What language should Marketers speak?


I just read a great article on why marketers should learn the shared language of their organisation. The article is in Marketing Week and quotes two of my favourite Marketing commentators, Helen Edwards and Mark Ritson. (You can read the article here).

Edwards argues that developing a “shared language” within the business makes life much easier for everyone within the company – not just marketers – and “so much more expedient” to get things done.

While Ritson adds “People will look at you in a different way. Being able to have the ability to talk about net present value and talk about your decision-making progress in a quantitative fashion and look at risk – these things shine through. It will prepare you for leadership, yes, but it will make you better along the way because marketing isn’t an island.”

Edwards and Ritson are, of course, completely right about this and many marketers should take note. However, I would like to add another language that marketers, indeed all brand owners, should be fluent in. The language of the consumer.

It is an eternal puzzle to me how many marketers and even in-house researchers and planners, see the consumer through the filter of their own segmentations, classifications and avatars, think about consumers as rational, reasoning beings and seem to believe that their consumers actually take any note of product and communications changes.

Consumers are not rational, reasoning beings, they react emotionally.

While it is essential that the work that we do as marketers is evaluated at a quantitative level, that work – whether it is communications or product focused – needs to interact with the consumer at an individual emotional level.

Consumers are not rational, reasoning beings, they react emotionally to our communications and our products, unless we understand the drivers and significance of these emotional responses we are shooting in the dark when we change our communications or our products.

If we are not able to connect with our consumers at an emotional level, make product and communications changes that improve the consumers’ emotional response to our brands our progress will be stumbling at best.

It is important that marketers and brand owners can communicate with the rest of their business in language that they understand and respect, it is also important that they help the business to understand and communicate with their consumers in a manner that the consumers will understand and respond to.

Chris Lukehurst is a Director at The Marketing Clinic:

Understanding the connections between the consumer experience and emotional responses.