Tired. Boring. Words. In italic. Has the tagline outlived its usefulness?

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Vince Bitel

VP of Creative Services

Recently I read of the purported demise of the tagline in BtoC marketing. Understandable, I thought, since I doubted the need for someone to translate for me why an ice cold Coca-Cola from the TechTarget refrigerator would be satisfying. And, I mused, would it even be the same reason for someone else?

Is the same true in B2B? Tagline? No tagline? I’ve noticed few taglines in our customers’ website headers, and some oddly appear only in the “about us” section. So the debate going on inside my head: is it because it’s irrelevant in 2013, or because the web design committee deemed the real estate more valuable for functionality that can be measured using analytics? Not all of us compete with the advantage of having a global marketing footprint the size of the world’s number 1 soft drink, or the flexibility that comes with it. If brands ever hope to gain significant market share, they rely on the built-in marketing reach of a tagline to cement the notion of who or what they are in minds of their customers and potential customers.

So what about TechTarget? The first question asked: does our business need to communicate a clear differentiator that’s not totally obvious to everyone our brand comes in contact with? A resounding yes! A few years ago, a bunch of us who’d been with the company for years sat around the longest conference table in the office, with sharpened pencils and lots of scratch paper, and deliberated: what 5 or so words could capture the essence of what TechTarget is? Communicate what’s in our DNA? Express that our programs are not a commodity, but have unique value? And go beyond our previous tagline’s declaration of our commitment to ROI for our customers?

NetApp, Go further, faster
FalconStore, Defining Data Protection, Again

Sidebar: Over the past 30 years, I’ve witnessed a lot of marketers attempt to create a tagline using what they think is a magic formula: A. Few. Words. With.Periods. Maybe a long sentence that rambles on but never brings a true differentiator to life in any compelling way that would be quick and easy to understand when seen perched below their logo. Or worse yet a phrase that negates the purpose of a tagline and commoditizes their value: we make stuff. But I’ve also seen successes in capturing unique value: NetApp’s “go further, faster” and FalconStor’s “defining data protection, again.” Both capture what they are well beyond the features of their products. And they are believable because they communicate what’s in their DNA rather than a perishable marketing message.

Back to the previous scene: pencils points getting worn down, we at TechTarget mapped our DNA, and one strand stood out: our commitment to providing technology professionals with only in-depth, purpose-driven content that helps them do their jobs, which naturally transforms into a valuable benefit to our customers’ programs.

That’s why we’re “TechTarget, where serious technology buyers decide” and we can’t imagine our website header without it.

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