Is Your Marketing Speaking My Language?


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Want your marketing to be more effective? Speak your target market's language!

“Talk to people in their own language. If you do it well, they’ll say, ‘God, he said exactly what I was thinking.’ And when they begin to respect you, they’ll follow you to the death”.

Lee Iacocca


Lately I’ve been making a number of enhancements to my blog, and something really jumped out at me. While the upside of blogging for small businesses is tremendous, unless you’re a regular blogging enthusiast, blogs can be downright intimidating to the intended end-user! And as a marketing coach and consultant, I can honestly say that marketing that’s intimidating is not good marketing! And yes, blogging is marketing! Don’t get me wrong here though – I happen to love blogs – I use a blog to market myself and my own business. As a matter of fact, I firmly believe that a properly implemented and targeted blog can be an extremely powerful magnetic marketing vehicle. The problem with great tools such as blogs mainly lies in their implementation. In my opinion, many bloggers tend to get caught up in what I call ‘blog-speak’, a language that is somewhat foreign to the non-blogger. RSS feeds, trackbacks, permalinks, news aggregators… what exactly do these terms mean? And why should your target market care? Unless your target market is mainly savvy blogging enthusiasts, speak to them using a language they understand. For example instead of just putting a cryptic icon representing an RSS Feed or just the words ‘RSS Feed’, how about adding a few more descriptive terms next to the RSS icon saying something like ‘Subscribe to this Blog via RSS Feed’. It’s just a subtle suggestion but at least your target market will have a better chance at understanding that that’s a way they can subscribe to your blog.

Don't Make Me Think

This brings to mind a good book by Steve Krug titled, “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability”. If you have a web site or a blog and haven’t read this book yet, I highly suggest you pick it up and browse through it. The title alone is so powerful… Don’t make me think! Always look to make your target market’s experience easy, lucrative and fun! Make them think too much and they’re out of there – they’ll just go somewhere else where they can have a better experience – regardless of how great your content is. So in closing, I hope I’ve urged you to take a look at the language you’re using in your marketing – remember to speak the language of your target market! Don’t try to be overly cryptic or cute with your marketing. Especially, don’t worry so much about being hip with the lingo – I’m not saying don’t use it… go ahead and use it where it makes sense… but the bottom line is make sure that you’re connecting properly with your target market. Paint a crystal clear picture for them so to speak so they know exactly what it is you are trying to say and what you want them to do.


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