Earlier this year, we ran a B2B marketing study to understand the impact of clear communication on healthcare decision-makers. Our study clearly showed that B2B decision-makers not only prefer plain language — but that it inspires them to act. We found:
- 80% of respondents prefer marketing content written in plain language.
- 73% would schedule a demo after reading plain language materials, versus 44% for non-plain language materials.
- 68% would download a white paper after reading a plain language teaser, versus 22% for a non-plain language teaser.
What do these findings mean for B2B marketers in 2024? We asked experts to weigh in on the importance of plain language.
Interested in seeing the research first?
1. Healthcare leaders benefit from plain language
There’s a reason why 4 in 5 healthcare decision-makers in our study preferred easy-to-understand marketing materials. Clear marketing serves physicians and busy leaders better than technical, heavy writing.
Healthcare decision-makers have their hands (and minds) full. Clear, easy-to-understand writing saves them time and makes problem-solving easier, according to Elizabeth Stricker.
If marketers use clear language to talk to healthcare leaders, they are not talking down to them — they are saving them mental work in what is already a mentally overloaded day. The takeaway: Using clear, engaging language gets healthcare leaders’ attention, saves them mental work and makes it easier to solve problems.”
2. But clear communication isn’t only important in healthcare
We surveyed B2B healthcare marketers in our study, but our findings may have a broader application. Some truths about healthcare leaders extend to executives and decision-makers in general: They’re busy, spread thin and looking for the best solution to their problems.
Clear and actionable language can be helpful for everyone. As Andy Crestodina at Orbit Media says, “It’s just how brains work.”
That’s huge! This really is important research, and I’m not sure that it’s limited to healthcare. It’s just how brains work and should apply across categories.”
3. Plain language differentiates you in an AI-writing world
As AI continues to expand, unregulated, it brings up a fair concern — how long until our inboxes or social feeds are taken over by AI writing? (Or is it already happening?)
You may have heard that Merriam-Webster announced “authentic” as 2023’s Word of the Year. But our team at Aha Media believes authenticity of content will be even more significant in 2024. Hear from Ahava:
4. Customer-centric communication converts — and competes
The most important reason to commit to a plain language approach in 2024? It works.
There are other studies on readers’ preference for plain language and at least one usability study that targeted highly educated readers. But our study focused on the effectiveness of plain language for that audience.