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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Communications - Speaking your customers language

One of the delights of living in Edinburgh again, is hearing the English language spoken in a Scottish accent and readjusting to the colloquialisms that result.

The current summer exhibition at the National Library for Scotland, beautifully summarises this It not only shows how Scotland has been portrayed through the ages, but also how using local expressions might have rewritten the famous big screen one liners.

Often our working knowledge results in us speaking a different language to our customers'.  If you are an SME or even a larger entity launching a new product, the chances are your customers' won't search by product name or description. They'll look for what they need, using their terminology. Reflecting this, in your on and offline marketing, is a great way to build confidence and encourage your visitors to read/hear more.

Where to start
  1. Customer conversations. Note the words your customers are using and try to incorporate them in your marketing. Ask your sales team, attend events or simply talk to them.
  2. Google Adwords Research tool. A free and easy way to see which words and phrases are most popular when you're deciding on keywords
  3. Google Suggest. Similar to Adwords this helps you find related words and phrases for particular search enquiries
  4. Join relevant LinkedIn group so you can monitor the discussions for terminology, how people typically describe your product/services etc. It's also a great way to test ideas by participating in such groups, but that's another blog post
  5. Read your industry blogs. Not just the technical ones but especially the customer focused ones. They are likely to shape perceptions, plant words in the minds of your web visitor and generally provide a window on best communications
What you want to say to your customer may be very different from what they hear, so build your communications as you would a conversation. Think about how much a particular group already know about you. Do they need education, reassurance, guidance, a reason to buy? It's likely to be a mixture of many things, so tailor your outreach accordingly.

Haste ye back.