Whether you’re a marketer or currently got some marketing work to be done, how often have you been advised to ‘speak human?’
It sounds insulting at first but really, why is this piece of advice so prevalent? Are B2B marketers truly so detached from the man in the street? Or put it in another way, is the common man so incapable of grasping the complex value proposition of B2B marketers?
Well, in either case, maybe the best way to really speak human is to focus on story-telling.
The practice of sharing stories, fictional or not, is something that dates all the way to the very birth of civilization. Myths were used to explain what yet couldn’t be explained. Historical events were embellished to boost morale and sense of cultural identity.
Without a doubt, it’s a form of communication that’s hardwired into human existence.
But despite that, maybe the challenging part is knowing how to tell a story without necessarily falling back to plain old lecturing. Technology can ease up the burden of team communication, crunching up results, and even sharing your content. However, that won’t substitute the creativity necessary to tell a story. It can foster it sure but you need to make sure it’s actually there. How?
- Take interest in the experience of customers – For marketers, you’re taught this as a default. But the reality could be far different (especially in technical fields like IT and medical technology). When you don’t fully immerse yourself in how customers use your product or what difficulties they have with it, you’re not even close to the information you need for a sale.
- Yes, it has to be entertaining – Part of understanding your customers doesn’t just lie in what problems they usually have. You also have to understand what touches on their emotions like humor and excitement. Do you have to be like Richard Branson? Maybe not. But do you need personality? Definitely.
- Stories symbolize and simplify – Both are the complete opposite to walls of texts detailing the technical ins-and-outs of your products/services. Whether it’s allegory or analogy, your marketing initiative should focus on delivering digestible pieces of information. It’s not just limited to your content but extends even to the very words you use when talking with prospects.
When the adage of ‘speak human’ is still a struggle for you, go read a novel or watch a movie. Notice how they cover all the basics of gripping an audience and drawing them into the world playing out in their minds. Machines only relay the images or print the words but it’s still a human speaking through them.