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The Eight Minute Wonder

June 9, 2009

3338225167_5630103f4a_mPrior to setting up channelcentral.net I was employed by Computacenter in a variety of Product Management and Marketing roles. Of all the ideas and projects that I was involved with two stood out and made an actual difference to that business. One was called the Virtual Assistants: a term now more commonly associated with job share home-based PAs. The VAs were a forerunner to iQuote. The other was a range of a dozen or so Sales Education Guides called The Eight Minute Experts.

The Eight Minute Experts were created for HP and the target audience was Sales people working in Resellers. Why Eight Minutes? The inspiration for the title came from the length of time it took to smoke a cigarette (I don’t smoke by the way) – you could read the guide in the same amount of time it took (or waited in Reception for a meeting). The imagery was a break from the norm: pictures of computers, data centres or business people in office atriums were replaced by hippies in fields (honestly).

They were fairly consistent in approach: who would buy, why demand existed, business issues to be solved, technology explanations, margin opportunities and complementary solutions. I covered PDAs, Notebooks, Workstations, Wireless Networks, Digital Imaging, Colour Printing, Print Consolidation, Blade Servers, Racks, Storage Area Networks, Tape Drive Automation…

They were very popular – the formula was just right and nobody was doing anything similar. Anyone could understand them as they assumed no level of knowledge – anyone could be an expert…in 8 Minutes. When points were explained I tried to use references that people would understand: for depreciation I used Fiat Punto!

I still offer copywriting services through channelcentral.net. Case studies, sales guides, training guides, brochures, technology articles. More on that later.

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