Challenge: Companies in B-To-B space will not win or lose based on product documentation
Rarely will a company succeed because its product literature is outstanding. Certainly, every company needs collateral that is clear, concise and informative, and this literature needs to answer questions from prospects that help them evaluate the solution when a sales rep is not close at hand. The collateral needs to reinforce key branding and messaging to leverage top line value propositions.
That being said, I have frequently seen companies over-invest time and resources into their marketing collateral, taking down inordinate amounts of time from product management teams. Furthermore, if the collateral structure is complex, it can require more marcom headcount at the expense of product management or product marketing personnel. The cycle gets worse with ongoing updates, maintaining print inventories, distribution, etc.
Start with the end in mind, when it comes to most things, including your approach to collateral. What does your prospect need in the form of print and online collateral to learn more about how your product will solve his or her issues? Developing fewer pieces to meet this requirement can eliminate future drag on your entire team to keep these up to date with product releases and printed versions.
Lesson: Keep your collateral to a minimum and make your entire marketing team more efficient.