[Video] Human vs. Robot: Episode 3 – The Perfect Balance Sheet – A Humanized Marketing Messaging Series
In a world of spreadsheets and financial reports, can you make your accounting software marketing message sound less robotic, more exciting, and relatable?
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In a world of spreadsheets and financial reports, can you make your accounting software marketing message sound less robotic, more exciting, and relatable? In the third episode of our Human vs. Robot marketing message series for technology companies, we look at a marketing message from an accounting software provider. Who takes this one home? The human or the Robot?
Here’s the Marketing Message and Question:
Question: What does your accounting software do?
Answer: The Perfect Balance Sheet Accounting Software uses machine learning to automate and streamline communication between accounting teams. Get more time to evaluate your financials and identify cost-cutting strategies.
Let’s face it! In the heavily regulated financial industry, marketing your accounting software in an exciting way can be challenging. Regardless of if your solution is a cloud accounting solution or on-premises, most accounting solutions have to offer similar functionality. As a result, most accounting software solutions have similar marketing messages. While we get it, we also believe that Back-office solutions can be made more relatable, easier to understand, and simply human.
Before we get into the humanized marketing message analysis for today, let’s look at a few quick tips to remember when crafting your message for your accounting software company:
Industry terms are inevitable, but use them as sparingly as possible. Task yourself with simplifying what you are trying to say without stuffing your message with so many accounting industry terms.
Always explain abbreviations at least once. Don’t make any assumptions that your audience already knows what each abbreviation is. Remember that although a person might know a terminology, it’s up to that person to decide to use the shortened version or not.
Dare to be different and invoke excitement! While accounting software solutions have differences, the basic features and functionality tend to be the same. As a result, it’s always better to focus on telling the story of how your company solves a problem uniquely.
Robotic Marketing Message Analysis for The Perfect Balance Sheet
Let’s get to the fun part of grading our accounting software marketing message.
Here’s the message again:
The Perfect Balance Sheet Accounting Software uses machine learning to automate and streamline communication between accounting teams. Get more time to evaluate your financials and identify cost-cutting strategies.
Human vs. Robot Messaging Grading
Does this audience feel like you listened? Does the author understand their pain? – No, there is no mention of the audience’s pain.
Does the audience feel like the author empathized with their pain? Is there a connection between the pain and the solution? – No, there is no connection because it doesn’t mention the pain.
Does the audience feel like they can imagine a dream world where the solution makes their life better? – Yes, the entire message focuses on the benefits of the accounting solution, which is the dream, but it misses the connecting elements.
Selling the dream: the message does a great job of selling the dream or benefits of The Perfect Balance Sheet Accounting Software. It talks about how the solution automates tasks, enables team collaboration, and frees up time for accounting providers.
What this message doesn’t do well
It doesn’t connect the pain with the solution. The message sells the dream and talks extensively about the benefits. What it doesn’t do well is paint a picture of what life looks like without the accounting solution. Since there isn’t any mention of the pain, you find it challenging to connect the problem and the solution. Surely, you can connect the dots yourself, but it requires a bit more decoding.
How would we humanize this marketing message?
First, we have to start by fixing the writing style. As usual, we are going to use my easy to remember messaging phrase:
‘If you don’t tell me why, I won’t care about how you do what you do, and I certainly won’t want to do what you want me to.”
Mainly you want to make sure:
You mention your intended audience in your message
You talk about why your software is better [paint a before (pain) and after (benefits) picture; mention what’s different]
You show how your software makes things better [mention what’s unique about how you are solving the problem]
You explain what your software does [key features].
Here’s the breakdown for the marketing message for The Perfect Balance Sheet
The Perfect Balance Sheet accounting software uses machine learning [how] to automate and streamline communication between accounting teams [what]. Get more time to evaluate your financials and identify cost-cutting strategies [why].
Missing element: as you may have noticed, this message doesn’t mention the intended software user. In this case, because it’s an accounting software, it’s easy to imagine that accountants would use it. Even in this case, it’s still helpful to mention the users.
Mentioning who your audience is, creates a sense that you are communicating directly. Every time you refer to a user directly, it creates a sense that you are communicating with that user. Think of it like if you had a room of people, and you were trying to communicate with one person. In this case, we will assume it’s me. Would you just start talking without mentioning my name to let me know that you are communicating with me?
