English as a Second Language

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to a truly unique and magnificent ‘foreign’ country, where the locals spoke only one English word, “no”.  Although I did my best to speak some tourist-type words, since the native tongue wasn’t Spanish (my default second language), ‘conversation’ was at a minimum.  My big surprise, though, was that in addition to not having a language in common, there were minimal attempts to communicate through other non-verbal gestures.  This made for a very ‘quiet’ trip and it also reminded me that effective communication is done with  a variety of ‘languages’.

This translates nicely into my recent experiences with technology solution providers.  Boy do they love what they do!  They can spend hours and hours explaining the nuances of their products.  Here’s the thing, though, generally buyers don’t have the level of expertise of experienced technologists; nor do they have a lot of time to become experts.  Thus we have a disconnect — the sellers and the buyers are speaking different languages (and you probably realize that this is not a challenge  unique to  sellers and buyers or technology-based products).  With these types of communication gaps, a translator becomes important, and in the world of business, that role is known as marketing.

Good marketers know how to speak in many languages — product developer-speak, sales-speak, customer-speak,  industry-speak, etc.  They listen, understand, and communicate based on the needs and knowledge-level of their audiences.  This insight translates into key messaging — starting with a high level, clear product description and value statement, based on industry pain points and your unique solution to address those customer needs.  Marketers also support their key messaging with a range of multi-media collateral such as a website, literature, blog, newsletters, etc, each with varying degrees of product detail and customer stories, to build up a strong and defensible product offering.

It sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised at how many companies  ‘speak at’ the marketplace rather than ‘communicate with’ the marketplace.  If you are not sure if your company is speaking the right language, give us a call.  We know how to communicate effectively to a wide range of audiences.

All my best, Aruna

“The way you communicate an idea is different than the way
you communicate a product.”
~Frank Luntz~


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