Tech Talk Intimidates Buyers

from the talk-about-what's-useful dept

No surprise here, but AMD has discovered that tech jargon intimidates buyers, and makes them less likely to purchase. They don’t want to know about acronyms and oddly named technologies. They just want technologies that do what they want – and they want them to be easy to understand and easy to set up (sounds like my concerns about RSS would match up with the average consumers’ as well). Of course, the study was done by AMD, who has their own biases – as evidenced by the fact that they joke about how “megahertz” should be removed from the dictionary for confusing buyers. AMD is a bit biased in this – since, for years, they couldn’t keep up with Intel in the megahertz race (whether or not that actually impacted computer speed – customers believed it did, and would often look down upon AMD’s products for being “slower”). Also, it’s a bit unclear how this study was done. They state that only 62% of people properly identified what MP3 was – but don’t say what the remaining 38% thought it was (and if they were close). While I agree that confusing jargon is no good for the industry, this study might not be the most unbiased one out there.

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Comments on “Tech Talk Intimidates Buyers”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Technify The Culture At Large

We should have “Printer Networks: the game the whole family can play”. We should have “NCSE Certified Barbie”, who wears cargo pants, carries a folding tool with a hundred instruments on it, and a boyfriend of indeterminate gender named Kendra who has a huge anime collection. Fairy Tales should be modified to include more references to TCP/IP packets.

August Jackson (user link) says:

Tech talk is a mixed bag...

Mike touches on the AMD bias of the study, so I’m probably re-stating the obvious here.

Tech talk is a mixed bag at least from a marketing perspective. Intel and PC manufacturers actually benefitted significantly from the clock speed measurements that lead most PC adverts. That allowed at least one round of consumers moving a bit more quickly to buy new PCs based on the perception that higher clock speeds meant the PC that they had bought the year before had become antiquated.

The downside of this for the likes of Intel, Dell and Gateway is that it is a case of “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Folks easily confused by clock speed went out and bought a PC that was two or more times as fast expecting it to be two or three times as useful or their Internet to run at a comperable multiple of the clock speed of their previous PC. When that did not come to pass the reality behing the jargon really hits home.

I will offer up two disclaimers on my comments here. Firstly that they are completely anecdotal and secondly that I’m a Mac lover and hterefor have always been very annoyed by the emphasis on clock speed myself.

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