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What's the most overused work in technical marketing?

Would you guess "collaboration"? "proven"? "open"? "scalable"?

Nope. In my view, "solution" is the most overused word in technology product marketing. Why? I've identified two main reasons, which I'll describe later. But, first, a confession: I have contributed to the solution epidemic.

I've actively marketed a product with the word "solutions" in its name (Sabre Business Travel Solutions), and I've referred to my company's products as "solutions" as well.

However, a couple of years ago, when I received a press release from a new partner and realized that "solution" was mentioned 17 times, I diagnosed the epidemic and began my research.

Behind the Epidemic

There are two main reasons for the "solution epidemic."

The first is lack of knowledge and understanding. Technical marketers either don't fully understand the technology or cannot succinctly speak about their products or services. Instead, they refer to "solutions." Many times, they miss the opportunity to explain to their readers (or prospects, customers and media) what the product is and what it does. It is hard enough to get your products in front of your target market, so why blow it when you get there? Tell your readers exactly what you have.

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Wendy Gibson is the Chief Operating Officer for Skywire Software (www.skywiresoftware.com).