November 15, 2006

When You Fly, Watch Your Altitude

As any experienced flyer will tell you that it's always a good idea to know your altitude. If you don't, you never know what might run into when you least expect it. The same is true for white papers. Alititude measures the elevation of your message, and designating the altitude for your white papers or other technical marketing deliverables before you take off is an important consideration for the success of your piece. During my years in the enterprise software business, we would periodically review the altitude of each of our technical marketing deliverables. Certain document had a high level message or high altitude, while other more technical documents had a lower altitude message. For example our planning sheets would look something like this: By designating the altitude of the content prior to the development of each document, we were able to tailor precise information messages. It also set clear boundries for each vision document, white paper, competitive analysis, and primer. This also allowed technical marketing to assign the best writer to each job, and ensure that there was separate and consistent messaging thoughout the entire content library. It also build customer loyalty and establish a form of "branding" for each document type, since the readers knew in advance the amount of detail they could expect from each document. As a result, readership went up and the ability to deliver key technical marketing messages became easier. If you have a technical document strategy, check your marketing altimeter. You may find that your audience may view your white papers flying lower than they may actually appear to you? Please help support this with your blog link. Thank you!

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