“Marketing provides the product content that customers read first,” writes Harry Miller, a technical editor at Microsoft. “This content introduces customers to features, to actions, and to parts of the user interface. Customers will then expect to find those things in the documentation, using the terminology they read in the marketing materials to search the contents or to check the index. For example, if the Web site says “Publish your documents using the Simple Deploy wizard from My Servers,” users will look for documentation about publishing, about the Simple Deploy wizard, and about the My Servers section of the UI. Does the documentation use those same terms? If any names were changed by the product team or by marketing, were the new names communicated to everyone in time to use them consistently? Even though the marketing team and the writing team generally move in different circles, each needs to pay attention to what the other team is doing.”
In this nine-minute podcast, Harry Miller interviews Michael Hernandez, product manager for Visual Studio for Microsoft Office., about the importance of assuring a common vocabulary between marketing and technical communications.