Keeping your language uniform … or avoiding collateral ‘damage’

I’ve been staring at my computer blankly this morning, overwhelmed.

Part of the challenge of B2B marketing is the jargon. We need to make sure the language we use is concise, consistent, and understandable. Jargon is actually acceptable and commonly used, but only if it is consistent and understandable.

So I need to nail down the terminology and usage of what electrical power supply and amperage our equipment requires. Depending on product line, we’ve used the following:

Maybe a picture of my brain right now!
  • Power supply source
  • Power supply
  • Electric service
  • Electric supply
  • Full load amps
  • Disconnect breaker
  • Electric hook-up

Okay, I’ve got to pick one that makes sense to our customers, and to the electrical installer. And there is a big difference (25% typically) between ‘full load amps’ and ‘disconnect breaker’, so if I choose the wrong language, the wrong power will be made available.

So, I’m going with a longer description that calls out both the FLA and the breaker. So much for concise 😉

Now that I’ve made my call, I need to make sure this is universally applied. Where are all the places this product information is published? A surprisingly long list:

  • Website
  • Brochure/PDF
  • Sales manual
  • Quotation
  • Videos
  • Engineering specification
  • Equipment manual
  • Installation guide
  • Electrical prints

Even worse, the last four items I don’t have control over, and revisions are usually reserved for needed changes (in the eyes of engineering). I’ll have enough work to do to fix the marketing collateral.

One could say that this is stupid-silly details that a marketing manager shouldn’t be worrying about. But it is! Customers who have insufficient power installed for our equipment can get irate. Salespeople who are confused by our terminology look stupid. And   B2B marketers who don’t care about the details of their products, well, should find another line of work.

One Reply to “Keeping your language uniform … or avoiding collateral ‘damage’”

  1. This is never an easy chore because one must ultimately get buy-in from all the different parties. I don’t envy you with all the work in your near future.

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