Monologues about yourself and the stuff you’re interested in is one surefire way of boring others to tears. We’ve all been there, seated at the dinner table beside the self-absorbed drone, just waiting for the moment coffee arrives to politely excuse ourselves. And communication works the same way. If a company just talks about itself, its potential customers will lose interest and look somewhere else. Thankfully, there’s a cure
If I only could give only one piece of advice on how to improve communication and marketing this is it: don’t be the kind of company that only talks about itself and what you find interesting. And this applies across the board, from talking about your products and solutions, to trends and challenges, and to innovation and research – try to talk about what you do in a way that your customers will find interesting.
In my many years working with content, I’ve come in contact with countless organizations that naturally want to talk about themselves from their point of view. I’ve seen this in different cultures; somehow this trait seems to be ingrained in us – and the consequences are visible.
One of the places this approach surfaces is when companies try to decide what topics to communicate. Often, areas that are considered to be highly interesting within the company are chosen over the things that are actually relevant to customers. Internal politics play a role here too; the marketing-by-committee disease that many company cultures encourage often ensures that nothing relevant is ever communicated.
Another consequence reveals itself in language and images. This insular thinking rears its ugly head in the form of acronyms, internal slang, sentences packed with references that only employees actually understand, and a focus on product images rather than products in use. On a side note, this kind of language often guarantees that content never will show up when a customer uses a search engine to find a solution to their problem – as people will more often than not use totally different search words.
Another symptom is publishing everything on the “first page” of a company website, as that’s where the really important stuff goes – right? Well, at least if you believe a website works like a brochure.
If you want your communication and marketing to actually have an impact on your target audience, make it relevant to them. Stop talking about all the stuff you think is cool. Focus on the value your solutions bring to your customers, how your products solve their problems, how your innovation benefits their bottom line – help your customers take their businesses to the next level.
So, don’t be a party drone. Stick out, say something relevant; say something interesting. Be the one person everyone wants to talk to. Say it your way, but make sure you are easy to understand.