Yes, I’m way behind in my binge watching. (Don’t even mention Game of Thrones!)
But I was struck by a situation Hank found himself in on an episode I just watched from season 2.
In addition to being an all-around, grade A jerk, Hank is a bigot. So he’s shocked to see a statuette of the patron saint of Mexican drug dealers on a colleague’s desk. And he’s surprised to learn that his colleagues are all fluent in Spanish. As one of his new officemates tells him, quoting Sun Tzu in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy as yourself, you’ll fight without danger in many battles.”
And here my simile breaks down a bit, since we really don’t want to think about our prospects as enemies and marketing as war, but give me a little latitude, if you will.
As DEA Agent Vanco points out, the more ways you can think like your audience, the more likely you’ll be to connect with them.
The first place to do this is on your website. Quite literally, if your audience speaks Spanish, your website better be in Spanish. More broadly, your website needs to be more “you” and less “me.” That is, it can’t focus on you, your company, your products and services, or your needs. It’ needs to focus on your audience, the problems they’re trying to solve, their needs, their audience, their business.
One of the two most common errors we see are in the ratio of mentions of “you” vs. “me,” so that’s a great place to start a review of your website. Review the copy and edit as necessary. You may find some simple copy edits are all you need. Or you may need to rethink entire pages of your site.
The second common error we see is the site’s organization, particularly the main navigation. If the first thing on your main menu is “About Us” you’re doing it wrong. Because as I’m fond of saying:
Your prospect doesn’t care about you.
Your prospect doesn’t even care about what you do.
Your prospect cares about what you can do for her.
If the first thing you’re asking your prospect to look at is your history, your mission, your vision, your values, you’re not speaking their language. All of that will be important, but isn’t important yet. They’ll care about your years of experience and impressive college degrees – but only after you’ve given them a reason to care. That reason is your ability to help them address their issue.
Once you’ve convinced them of that, they’ll be looking for ways to justify and rationalize their decision to work with you. That’s where your experience and process and everything else comes in.
Other ways to speak your audience’s language is to join them where they already meet. What trade shows do they visit? What social media channels do they frequent? What publications, digital and print, do the consume?
Answer those questions and you can meet them on their turf, in surroundings that make them comfortable enough to perhaps consider you one of them.
From there, you can address the issues they’re facing and make the most of the opportunities your marketing efforts create, hopefully with a lot less violence and drama than Hank and his team face as DEA agents.