• Rachel Sales

Marketing: Talk to Me Like a Friend!

Here’s the scenario: You tell a friend about a campaign you’re running at work because you think that she’d be interested.

She nods and says, “Uh huh. Sounds cool.”

Turns out, she has no idea what you’re talking about.

She doesn’t understand your work lingo. She can't relate to the work. She literally cannot fathom what you’re doing for this campaign except sitting at a desk, typing energetically, and jumping up when you realize that you’re going to be late to pick up your kids.

It’s too bad, isn’t it?

Because if she understood the campaign, she’d be passionate about it, too. She’d exclaim, “Oh wow, that’s amazing!” She’d ask you a follow-up question. She may even want to get involved.

If you’re not getting that reaction, then this is your sign: You’re either speaking to the wrong audience OR your audience doesn’t understand you. She doesn’t understand what you offer. She doesn’t understand what’s in it for her. She doesn’t care.

But she might care if you spoke about the campaign differently. If you used language that resonated with her. If you captivated her attention with a story that tapped into her needs and wants.

The first step to successful marketing is speaking to your audience like you’d speak to a friend.

When you think about your audience, don’t think about some faceless, nameless people that you’re sure want what you have to offer. Instead, imagine that you’re speaking to a friend who you care about and who you know you can help. Put your friend’s needs first. Highlight how the campaign fulfills her needs.

Several years ago, I marketed internship programs in Israel. I thought they were amazing and I told everyone I knew about them.

One friend thought my passion was a little over-the-top.

Until she decided that she was ready for a professional change. That she wanted to travel. And continue to build her career.

I stopped talking to her about the internship program. Instead, I spoke to her about specific internships that she might find interesting. I didn’t tell her about hundreds of happy alumni. I told her about a few success stories in her professional field.

Finally, I spoke to my friend like a friend who understood her.

She was interested in it. She became excited about it. And she signed up.

The best kind of marketing is when you speak to your audience like a friend. Try it and let me know if it works for you.

Photo by Alexandra Novii on Unsplash


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