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Value of Technical Publications in the Marketing and Advertising Industry


Introduction

This paper presents the value of and need for quality Technical Publications in the Marketing and Advertising Industry. Technical publications include a wide variety of material such as web content, brochures, catalogues, pre-sale literature, newsletters, technical reports, white papers, case studies, flyers, product demos, user guides, online help, classroom training materials, reference guides, administration guides, standard operating procedures, installation manuals and web-based training materials. How a software or hardware product is marketed is the deciding factor in the success or failure of its developers. The benefits and features of an application alone are not enough to ensure success. Without a quality marketing strategy, a product will not reach its target audience. Since hardware and software marketing does not typically involve traditional media, generating product knowledge and interest becomes a challenge. Conveying a product to an audience, in a manner that will get them interested, involves a quality website, the method of advertising itself, and the way in which information is written and presented to the audience.

TWB – Leading Technical Documentation Outsourcing Company TWB is a leading technical publisher with an excellent record of providing unmatched technical documentation to many major companies. TWB is the ideal choice for leading vendors of software and hardware products. TWB helps customers with all their technical documentation needs such as web content, brochures, catalogues, white papers, technical reports, case studies, user guides, product demos, etc. TWB works closely with client teams located globally, and assists them in meeting their worldwide product announcements and launch deadlines. TWB works round-the-clock with client teams and help them with quick responses that facilitate timely distribution of documents around the globe. “Knowledge is people, money, learning, flexibility and competitive advantage. Knowledge is more relevant to sustained business than capital or labor. And yet knowledge remains the most neglected asset of a business. TWB helps you unlock and share your technical knowledge with the world.”

A simple product manual or a well-written and welldesigned web-site is used by customers to form opinions of products. It is essential, therefore, that experts, skilled in general and commercial communication, with technical knowledge about creating persuasive messages be involved in the process of developing a marketing campaign. In this paper we will discuss the importance of technical publications to the marketing and advertising industry, to facilitate creation of awareness and successful sale of software and hardware products. “TWB believes that technology cannot exist without being communicated effectively.”

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Marketing and Advertising Industry – Technical Publications Growth of the Marketing and Advertising Industry in India

Challenges and Solutions

Internet advertising is slated to touch Rs.1100 crore by 2012. In 2007, revenue increased to Rs.270 crore from Rs.160 crore the previous year. This was the highest growth of any segment in the media and advertising industry. The image below shows a global growth chart based on advertising expenditure, projected for 2010.

Some of the greatest documentation challenges that most companies face today include:

In India, the advertising expenditure dropped to 2% from 17% in 2009. However, digital ad expenditure, which accounts for 1.7% of the total industry, saw a growth of 45% in internet spending alone.

Growth of the Marketing and Advertising Industry Globally Overall advertising expenditure dropped by 12.3% in 2009. However, digital advertising expenditure grew by 7.3%. In the fourth quarter of 2009 alone, global online advertising revenues reached USD 17.2 billion, an increase of 8.5% from the USD 15.9 billion revenue in in 2008. The Q4 increase of 2009 was 12.8% more than Q3 2009’s revenue of USD 15.2 billion. Online advertising expenditure is expected to surpass print advertising expenditure in 2010. Companies are expected to spend USD 119.6 billion on online and digital strategies, like search engine keywords and webinars.

Timely availability of quality documents during product release  Cost cutting in a multi-vendor business environment  Managing large volumes of documentation for new products releases Knowledge is power and in marketing, product knowledge translates to increased sales. Wellwritten, eye-catching documentation can make the difference between customer uncertainty and a sale. It is difficult to measure the degree to which documentation affects the decision to buy a product. However, generally, products that receive favorable documentation reviews are also products that receive overall positive ratings. Poor documentation cuts into profits, even if a product has sold well. If the documentation quality is low, massive costs are incurred in post-sales support. This is especially true for hardware and software products. Statistics show that the number of callers on support lines reduces drastically if the documentation that accompanies a product is clear and easy to understand. TWB provides documentation with professional quality. Improvements to existing hardware and software products, and creation of new ones, are regular occurrences. The release of new products requires a variety of documentation, from web content and data sheets, to white papers and user guides. Quality documentation, created by skilled professionals, is easy to update to reflect changes or modify for new products and releases.

