Many Vendors Need To Refine Their “Who We Are Pitch”

Over the holiday weekend I started going through all of the speaking submissions for the Streaming Media West show and after looking at a few hundred submissions, it's clear that many companies in this space can't describe in one sentence what they do. I've always been one to believe that it's crucial that every person in your organization be able to deliver the exact same pitch on who you are and what you do as a company.

All organizations should be able to describe in one sentence, or within ten seconds if speaking, what their value proposition is. They should not have to fumble for words, have long drawn out answers or take up a lot of time. While many sales executives can do this, it's something everyone in the company needs to be able to do, whether they are a sales person or not.

On our speaking submission forms, one of the required fields is a brief description of who your company is and what they offer in the market. After going through a few hundred of these submissions and e-mails, it's clear that companies are either very good at this, or very poor. While I don't need to call out any companies by name, here are some of the pitches on what was submitted to us:

  • is a leading provider of world-class solutions for online video technologies.
  • the world's leading provider of online video solutions in the consumer space.
  • is a fully integrated, digital media technology company.
  • our solutions allow you to realize the potential of online video with consumers.
  • is a one-stop, turnkey provider of online video services and entertainment.
  • is a leading video services company powering the distribution of live online video for the web.
  • our company is committed to delivering content to consumers, along with more effective ways for companies and advertisers to promote their goods and services to this growing audience.

While many of these descriptions all use a lot of buzz words from the industry, none of them describe what exactly any of these companies do. What kind of provider? Hardware? Software? Video platform? Are you focused on marketing? Technology? Content creation? All these descriptions leave me with more questions that answers.

However, not all of the company descriptions are bad. Many are quite good and it seems none were in-between. Half were really on point, half were pretty poor. As an example, here is just a small sample of company descriptions that were very good:

  • Visible Measures is the independent third-party measurement firm for Internet video publishers, advertisers, and social marketers.
  • Similar to online photo sharing sites, Motionbox makes it extremely easy for consumers to share high quality personal videos with friends and family.
  • Accordent Technologies provides enterprise-wide rich media communications solutions that enable world-class organizations to inform, train and engage their audiences online.
  • Sigma Designs is a leading fabless provider of highly integrated SoC solutions that are used to deliver multimedia entertainment throughout the home.

The point of sharing this is not to look down on any company but to make vendors realize that they need to refine their pitch. If you can't describe what your company does and what they offer in the market without someone having to go visit your website to figure it out, then the messaging needs to be corrected. This principle is no different for any other industry sector and certainly applies to any business in any market. Take a look at your company description, deliver that message to others inside your organization and ask for feedback. Is it clear? Does it use too many marketing terms? Are you using buzz words just for the hell of it? How does it compare to your competitors?

Once you think you have it refined, share it with others in the industry, run it by your customers and see what the feedback is. Always keep refining the message and make sure that everyone in your organization can always deliver the same clear, concise message no matter who they are talking to. Back when I worked at Globix, everyone in the company had to stand up in front of others and was tested on giving the company pitch, even if you didn't work in the sales organization. It's great practice for all employees and in today's economy, everyone in the organization is in sales one way or another.