Producing The Prattle Primer
2019/09/15 in Porfolio
TLDR: Prattle had awesome technology but was short on story. I put together a razor-sharp e-book that packed the firm’s USP in a gripping 24 tight pages that everyone in the company—C-suite to sales reps—relied on to communicate our narrative. It was a pillar piece, heavily influencing everything about the firm’s marketing and communications that came afterward.
Prattle was a data startup that was out to change Fed watching—the act of interpreting central bank communications—with AI. The technology was there, but a concise and compelling story? Not quite. After writing the book all about central banking and this technology for the firm and its founders, I proposed we write a new piece: one that clearly articulated what Prattle did and why people should care.
I broke the booklet into 3 chapters sandwiched between a no-nonsense intro and conclusion.
The first chapter introduced AI (specifically sentiment analysis), why it was important to finance, and why Prattle’s founders came up with a different take.
The second chapter was a brief history of central bank communications, why these institutions have become more open over time, and how they use the power of their words to influence the global market.
And the final chapter tackled the technology itself, explaining how it worked and why it was so unique.
I researched, wrote, and edited the entire Primer.
I also did the layout and design:
The Prattle Primer cover; all icons are my work
The Primer; top of TOC
First Chapter; top of page
The Primer quickly became the firm’s single most important piece of sales collateral.
It was a must-have for every prospect meeting, an obligatory attachment for early-stage sales emails, and conversion-driving content offer that took center-stage on the company site.
It was the seed of the company’s blog and newsletter, defined the voice of the firm’s content, and was part of the foundation of the brand aesthetic. From PR strategy to site design, it helped shape everything about how the company looked and talked about itself.
Prattle’s Director of Sales, Oliver Harriehausen, had this to say about my work on The Primer:
“The rise of fintech startups in finance, especially those serving up alternative data, has brought intense competition to traditional research and disrupted the way traditional research is created, marketed, and sold. Whereas traditional research is created on ubiquitous fundamental market data (macroeconomic data as well as corporate earnings), alternative data is created via algorithms, machine learning, and AI, topped with a touch of human supervision. This new process and the new products derived from this process were, until then, never before consumed, let alone discussed or written about.
In the early days of Prattle, the financial world was hungry for new data sources yet lacking in understanding and infrastructure to integrate into an existing process. As my colleague at Prattle, where sales and marketing operated as a wholly-integrated system, Alex was quick to identify a need to create The Prattle Primer, the most essential piece of early-stage collateral Prattle owns. By design, Alex takes the reader on a high-level journey to 1) understand, 2) contextualize, and 3) apply these novel datasets. He reduces a complex and abstract process to something tangible, believable, and less scary to adopt.
Running sales, my team understood that the only way to convince innovators and early adopters to buy our data was to build trust that our products worked and to have confidence in our process. The Prattle Primer did just that, and I credit Alex for explaining what it means for NLP-powered algorithms to analyze large bodies of text data, improve via Machine Learning, and use AI to run online, in continuous form.
I am incredibly grateful and in many ways indebted to Alex for directly helping my team close new business and bring aboard customers that understood what we did. An added benefit emerged for the company as a whole: Prattle now had a consistent narrative to describe what it is we do. This can’t be emphasized enough; The Primer was, in its own way, a self-reinforcing mechanism that allowed our business to flourish as the team communicated uniformly with conviction and consistency.”