BBC Four is currently running a series on advertising called “Selling Power”, which is followed by the rather good “Mad Men” drama about advertising people in the 1960s. In “Selling Power”, someone (I can’t remember who) argued one of the benefits of modern day, Web-savvy, advertising is it enables companies get closer to their customers. I took that to mean it enables them to both get a better understanding of their clients and to create customer loyalty to the brand.
Well, I know another way of getting closer to your customers. It’s through your technical author. He or she stands as the customers’ representative, giving developers feedback on what works and doesn’t work. He then explains the product in the language of the user.
I wonder if any organisation has its technical authors in the same department as it has its copywriters and advertising directors?