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We’re trying to market to real people

If you’ve ever done a radio interview, you’ll probably have found it to be surprisingly easy if you had a reasonably experienced interviewer. This is because you can look at them and they know how to make the interview into a normal conversation. Where radio gets much more difficult is to chat ‘solo’. Making listeners feel like you’re having a conversation with them, without being able to see them, is a real skill.

The same principle applies to any marketing collateral, whether spoken (video) or – perhaps even more importantly – written. The key to success is to make a connection with the person listening to or reading your piece, without knowing who they are, where they are, or even when they’re reading it.

We’re trying to market to real people, just like us. It’s easy to forget this and end up with something robotic.

One of the best tricks I was told about when I first tried doing radio on my own was to bring a photo of someone into the studio and talk to them as if they were there. Interestingly, I found this worked better with some people’s photos than others.

The equivalent for marketers is of course to create a ‘persona‘ who we’ll target. Most experts suggest that this shouldn’t be a real person, but some sort of composite invention who represents your prospective customer. However, I rather like writing for someone I know well. It’s up to you of course.

Once we’ve got a target in mind, this should start to influence our content. We’ll remember that we’re creating something to be read or listened to by someone with a real life, who is most likely to buy our product or service if we can make that life easier. This can give us additional scope if, for example, we’re creating a ‘reasons to choose us’ piece. It’s not always about the speed or the price.