Benefits For leading vendors of software and hardware products, association with TWB has benefited them by saving costs and producing professional documentation along with services such as: 

Transferring complex technical data into easily understandable language  Protecting technical and commercial data of newly developed products  Creating, editing, reviewing, and maintaining content

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Value of Technical Publications Technical Publication for Transferring Product Knowledge The purpose of technical publications is to transfer product knowledge to the end user, in a comprehensible format. The strategies of communication and levels of information vary depending on the type of product. When delivering a product, whether a hardware product or a software application, it is equally important to give the users information about the product’s operation and maintenance. In the real world scenario, technical publications are often developed as an afterthought. This usually results in inaccurate and hard-to-understand material. As a result, the users dislike these materials and avoid using them. Inaccurate and hard-to-understand material also results in the user’s inability to understand and implement high-end technologies. The users might reject the product.

Faulty Assumptions that Result in Problems in Documentation These faulty assumptions result in incomprehensible documents: 

The developers know the product better than anyone else: With time constraints and limited resources, many companies are tempted to let the programmers do the documentation. The engineers and developers know the product very well. However, the developer is likely to provide technology-centered information; where as the end user requires task-centered information. For engineers and developers it is almost impossible to step back and look at the application from the end users point of view.

The application is complicated; having a writer learn about it will take too long: Learning the product should not be a major obstacle for the writers with the right technical background.

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Publications for Different Levels of Technical and Product Knowledge When marketing a software or hardware product, it is necessary to create a wide variety of documentation. Web content is meant to be simple, interesting and persuasive, to draw customers. User manuals have to be clear, concise and precise in their content to make the products easy to use and understand. Each of these documents addresses a different audience, each of whom has a direct relation to sales and the overall profits of the company. It is important that documents be created keeping in mind the role of the person who will use the documentation. For example, a technical analyst, who is accustomed to reviewing satellite images on a workstation, needs to learn how to use the system and software to magnify the image, but not how to analyze the image. For users who start without technical or product knowledge, you need to provide instructions to use the product as well as information they need to look for as a result of using the product. This presents a more difficult problem. Different needs of the end users and the gap between their technical and product knowledge determines the amount of information that goes into technical publications.

Attractive Publications as Useful Marketing Tool Providing useful and accurate documents is critical to ensure that the user can easily find the required information. If the end users cannot find the answers to their problems, they assume that the documentation is useless. To be useful, the documentation must be clear, concise, and well designed. The documentation that is accurate and complete also needs to be well designed. Accurate and easy-to-understand technical documentation is the only way to provide information to the end user, and it is also costeffective.

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Conclusion

The Importance of Marketing and Advertising: Marketing and Advertising are the tools used to attract prospective customers to a business and the products or services it offers. The number of customers drawn depends directly on the effectiveness and success of the marketing campaign. Advertising is a part of a business’ overall marketing strategy, including public relations, promotions, incentives, and newsletters among others. The aim of a marketing strategy is to use advertising and all its available tools to maximum effect.  Value of Technical Publications: Technical Publications are essential in transferring product knowledge to end users. The provision of proper material to use technology and products allows a user to accept and efficiently use a product. Faulty assumptions about documentation lead to inaccurate and hard-to-understand material. This also decreases the chances of marketing those products in the global market.  Role of Documentation Outsourcing: The importance of marketing and advertising to the success of a product requires that vendors and purchasers look at outsourcing their documentation needs to wellestablished Technical Publications Solutions providers. This helps the company cut costs and at the same time deliver their products with quality documents.

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TWB Services TWB is India’s leader in technical communication outsourcing and education. TWB offers a complete suite of services that allow our customers to effectively publish their technical knowledge with their people and processes. TWB’s customers range from Global 500 – including Cisco, Accenture, McAfee, LG, Samsung, Citrix, SAP, Siemens, AOL, Intel; Indian technology majors – including Infosys, Wipro; Global defense majors - Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell, DRDO, HAL; and exciting technology startups. TWB's expertise in technical communication ranges from IT Products and Outsourcing, ITES, Banking, Financial, Aerospace, Defense, Ship Building to Hi-tech Manufacturing, and Discrete and Process Manufacturing. TWB’s services include:

Technical Marketing Solutions            

Datasheets Cheat sheets Solution Briefs/Solution Brochures Presentations – Products/Corporate Profile Brochures and marketing collateral Web content Audio and video scripts Press releases Direct mail Newsletter design copy Sales catalogues Sales sheets

Business Communication       

Short Reports Proposals Case Studies Lab Reports Memos Progress/Interim Reports Writing for Electronic Media

Illustrations    

Graphic Designing Info graphics 2D & 3D animation Line drawings and illustrations

Process Documentation    

Workflows Standard Operating Procedures ISO Documentation CMM Documentation

Deployment and Support  

Installation and Configuration Guides Operations Manual

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Technical Product Documentation                           

