In today’s attention economy, you can’t hope to succeed by throwing up a website full of fluffy generalities, unfocused deliverables, and foggy business jargon.
“We partner with big-medium-small global-local footprint companies to harness breakthrough alignment of complex solutions that include tactical execution of strategies with synergistic results blah, blah, blah…”
Generic, high-concept biz-speak is no match for a world of short attention spans. We only have a few precious seconds to get right to the WIIFM before our audience shuts down (this is true of websites, sales pitches, networking intro’s – every form of communication).
For instance, this fluffy summary: “C3 is a management consulting firm dedicated to the people responsible for making change happen.” What does that even mean? That’s like trying to score a bullseye shooting buckshot at 1,000 targets. Blindfolded.
HOWEVER – there is a diamond in the fluff on this home page. Can you find it (below)?
See it there, under the Why? we solve wicked problems.
These are the most powerful 4 words on the entire website. Got a really gnarly, nasty, complex business problem? Yeah, you want to talk to us.
Now, this little phrase doesn’t give me the details about what exactly is getting done, and who the target client is. But, it is striking and suggestive. It’s got a bit of swagger. It’s memorable. In fact, I think it should be THE front-and-center message on the website, unobscured by all the jargon. Because it’s speaking to felt business pain.
It makes me want to find out more.
And, that phrase could shape a great response to the, “So, what do you do?” question at a networking event. “We solve wicked problems for business leaders who are trying to juggle both complexity and change.” Boom.
Think about it – what will most likely lead to a deeper discussion – that little intro, or: “we serve as a catalyst to get things done by driving clarity, creativity, collaboration, and commitment throughout the organization…oh, and we help produce results.”
Our goal in this short-attention-span-generation is not to overwhelm with information. It’s to secure 2-4 clear and memorable hashtags in the minds of our (potential) clients and referrers.
#BusinessLeader #Change #Complexity #WickedProblems
So, my advice for any consultancy: make an accurate sketch of your ideal client, describe their pain, and speak tangibly about how you fix it. In person-on-the-street language. Nobody remembers windy generalities and lists of bullet points.
P.S. I’m guessing that C3 might well be a successful company despite the foggy verbiage, but I couldn’t tell you right now where or how to refer them (in fact, I came across this site because someone asked me if I could decipher what C3 does. My answer – nope, not without way too much effort!) If we could get our arms around a very concise way to pigeonhole C3’s offerings, we might know how to refer them.
P. P.S. I am a business consultant, so I’m acutely aware of the difficulties that consultancies face crafting targeted marketplace positioning while maintaining understandable wording. It’s a whole ‘nother level of difficult, compared to selling a widget!