Data sheets: not good enough, I’m afraid

Here’s something where we in industry might learn from consumer websites. Many of these found long ago that “reviews” (or at least more descriptive pieces) worked far better than dry spec sheets in selling products, or at least getting response. Yet your average industrial website continues to reproduce data sheets, and that’s it.

Now, of course you need to have data sheets on a website. Customers need them. But they’re not enough. You need to sell the products too. I suspect the real reason that products often get no more than a data sheet is because the website was put together by web designers who had no idea what the company’s technology was all about (sound familiar?), and quite frankly, it took so much effort to brief the designers that the company just handed them their data sheets and said “get these on the site, that’ll do”.

But it won’t do, really. And if you’re going to make a serious effort to climb up the Google charts and to get serious traffic to your site, a bunch of PDFs is not enough. Read Why Product Reviews Are Better Than Product Descriptions on the Marketing Optimization Blog for more inspiration. Maybe it’s inappropriate to “review” your company’s products in glowing terms on your site, but certainly a chattier, more enthusiastic description would do more justice to the people who worked so hard to create them.

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