“If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.”
A powerful, sales-producing change that most companies can make quickly: Find messaging that is not working very well, and replace it.
This is especially important when marketing an innovation.
Clear, simple, relevant messages can speed up decisions and attract more trials and adoptions of innovations.
Effective messaging to prospects must communicate:
It’s fundamental to perceived value that outweighs the risk of adopting an innovation. Yet too few innovative companies communicate effectively on their website home pages, and miss an opportunity to get off on the right foot.
To illustrate some near-term actions that a real company with an innovative offering could take to improve their message, I looked for an example in an emerging sector that’s full of innovators.
I searched for a company with these characteristics:
Meet Algorithmia. I have had no dialogue with the company. They’re like an innocent “volunteer” that a magician has called up to the stage.
Algorithmia is obviously a cutting edge company with several marquee customers. They’ve raised $38 million in equity, according to Pitchbook.
What they don’t seem to have is a website that makes clear just who they’re for and the too-costly-to-leave-unsolved problem that they address.
“MLOps maturity for every business. We help enterprise companies develop an optimal path to machine learning operational maturity. Use our framework to assess your ML roadmap location and we'll chart your path to maturity,” is the lead message on their home page.
That’s pretty abstract and conceptual, even for their techie audience. And if the techies should need management to review and sign off before buying, uh-oh.
This early in the product life cycle, their website needs to tilt toward the needs of visitors who don’t know the company (or not well) and may not be familiar with Algorithmia’s solution category or jargon.
Would their target prospects look at the home page and immediately think, “Great, I have come to the right place!”?
Do their ideal prospects perceive that their biggest problem is machine learning operational immaturity? And if it is, would they express it in those terms?
The site goes on to explain, that “Machine learning operations (MLOps) is the discipline of AI model delivery. It is what allows organizations to scale their production capacity to a point of generating significant business value and delivering results.”
Is that outcome sharply defined enough that the ideal prospect can’t wait to have that result?
If prospects visit the website and it’s not clear about who Algorithmia is for—and the too-costly-to-leave-unsolved problem that the company solves—that’s not good.
Do you suspect that Algorithmia’s biggest value is hiding?
If I were to work with a company like Algorithmia using VisibleValue® story development services, we would do the following:
I find that a small group of customer-facing people collectively know about 75 to 80% of what they need to know to message effectively. But that knowledge is scattered in different people’s heads and isn’t communicated on their website.
So I would lead a "deep dive" session using our VisibleValue® story development process to draw out what Algorithmia has learned about the best prospects by segment, their thorny and costly challenges, how Algorithmia solves those, and the outcomes Algorithmia makes possible for customers.
All that and more goes into a first-draft Visible Value message summary that unhides the heretofore Hidden Value.
When we’ve completed these four steps, Algorithmia could expect to:
I haven’t gone through this four-step process with the folks at Algorithmia. Yet I can see some things that might help them.
Their home page, in the upper above-the-fold section, will work better if it briefly answers these questions—and just these questions—for the prospect, in plain English:
Maybe the answer to the first question is something like “We support artificial intelligence professionals at major corporations.”
For #2, the answer might be, “We solve a big problem: integrating AI models into the company’s software applications with speed and security.”
The third answer could be, “You can expect to make better decisions and provide a better customer experience, which means more revenue and more profit.”
The rest of the message cascade, where Algorithmia provides more detail and addresses other questions for prospects, should be placed lower on the home page and throughout the website.
As you know, customers can be excruciatingly slow to adopt innovations. Algorithmia likely needs crisper, more compelling messages to accelerate adoption.
How about a business that you know? If you suspect that it takes too long to get a Yes because true value to the customer is hidden in ineffective messaging, please pass this along or schedule a conversation with me.