Tag Archives: clear communication

Fun with links: Communicate like Mr. T, Twitter as a Twool and more

There’s just too much great marketing news out there today to split it up into separate posts, so here’s a quick list of links for you to enjoy:

In the words of Mr. T, Mark at Business is Personal pity the fool (and business) who doesn’t communicate. Mark uses recent personal experiences with his cable company, movie rental store and bank to explain how thinking like the customer can pay off.

Marketing guru Guy Kawasaki explains how to use Twitter as a twool in an awesomely in-depth post today at the Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog. If you’re looking for more Twitter for business ideas, read this post.

Greg Verdino clears up some commonly cited, but unfounded social media marketing concerns in a post from earlier this week. Find out how B2B marketers are generating and closing leads through digital channels over at gregverdino.com.

Almost 70 percent of the time customers leave a business it’s because they don’t feel appreciated or valued. Take some advice from a recent post at Compelled to Market and use this holiday season to appreciate everyone who keeps you in business.

How do you clean up a 7-year old list with 2.8 million emails? Sounds like a daunting task, but according to DJ Waldow at Brontoblog, it’s actually quite simple. Read the post to learn how to clean up a messy email list in no time.

Watch your words: Keep jargon out of marketing

In a recent post at All Things Workplace, Steve Roesler shared a personal experience where jargon-filled communication ruined a business deal.

Roesler was screening two software vendors with demos build with only screen shots and the voices of those involved. He immediately cut one vendor out of the transaction, not because of the software functionality, because of how the vendor presented the product.

He appropriately refers to the vendors as “recommended” and “vendor we nuked.” Here’s how the pitch went down:

Recommended: “Tell me more about what you want to do with it so I can give you an accurate answer.” We did. Then we heard (and saw), “Here’s how you would do that. (Demo). What are some other potential reports you might generate?” We described them, he demonstrated how to do it, we watched, and the conversation continued.

Vendor We Nuked: (In a very deep, officious, voice): “Our platform offers configurable functionality. The back-end capability is state-of-the-art and clients have access to data entry. Of course, it is also designed for maximum security so you never have to be concerned that those without the proper passwords can ever access the information.”

By the time he was finished I expected to hear, “For English, press 2.”

I’m sure that Nuke-boy thought he was impressing us. Actually, he depressed us to the point of boredom. His software could probably do the job. The client didn’t want to have a long-term relationship trying to communicate with someone who responded in buzzwords and platitudes. He wanted someone who would work with him to build a system that could be operated and tweaked by anyone.

It’s easy to slip into jargon-filled talk when explaining your products and services. The problem with using terms that are only understood within your business is that only people within your business understand what your talking about and you confuse customers in the process.

Customers are looking to you to fix their problem and lead them in the right direction. Unless you’re dealing with another professional in your industry, jargon will only work to alienate and irritate your customers.

Today’s Lesson: Speak the customers’ language and avoid jargon in marketing.

Is your business sending a clear marketing message?

With everything you want to say to your customer, keeping your marketing message clear can be difficult. But …

“If readers don’t understand what you write, you might as well have written nothing at all,” according to Skellie at Copyblogger.

So, how do you give the customer all the information they want without muffling the message? Start with these tips for delivering a clear message:

  • Remember the three top enemies of writing for the web – metadiscourse, redundancy and pretentiousness.
  • Keep it simple. If your mom, kid or neighbor can’t understand what you’re saying, chances are your customers will be lost as well.
  • Talk directly to your customer. Using “you” in your message creates engaging copy on a personal level.
  • Use punctuation to bring attention to important information. Ellipses (…), quotes, and long dashes can help people read what’s important in short bites.
  • Keep it short. No one has time to sit around and read essays, give customers information in short, quick snippets.

Those at Human Markets recently sent a crystal clear lesson reminding us to keep our messages precise:

“Lesson for the wise communicator – the market for attention is frequently a cloudy distracted place. Clear signals and a bit of tailoring to the circumstances at hand frequently help interrupt the pattern.”