Are you talking the same language as your Customers?

Or are you talking industry jargon?  Many businesses think that because they are in a certain industry they must use industry terminology. The more you work within an industry the more you understand and thus modify the language to what is often quicker and more efficient. For example, acronyms and shortening of words. This is ok but not when it comes to marketing and communicating to your audience.

The problem with industry terminology is that people start to communicate in a certain way. For example, a case study in the Solar Industry is often used to sell the brand and the idea that Solar is a good thing to install. So, when these stories are written it will generally talk about the size of the system, how many “PV” Panels and what brand was used, what inverter brand and size etc. Everyone in the industry knows what that means and they get it. The thing is you are not selling your product to people within the industry.

External industry customers

We must remember that most of our customers are not in the industry we exist in. They are in other industries (or no industry for domestic consumers), so they may not understand what “PV” means. So why do we communicate this way?

Rob McKenna

It reminds me of Rob McKenna from the story “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, an ordinary lorry driver who can never get away from the rain. He has a log-book showing that it has rained on him every day, anywhere that he has ever been, to prove it. He was described by the scientific community as a “Quasi Supernormal Incremental Precipitation Inducer”. Someone suggests that he could show the diary to someone, which Rob does, making the media deem him a ‘Rain God’ (something which he actually is) for the clouds want “to be near him, to love him, to cherish him and to water him”.

So why is the scientific term given?

Is it because sometimes industries like to own certain things. A need for control. So, they create terms that only they can explain. If someone wants to understand the term, then all they need to do is ask the industry insider and all will be revealed.

We are marketers not industry insiders.

The better option is to make your industry understandable so that your potential audience will own the terms themselves. When you give someone a sense of ownership they start to take control and need little convincing that it is a good idea.

So, the before mentioned Solar story should go something like; “Customer X needed to save on their electricity bill and asked our business to find a solution. We suggested our product (solar) as it would be perfect for their situation. We are glad to say the Customer X is receiving good savings from our product.” No need to mention what technicalities were involved. If you do, then it is an afterthought not the lead for the story.

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