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Don Purdum

Strong in Tech But Struggling with Marketing? Project Clarity in a Digital Marketplace

Don Purdum

Don will join SEMrush on March 12 for a free webinar, “5 Questions That Will Transform Your Content Marketing Overnight." Learn more about the webinar after the jump!

Every day I run into awesome companies that create or use technologies to help their clients. They are amazing at web design, web development, search engine optimization, app development and social media, but fail to clearly market themselves as problem-solvers for businesses and individual users.

Great companies who are stellar at helping other businesses achieve their business goals through technology ought to have marketing and sales funnels so full they either have to strategically position themselves for growth in order to handle the workload or have partner companies that can alleviate the work overflow.

The problem for so many gifted and talented companies is that no matter how great they are, few of their potential customers know they even exist and this keeps companies from thriving and making a difference in the world for others.


  • Because no matter how good you are at helping others, you have tunnel syndrome and you’ve become worthless at helping yourself.
  • You’ve gotten so close to your own business that all you know to share is what you do without the clarity of understanding the real impact that you have on others.
  • Your idea of marketing may be to attend local networking and chamber events or you try to spread the news online through Twitter chats, social media posts, and your website.
  • It all sounds good - and after all you’re a technology business so you ought to be raking in the dough as prospects are knocking down your door. Right?

But it isn’t happening.


The reason is really simple for most; you’re confused about what business you’re “really” in and so are your prospects. You lack clarity and it shows in your messaging. The only thing you really know to communicate is what you do and how they can contact you if they want to buy your services.

How Do I Know You’re Confused?

Because the inconsistency of your messaging screams it; your marketing says nothing, means nothing and helps no one.

In effect, your marketing is exposing how out of touch you are with your audience and with your own business. You have one idea of what you do and your audience has no idea what you do.

You may be saying to me right now in your mind;think right now: “Don, if they are looking for app developers, of which I’m one, then they know exactly what I do!?”

Do they?

That’s an assumption on your part and one you shouldn’t be making. No matter how many other developers are out there, there is only one you. There is no one like you!

But you are stuck at talking about what you do and so is everyone else. You don’t look, sound or read any different than your competitors.

The truth is that no one cares about what you do; they care about how you help them solve their problems. As an app developer, you likely solve all kinds of problems that you are not even remotely aware of right now.

So you are stuck at telling people what you do.

Telling people what you do is boring, uninspiring and to your audience (who doesn’t really have a clue about how to apply your technology), it is deeply confusing.

Confusion is caused by a lack of clarity, and clarity is the driver of your marketing and messaging. When you work on the foundation of your business, you will gain clarity and focus and your marketing execution will become a delight to your website visitors, social media followers, email subscribers and those you meet when you go to networking events.

Let’s take this anonymous app development website as an example of how most companies market themselves: marketing-example What does this website say above the fold about why I ought to consider this business for my app development needs?

It in no way is addressing any common problems about why someone ought to have an app. All it says is “world class…” blah blah blah.

Why not say something much more meaningful? Subliminally, this just says you don’t really know who you are and that you took the lazy way out.

Now, some might think either consciously or subconsciously that if you’re too lazy to identify with me, how are you going to help me with my goals and objectives regarding an app for my business?

Perhaps you could say something more meaningful like:

“89% of consumers prefer to access online content via mobile apps vs 11% for mobile websites in 2015 on their smartphones – are you missing your audience yet? Click here to learn how you can increase your business through an engaging mobile app!”

This is just one example that would give a prospect an idea of how you identify with their need. They want more eyes on their brand, prospects in their sales funnel and more profitable customers who are able and willing to buy from them.

This certainly helps a prospect identify with an app development company more than just saying “World Class Mobile App Developers.”

If World Class App Developers is your claim to fame, I’m left with “So What?”

Who cares?

To make matters worse, below the fold they go straight into the app development process.? But wait -? I still don’t know what an app can do for me or why I really need one over a mobile website for my business or whatever I’m trying to accomplish.? All I know is some guy said somewhere I ought to think about an app and you immediately want to talk about process over why I need it.

Does that make any real sense?

Now, in everything you communicate, you drive home the point that a business’s customers would prefer to engage with your content more on an app than on a mobile responsive website. It’s friendlier, easier to use and find, and you can give them the option to receive automatic notifications when you add new content.

Having complete clarity around your business means your prospects will have complete clarity around your products or services and why they need you. It will also enable them to share you with their audience because they fully understand the tangible values you bring to the marketplace.

How Do I Gain Clarity?

Clarity is found when one does the hard work on your business instead of just working in your business.

Think about it for just one moment; how many times has a prospect contacted you to share an idea or need that they have and they want you to create something? As they try to explain what they want, you have no idea what they are really asking you to do because they are not being clear.

When you’re confused, it can take a long time to work it through with them to figure it out so that you know how to price the project and help them.

In marketing, you don’t get the leisure of time. You have a few seconds to resonate, identify with and inspire your site visitor or whoever you may be talking with before they check out and move on to the next one that confuses them. They continue on until they find the one person who pulls it all together and helps them make sense of what they need and how to go about meeting their need.

You know it’s true because you do the exact same thing when there is a lack of clarity. Doubt  and doubt creeps in as to whether someone really understands you and can help you.

You can find and project clarity once you can answer the following questions:

  1. What tangible values do my products or services provide my clients? In other words, what is the result or experience they receive for having worked with you?
  2. What specific problems do you solve for each tangible value? This must be very specific.
  3. Who do you “specifically” solve the problems for?
  4. How are your products or services “a” part of a solution?

What is the True Nature of Your Business?

Once you’ve worked through answering these questions, we can learn very quickly what business you are “really” in.

You are not in the app development, web design, social media marketing, or search engine optimization business!

That is what you do; it’s not the result that you achieve for your clients.

You have to make the shift from mass marketing that talks to everyone about everything you do to learning how to think about your business from another point of view.

When you can answer the questions above and the discover what business you’re “really” in from the prospects’ point of view, you gain clarity that resonates, connects, inspires, motivates and encourages people to do business with you.

Let’s Figure This Out Together

If you don’t know what business you’re really in, then I encourage you to join me on March 12, 2015 in an upcoming webinar that I will be on with SEMrush.

We will go into some more details about how to answer these questions and start gaining the clarity you need in order to really grow your business.

If you’re ready to make that shift, then RSVP and join me at the webinar. Along with SEMrush, I’ll show you how you can transition from just being another technology company to being a company that projects how great you truly are! Register today!

Don Purdum is the Owner and Founder of Unveil the Web. He has worked as a non-profit fundraiser raising millions of dollars and he has been an entrepreneur since 2004 where he owned a web design, web development and Internet marketing firm. He is a sought after strategic marketing coach and consultant, blogger and speaker.

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