IT Marketing Tips – Give ‘Guidelines’ Instead of Rules

Every product or service comes with a set of rules that tend to ingrain in our minds from the moment we start using them.

However, these rules play an unsung role when introducing the new technologies that could potentially reshape everyone’s lives.

That role is to keep them from getting shunned too early when you introduce them to the market.

GuidelinesNotRulesWhen fire was first discovered, it wouldn’t be surprising if people feared it at first before using it. Even today, some cultures fear a camera, thinking that souls are absorbed in it. The same thing happened to the automobile.

The heart of all that fear though is that don’t know how something really works. That’s why it’s the responsibility of companies to not only explain the clockwork but also tie with the rules of using it.

The best modern example is Google Glass.

If you haven’t noticed, Glass’s do’s and don’ts keep people from confirming the fears about the device.

But in marketing, “rule” can be a heavy word and people tend to question most of them at times. Some might even take insult and demand what real right do you have to dictate the purpose of new technology. They negatively imply restriction and limitation (both ideas counter to the culture of possibility in the tech industry).

So what’s the best way to state the rules without coming off as oppressive?

Borrowing from a famous pirate franchise, try calling them “guidelines” instead.

Guidelines make for the most neutral instruction manuals. They simply tell you how certain functions work or what the results could be. This will provide your prospects the sense of free choice that they demand.

Some might think it’s giving too much leeway and staying ambiguous, and less restrictive. But in truth, it’s more on the basis of providing more framework, innovation, and effectiveness.

Let’s take an example from the work place. Assume one of our employees is a good person, who with training can understand and deliver a good customer service experience.  The word “guideline” implies some flexibility compared to ‘rules and policies.’  Good employees understand that they can bend to meet the needs of the customer without too much harm to the company.

As long as you provide the necessary information and explain the guidelines in a respectful and dignified manner, your rules can keep both your product and your customer’s experience from ruining each other.

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