In the financial markets, ultra-low-latency is just another over-hyped marketing buzz word du jour. The term, and its equally flogged cousin cloud-computing, is tossed strenuously around in the public domain during webinars, at trade shows, in press releases and to analyst firms.

Like their old friend, straight-through-processing, these terms only mean something if they can be demonstrated in a live trading environment and replicated across different market scenarios. If the narrow performance claims trumpeted by overzealous marketing folks can only be produced in a very specific laboratory setting in zero gravity and during a full moon, they are useless in practical terms. While minimizing latency is CRUCIALLY important to high-volume trading, arbitrage, real-time risk management and related pursuits, you don’t need sub 10 microsecond latency if you aren’t holding short-term positions in equities, options, futures, ETFs or currencies.

In simpler terms, why would you need a Porsche engine in your lawn mower if your yard is half an acre?

If a company really does have a solution that is ultra-low-latency or insert-your-own-hype-y-marketing-term-here and its buying audience truly needs the solution to remain competitive, then its story should be told. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to use buzz words. Here are some “dos and don’ts” when it comes to slinging marketing hash in a crowded marketplace:

  • DO leverage new media tools when you have a catchy marketing slogan. You have a better chance of being heard if you exploit the channels that your constituents prefer to use. Use blog posts, networking groups, LinkedIn and Twitter to cut a larger marketing swath and reach more eyeballs.
  • DON’T turn the announcement assembly line up to full throttle just because you want your buzz words in six press releases a month instead of one. A publicity campaign is only as good as the impression it leaves on the public and the marketplace gets saturated very quickly. Repetition is not the key to success if you’re just repeating hype. Spend cycles promoting an idea or a theme energetically and then move on to create a compelling new term. Introduce new ideas, don’t rehash old ones.
  • DO brief industry analysts on your proposed catch phrases BEFORE you put them into the public domain. Analysts are forced to swallow vendor marketing BS every day and they’ll tell you if your terminology resonates or if it’s time to pull the plug.
  • DON’T try to get attention from the press with another company’s buzz words. If your marketing descriptors aren’t tracking credibly to your own products and services, even the most succinct and evocative verbiage won’t yield any results for you.

If you don’t have the appetite to go it alone, may I suggest you hire a communications agency to help guide you through the process? Have I mentioned that Aspectus happens to be the extra-cuddliest, super-smartest, most ultra-high-performing PR firm in this space?

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