You are more likely to say, “Hey, Hellen, I saw a really cool video yesterday.” If you were to end up saying, “I saw a really cool video yesterday,” unless you were making eye contact with me while talking, I might not think you are referring to me. Similarly, your marketing message should look to grab the attention of the intended audience.
Speaking directly to your target audience avoids confusion if your solution targets different user types. For most software solutions that target different groups of people within an organization, you build a better connection with those people if they know that they are the intended audience.
Combining Storytelling Format and Humanized Messaging Steps
Now that we’ve looked at the storytelling format, we’ll combine the elements of storytelling and humanizing a message to create a different version of the message.
Humanized marketing messaging elements:
Listening: Based on what we know from this message, the accounting software solution solves the problem of:
Accounting professionals not communicating effectively with teams
Accountants doing a lot of manual work that ends up requiring a lot of time
Empathize: Now that we know the pain, we have to build a connection by making the audience feel that we understand their pain by not just mentioning the problem but also talking about what life looks like today.
Questions to answer:
How do teams communicate today? Why is that way inefficient?
What kind of manual work do accountants spend time doing?
How does that get in the way of getting their job done?
Dream: Finally, your message should talk about how the solution solves that pain. As you may have noticed, that was the element that the messaging got right.
New Humanized Accounting Software Marketing Message
Here’s a sample marketing message that you can create that combines all the elements of storytelling and humanized marketing message:
The Perfect Balance Sheet Accounting Software moves accountants from spending a lot of time entering data and sharing multiple versions of spreadsheets to having all financials at their fingertips within seconds.
We spent years building a specialized artificial intelligence financial platform that eliminates the manual data entry work that you do today and continuously saves you time by learning from your day-to-day activities.
The solution comes preloaded with different financial reports, one-click connection to other systems, and chat features for easy team collaboration.
Bonus fun message: With so much time on your hands, who knows what else you might discover along the way?
Here’s the message again with the elements highlighted:
The Perfect Balance Sheet Accounting Software moves accountants [who] from spending a lot of time entering data and sharing multiple versions of spreadsheets to having all financials at their fingertips within seconds [why].
We spent years building a specialized artificial intelligence financial platform that eliminates the manual data entry work that you do today and continuously saves you time by learning from your day-to-day activities [how].
The solution comes preloaded with different financial reports, one-click connection to other systems, and chat features for easy team collaboration [what].
It’s a wrap, folks! On this one, the Robot takes it. ????
The financial industry is heavily regulated. As a result, your solution has to have a standard set of features, but that’s where the standardization should stop. In an industry where accounting solutions look identical, the last thing you want is for your message to sound routine and boring. If you are new in the market, then this is especially true when you are trying to go up against some of the more prominent, more established market players with bigger marketing budgets. You can’t stand out by blending in.
About Human vs. Robot
Human vs. Robot is a video and blog series from Brisque, where we look at how to humanize real marketing messages that sound overly technical or ‘robotic’ from technology companies. Marketing messages used in the episodes are modified to remove any identifying features of the sourced company. All company names used are fictional.
Do you have the guts to find out if you pass the human test?
Get a free messaging assessment to find out how you can transform your marketing message from sounding too technical to more human. Email your marketing message (no more than a paragraph long) and a brief description of your company to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include in the subject line: “Human vs. Robot.”
Please note: By emailing us, you agree that we can use your marketing message as part of our video and blog series. As usual, we eliminate all identifying characteristics, and your original message may be further modified to ensure obscurity. Simply put, no one will know it’s your marketing message except for you.
For the past 10 years, I've been helping businesses build powerful brands and repeatable marketing processes by focusing on connecting better with customers. I started Brisque to help businesses grow organically with humanized marketing. My superpower is seeing the possibilities with your business and helping you discover how to stand out and connect with your core customers. When I’m not at work, you'll find me breaking out a random dance move, hiking, reading, traveling, fictional and non-fictional writing. I am also an experimental chef whose experiments sometimes go terribly wrong. My motto for these experiments: “eat if you dare!”