Mostly the brochures are artistically laid out and presented whereas User manuals are like government notifications; lifeless, colorless, and totally technical. The brochure gets a bigger share of the budget as compared to the manuals. This indicates that most concerns treat potential users so much better than existing users and focus accordingly.
I think this should be another way round. I am not suggesting that marketers should stop making the documents to be given away for free. What I am saying is the focus should change. Users should get much nicer manuals, the way they want to, including online. That will help the potential users to buy and existing users to learn.
Paying more attention and better budget allocation to product manuals and support will help everyone. There is no harm in trying to get new customers for anyone, particularly those who are in the market for the short term but those who are here for the long term must refashion their focus and invest more in user manuals.
It is the user’s manuals that can bring loyal users, passionate users, and repeat customers, and can form the bases of what is called customers relationship.
Here is the simple philosophy: User manuals will get passionate users who will get others. The better users get at something (through learning from freely available manuals), the better the user experience. The better the user experience, the more likely they are to keep trying to use the same product. Nobody is passionate about something they are stuck with. Helping your users learn is the best way to up the odds they’ll become repeat customers.
Creating fabulous User manuals might be a far better use of the budget than creating fabulous ads and brochures. If traditional advertising and marketing are becoming less and less effective, why not move all that talent including designers, artists, copywriters, and others from before the sale to after the sale?
We suggest that better product manuals are used as promotional material.