Good with Analogies? Just might be good at Product Marketing.

Do you use analogies in daily conversations?  If so how?  Well if you are good at them, you may make a fine Product Marketing professional.

Technology products are often used by technologist.  And even when they are not, the end-users are getting more and more savvy these days, so it’s not a challenge to explain to them how things work.

Now here’s the challenge: explain what your software does, or the problem it solves to a technology BUYER.  If you are lucky, it’s a CTO, CIO or someone who isn’t afraid of texting or online banking.  You may be unlucky enough to be selling a “commodity” in which case you’re dealing with someone in purchasing.

In any case, as you try find a way to help describe what your application / doo-hickey / gadgete / sprocket does, you will find that – unless you’re talking to the user – you will be challenged by the lack of context for your audience.

This is where analogies come in.  By being able to map the concept you’re trying to explain to a common example that any normal person could understand, you create a mental model for your audience that helps them better relate to what you’re talking about.  In this sense, analogies are almost like the “universal translator”.

But be careful.  Make sure your use of analogies make sense, otherwise you risk further confusing your buyer.

For example “Corporate networks are not unlike highway system – some roads have greater capacity and problems can occur when there are bottlenecks.”

This works better than “The Internet is like a series of tubes.”

So hone your analogy skills to help you communicate about what your product does.  Because “Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”

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