Datasheets Administrator’s Guide API Document Configuration Guide Functional Specifications Document Installation Manual Interface Document Interactive Electronic Technical Manual (IETM) Maintenance Manual Online Help Operation Manual Product Demo Product Specifications Document Product Overview Document Quick Reference Guide Release Notes Requirement Analysis Document SDK Document Troubleshooting Manual User Manual Open Source Documentation Programmers Guides Functional Specifications Document Use Cases Online Help /Context Sensitive Help Troubleshooting Guides

Qualitative Analytics for Decision Support               

Economic Business Research Industry Analysis Market Opportunity Analysis Competitive Business Analysis Company & Prospect Profiling Reporting Solutions Assessment of Unmet Market Needs Status and Potential of Technologies Benchmarking of Strategies Vs Competition Forecasting Sales Force Effectiveness Market Assessments Competitive Intelligence Opinion Leadership Emerging Markets - evaluation and research

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Documentation Quality Management     

Copy Editing and Proof Reading Managing Writing Editing Services Layout and Design Creating SLAs

Business Documentation     

Business Proposals Legal Disclaimers Policy Manuals Style Guide Design Template Design

Content Management     

Single Sourcing File Version Control Document Naming Conventions Consistent Document Formatting Data Transformation

Web site Development   

Web 2.0 development Web content Web applications

Translation and Localization Services    

Software Translation Services Document Translation Services Localization (L10N) Testing Internationalization (I18N) Testing

Records Management  

Document Management Solutions Record Management Storage and Retrieval

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TWB Software Tools Expertise

Our technical proficiency in software and authoring tools includes:

Unstructured Content Development      

Microsoft Word® Adobe FrameMaker® Adobe InDesign® QuarkXPress® Adobe PageMaker®

Illustrations           

Adobe Flash CS4 Professional Adobe Illustrator CS3 CorelDRAW Microsoft-Expression Graphic Designer Xara Xtreme (Windows & Linux) CuteDraw Publisher3D(for animation) Sketsa SVG Editor (for vector graphics) Techsmith Camtasia Adobe Flash CS4 Professional Arbortext IsoDraw (technical illustrations for 2D and 3D)

Graphics/Animation     

Adobe Flash® Adobe Photoshop® Adobe Illustrator® Adobe Fireworks® Microsoft Silverlight®

Databases

XML Structured Editors

Multimedia/Authoring

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   

Epic FrameMaker+SGML X-Metal®

Macromedia Captivate Graphics/Animations   

Adobe Flash® Adobe Photoshop® Adobe Fireworks®

Online Help            

JavaHelp Adobe RoboHelp 7.0 HelpScribble WebWorks Publisher PowerCHM Doc-To-Help WinCHM HelpSmith 2.1.1(Windows) Fast-Help MadCap Flare Help-Server NVU Help

XML   

XMetal® Microsoft Word 2003®, Microsoft Word 2007®

CMS/ LMS  

Microsoft Access Microsoft SQL Server

Flowcharting      

Microsoft Visio iGrafx EDraw RFFlow Flowbreeze Smart Draw

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Sharepoint® Moodle Joomla, WordPress Media Wiki CMS Builder Author-it (formerly AuthorIT) Alfresco

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Adobe Flash® Adobe Dreamweaver® Microsoft FrontPage® Adobe Captivate®

Multimedia/Authoring/ Supporting tools             

Adobe Flash® Adobe Flex® Adobe AIR® Adobe Dreamweaver® Adobe Acrobat® Microsoft Silverlight® Adobe Authorware® Adobe Director® Adobe Captivate® Trivantis Lectora® ASP.NET JSP JAVA

Standards     

SCORM 1.2 / 2004 AICC W3C Section 508 QTI XML

Development and Publishing tools  

XSLT/XSL EDD

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Industries Served TWB services a wide range of technology and knowledge driven industries, helping them meet their markets better, these include:     

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Banking, Insurance and Financial Services Consulting and Business Services Defense, Aerospace and Hi-Tech Manufacturing Education and Learning IT, ITES

ITES/ KPO/ BPO Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Process Manufacturing and Allied Industries Steel, Ship Building, Construction and Aviation Telecom and Digital Communications

TWB has been the preferred technical documentation outsourcing company for:

The TWB Building No: 4062, 19th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Bangalore – 560008 India. Landmark: Behind Carlton Towers Telephone: +91.80.40741400 / +91.80.41256367

US Office: TWB 11701 Norwegian Wood Drive Austin, TX 78758

Telephone: +1.512.586.8357

Corporate Enquiries: corp@twb.in

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TWB_Position_Paper_Marketing and Advertising