Sunday, April 19, 2009

So much data, so little information

A subtitle for this post might be “How to sell me machine vision hardware and software,” because today I want to lobby all you S&M people out there, (that’s Sales and Marketing – what were you thinking of?) on the subject of how to talk to me.

Car salesmen are taught to sell benefits, not features, because it’s benefits that the customer actually buys. But in our industry almost every machine vision web page and product brochure focuses on features. The most obvious example of this might be sensor resolution. Yes, I want to know how many pixels the sensor has, but that will not be the basis of my purchasing decision. I want to know why your camera will be a better purchase than one from your competitor.

The bottom line is this: while I need specifications in your product literature, all this does is qualify your product for my application. What you should be doing is telling me what your product will do for me. For example, is it easier to install, more reliable or does it use less energy? These are factors that might influence my decision.

I think the problem stems from the fact that machine vision is, as my daughter would say, nerd nirvana. In other words, ours is an engineers industry. So product brochures are written by engineers, who blithely assume that everyone is as interested in the features of their new product as they are.

To understand how you might address this issue, let me refer you to, “
How to write more effective technical product brochures,” by Bob Bly and published on April 15th, 2009. Follow Bob’s advice and I can – almost – guarantee you increased sales.

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