimp comes complete with printable kits that allow you to make your own version of the adorable primate—ideal for those slow days at the office.
While monkeys may not be the right animal to sell your business’s services, they teach us a surprisingly human lesson about interacting with potential customers. Keep it simple, keep it clear—and don’t be afraid to have fun.
Need help crafting human-friendly marketing for your B2B company? At MarketSmiths, we specialize in Copywriting for Humans®—packing a friendly punch into every piece of content we write. Get in touch today to find out more.
Written by Sharon McElwee