Call it whatever you like but we all find ourselves using different language or terms depending on the situations we are in or people we’re surrounded by. You could be catching up with a friend and talking about their job and using terms that relate to their job position. For example, if they are a social media manager, you might ask them about the latest social media trends or any new platforms coming out. Doing this can help the conversation flow, plus, you can learn a bit more about what they do and whatever industry they are in. While this might seem like an interesting example, this relates to businesses and their messaging. Sometimes businesses use language and marketing messages that do not resonate with the people they most want to connect with, their ideal target audiences. Messaging alignment with customers is important.
No matter the industry or business, you are providing a product or a service that people want. The goal is figuring out how to communicate your products and services in terms and phrases that resonate with your ideal customer. Another way to think of it is talking like your customers think- so you are speaking their language.
What Does it Mean to Speak Your Customer’s Language?
Speaking your customer’s language means paying attention to the words you use and the tone and voice used with it. Much of this comes down to terminology and how you communicate. Are you overly technical in your communications? Are your communications too simple in the fact they don’t speak to any parts of your product or service? Another part of this is who your audience is. If your audience is technical, allow yourself to take on that voice. If you are an IT company and are speaking with an IT representative or software developer, it might be safe to use the more technical verbiage because they understand it! In the alternative case, if you are speaking to someone from the C-suite, it is better to speak to the return on investment of using your product or service as that is what they are most likely wanting to hear about.
Speaking your customer’s language also means not overloading them with a barrage of industry-speak in an exaggerated attempt to prove your industry expertise. It’s essential to not let your message get lost in a sea of acronyms or technical jargon. We often become so familiar with our products and services that we lose sight of the terms that prospective customers are using to describe them.
Looking for ways to ensure that you have messaging alignment with your audience? The easiest thing to do is just listen to them! Your customers are out there talking about their business challenges. Take note and think about how to incorporate that into messaging and marketing tactics.
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1. Read industry publications related to your customers and understand how situations are described.
Whether it is through certain key terms or strategies, make note of all things that are relevant and could be useful for your messaging. Their needs are important, so touch base and ensure messaging alignment on these key points.
2. Attend customers’ industry events and listen to the phrases and words used to describe challenging situations.
What better way to grasp what matters most than to attend an industry event? With the multitude of people that attend these events, it’s most likely they are experiencing similar challenges and speak to almost all of them. Again, pay close attention to the phrases and terminology used and capitalize on that in your marketing message.
3. Monitor current and potential customers on social media.
Besides going through their profiles, it can be useful to look at industry hashtags. These will dive into all users, most likely from the same industry, that are talking about the same topic. Exploring these profiles and pages further will give even more insight into challenges, important trends and more.
4. Join LinkedIn groups pertinent to your customers’ industry.
View the discussions and words most used to address needs. LinkedIn, the most used social media platform for B2B industry leaders and marketers, is a valuable place to gain key customer and industry information. In the same way you would look at current and potential customers on other social media, you can use LinkedIn the same way. LinkedIn groups also give you the power to potentially directly interact and follow those associated with the industry topic.
5. Broaden your knowledge by reading customers’ blogs, articles, discussion boards and more.
Similar to reading industry publications relevant to customers, reading content directly from customers, and potential customers, is also of great benefit. This can help you ensure there is messaging alignment across marketing assets.
Reach Your Customers with the Right Messaging
It’s instrumental to build marketing messaging, strategies and more on and around current and prospective customers. Want to create brand messaging that stands out from the rest? Check out our Brand Messaging and Positioning Course. With interactive templates, on-demand sessions and the opportunity for one-to-one coaching, this course is designed to help your team create brand messaging that resonates with audiences and more.