What is it that you do again?
September 7, 2010
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Earlier today I wanted to find out what a supplier does, beyond the specific service that they provide to my employer. So I went to their website first of all, and this is what it says:
“X is a leading provider of actionable intelligence solutions and services for enterprise workforce optimization and security intelligence.”
I literally don’t know what this means. To be fair, the words “actionable intelligence” have a trademark symbol next to them, so that’s probably a brand name for a specific product rather than something that’s meant to be immediately understood. But “enterprise workforce optimization”? No idea. And I know what “security intelligence” might be, but I can’t put it together with the other stuff to make a coherent business proposal.
So I tweeted a truncated version of this statement to see what people made of it. @HighlandLawyer thought that “enterprise workforce optimisation” meant “We tell you which of your staff to sack”, which makes sense except that this company is in the TMT sector and definitely doesn’t do that.
So I clicked through the “find out more” link, and the front page statement is clarified as follows:
“Our solutions help organizations make timely, effective decisions for improving enterprise performance and making the world a safer place.”
No, that’s not helping.
So, I can spend some more time searching round this supplier’s website to find out what it actually is that they do. That’s not very hard, I suppose, but equally it’s not that hard for me to find a supplier who can tell me about their product in plain English.
Maybe I place a higher value on clarity than most people because it’s my job to write things in precise language. But then again, isn’t there a brand issue here? Shouldn’t visitors to your website be able to work out what you do with the minimum of cognitive effort (and clicks, for that matter)? And god knows what this kind of jargon does to their search ranking for people who use normal English for their search terms…