Are you talking about yourself too much?

in Content Marketing

While working on a project that had me browsing through a number of business software vendor websites, it struck me how often the information presented was from the vendor’s perspective. The websites were full of “we do…”, “we can…”, “we have…”, “we are…”, “our product…”, “our staff…”, “our technology…”, “we provide…”, “Companyname has…”, “Companyname is…”, etc. – you get the picture – it’s all about the vendor. I wasn’t specifically looking at their content writing style, but it was rather noticeable after a few sites and several pages.

Not wanting to be judgmental without supporting evidence, I remembered reading about Roy Williams asking “Are you wewe-ing all over yourself?”. So then I found this WeWe Monitor from FutureNow that analyzes whether a website or other content, speaks about the customer or themselves. Next step was to enter the information for the software vendors’ websites I’d been looking at, to see how they ranked.

The average Self Focus Rate for 10 major business software vendors is approximately 88% – i.e. they speak about themselves 8 times more often than they speak about their customers or buyers on their websites. How do these vendors think that comes across for customers and prospective buyers? It’s all about them, not about their customers or buyers. One well-known major software vendor scored 96% which means they speak about themselves 22 times more often than they speak about their customers or buyers. So the impression I got while reading through these websites that they were self-centered and inside-out, seems substantiated.

These disappointing results got me wondering who has better ratings in this category. So I ran a list of 10 smaller business software vendors’ websites through the WeWe Monitor. The average Self Focus Rate for these vendors is approximately 78% – a better average score, but a mixed bag. 3 of the 10 vendors had 100% Self Focus Rate (they only speak about themselves), one had an excellent 33% and another had 52%.

While the authors of the WeWe Monitor state that “a score between 60% – 70% seems to have the most natural tone”, I think that’s way too high. IMO a score of 33% would be a good customer oriented tone – which means speaking about customers and buyers twice as much as yourself.

How to use this information to benefit your business
Connecting with customers and buyers in their context and language to identify with their challenges, opportunities or needs is a critical requirement for effective marketing and websites.

  • Run your website and marketing materials through the WeWe Monitor to see how you score.
  • Run your competitors websites and materials through the WeWe Monitor to see how they fare.
  • How do you compare?
  • Review competitive websites and materials with good scores to see how they connect with customers and buyers.
  • Have someone else review your website and marketing materials and provide objective feedback.
  • You should revise your materials if your Self Focus Rate is higher than 50%.
  • I would recommend aiming for a 33% score, but anything less than 50% is reasonable.
  • View the ‘Successful Marketing is Outside-In’ article for more information about a customer focused tone for your website and marketing communications.

Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™

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