too close to the problem

Too Close To The Problem: Effective Communication

Gee Ranasinha Communications

Sometimes even experienced sales or marketing people are too close to the problem to see the solution.

As I mentioned to you a while back, we’ve recently launched Qarto, a service that helps organizations streamline and automate the production process of localizing content.

I recently had an opportunity to place a Qarto press ad in a well-read local business journal, and so was required to supply the publication with artwork.

Since marketing is what we do, you would think that it would be the easiest thing in the world for us to come up with a concept that clearly communicates Qarto’s business value, in the vocabulary of the customer.

Except that it wasn’t. For some reason, we was having a tough time distilling the messaging. First versions of the ad were far too wordy, or were assuming that the reader had knowledge of the intricacies of producing translations.

The problem that we were having is the problem that you may be having: You’re too close to your business.

Can’t See The Wood For The Trees

If you’re anything like me, then you live and breathe your business. You know all the ins and outs of your market and industry, and could be called an expert in your field. And that’s the problem.

Then something happens when you have to describe your business, product, or service to someone who hasn’t been living and breathing your brand 24/7: You stumble.

Effectively, you can’t see the wood for the trees. Because you’re so intimately connected with every facet that effects your business and your industry, it becomes difficult to see yourself in the eyes of your customer. You know too much.

Fortunately, there is a cure: A fresh set of eyes. For me, that meant a call to a friend of mine in the UK who understood the concept of Qarto, but without knowing all the bells and whistles of the service. Over the course of a few days, my friend and I brainstormed and fleshed-out the concept of an ad and, before we knew it, the artwork was ready and sent over to the publisher.

Don’t Try To Market Yourself (Even If You’re In Marketing)

Creating messaging, positioning, and communications around your own product is almost certainly going to fail you. Even if your business is marketing – as ours is – it’s too easy to fall into the very same traps that we warn our clients to avoid.

Knowledge is a blessing, as well as a curse. Regardless of how well you know your business, your industry and your market, you should call upon a third-party to question the assumptions that you’re making – probably unconsciously – in your strategy, your messaging and your execution.

So, how was my ad received? Well, the publication comes out at the end of the month.

I’ll keep you posted.

About the Author
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Gee Ranasinha

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After founding a successful media production firm, Gee became worldwide director of marketing for a European software company. As well as CEO of KEXINO he's an author, lecturer, husband, and father; and one hell of a nice bloke. He lives in a world of his own in Strasbourg, France, tolerated by his wife and young son. Find out more about Gee at


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