Marketing strategy is a fundamental part of what Underpin Marketing does. By understanding who you are, what your customers want from you, and why you do what you do, we can build a strategy that is focused, cost-effective and realistic. But it’s crazy how many people we deal with don’t put this one thing at the centre of their strategy.
Who are Underpin Marketing?
Underpin Marketing chose its name because so many marketing strategies are built without foundations, without a target market, and without an understanding of what that target market wants. Many companies will simply spend money on websites, advertising and content without underpinning it with evidence and facts. Companies will then see the no-evidence marketing they do as a failure.
This failure is not because all marketing is inherently bad or “fluffy.” The company effectively “bought a car, and set off, without understanding where they were going and what challenges they might find along the way.
The Car Problem
Imagine you need to buy a car for a series of Top Gear style challenges – only you don’t know what those challenges are. If you bought a supercar like a Lamborghini and the challenge called for you to drive to the top of Mount Snowdon, then your choice of car would be a failure. Is the Lamborghini a failure, or did the lack of information make you fail?
This is what companies are doing every day with their marketing. Before even deciding who their target market is, where they live and what those customers engage with, they have gone out and bought a website, leaflets, brochures and more – they’ve bought themselves a Lamborghini.
So how do we stop this from happening?
We need to enable companies to understand their target customers by using the amazing power of empathy.
Put Empathy in Your Marketing
Imagine being in a darkened room with 20 total strangers. To escape all you have to do is count to twenty, starting at one – but there are rules. You can’t say two numbers in a row, and if you interrupt each other, you have to start again. This is surprisingly difficult to do. Why? Because without the understanding we gain from other people’s body language, it is incredibly difficult to get inside the mind of someone else and anticipate their motivations, or their next move. It’s hard to empathise.
Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s something we use every day in our personal lives but something we rarely use when it comes to marketing.
If we got inside our customer’s minds and found out what they understood, would we speak to them in the same way?
If you look at the words that some IT, financial services or engineering companies use to describe what they do, you’d think they were speaking another language, and they are: Jargon. But it’s not just these technical industries that use Jargon – everybody does it.
Jargon is the enemy of empathy.
Jargon are special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand.
Companies use jargon for several reasons;
- They don’t know it’s jargon. Having been in their profession for many years, they understand the words they are using, so why shouldn’t others?
- It’s an easy way to communicate within your industry.
- They are trying to sound smart. Companies believe that customers want to buy from experts, and they are right. But confusing customers with complicated words can make you seem confusing and unapproachable.
Customers that are confused are less likely to buy. Emotional responses are so important to the buying process and the more assured and comfortable you can make your potential customers, the easier closing that sale will be.
Another thing to consider when using jargon in your business, is that you aren’t always speaking to the budget holder or decision maker. It’s always ideal to speak to the person in charge, but when you can’t, you have to create an advocate. An advocate is someone within the company you are selling to that can promote you to the decision maker on your behalf. By using jargon with advocates, you make their job harder. If they don’t understand what you do then it will be more difficult for them to deliver your message and close that deal.
The jargon alternative.
There is an alternative to jargon, that when employed can make your customers feel comfortable, while maintaining your expertise – “Simple English”
Explaining something in terms that everyone can understand is far more difficult than using technical terms because it requires the use of empathy. You first need to understand your customer’s motivations and understanding. Once you have this, you can tailor your “Simple English” approach to ensure that customers get what you do.
A Personal Jargon Story
Underpin Marketing is in the branding business. We love to brand things – creating logos, taglines and strategies.
When coming up with the half day course this article is based upon, I wanted to create a name for the system we use that combats jargon. We came up with some ideas, some good and some bad.
Eventually the irony hit me, in an attempt to combat jargon, I tried to create some jargon! So we called it what it is – “Simple English.”
And if we can fall into the trap of jargon, then anyone can. But take heart, if we can realise that we are doing it – then so can everyone else.
How Underpin Marketing can help
Underpin Marketing never likes to waste money. That’s why we believe in long-term planning and empathy-based, customer-focused marketing strategies. A genuine plan, that shows the destination and how we get there, is guaranteed to save you money compared to an approach that relies on gut instinct and the latest trends.
We also like to get to know our potential clients first, that’s why we always offer a free, no obligation, one hour consultation to find out more about your business. This free hour is not just for us to get to know you, but also for you to understand how we work, and whether you would feel comfortable working with us.
Who are Underpin Marketing?
With a degree in Journalism and Politics, and over a decade of public and private sector marketing experience, Underpin Marketing founder Lewis English understands that every company needs a good plan, and a good story.