To give him his full title, The Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, is well known, perhaps infamous, for his use of language within the House of Commons. His, presumably, intimate knowledge of the processes and procedures within parliament give him an incredibly wide vocabulary to call upon when he talks to the house.
But just because he has this vocabulary doesn’t mean he has to use all of it. Whilst, I hope, most of his fellow MPs know what he is talking about, many people outside of parliament will listen for a short time before either:
a) Scratching their head, wondering what he is going on about, before switching channels, or
b) Think that he is being deliberately over-complicated to try to appear intellectual.
In a very truncated version of his words, “I put it to you that he is making a mistake”.
The question is: Are you doing a Jacob Rees-Mogg? Are you using terminology and language within your marketing activity that your target audience and prospects don’t want to hear? If you are, you run the risk of them doing the same thing – stopping listening!
Every industry has its own language. Its own terminology that people use internally so that they all know precisely what they mean. Acronyms can be found alongside this language so it is shortened, whilst complicating it further for anyone outside of the industry. Some people even write a book to help others to understand what everything means.
Drop the Jargon
The problem with jargon is that only one small group of people actually knows that it all means. For others, it is hard work, confusing and unnecessary. If you are using the jargon from your industry within your marketing, you are not giving your target audience what they really want to hear. They want to know that you understand and can talk about three things:
1. Their needs, issues and problems.
2. What success looks like.
3. Evidence you can deliver success.
Long gone are the days when your marketing could talk about the features of your service or product. You can no longer expect your target audience to then work out how those features will help them.
If you are not talking about their needs and problems, your competition will be and that’s where your target audience will go. As a client of mine describes it, every story has a dragon. This dragon need to be identified before a solution can be discussed.
Does your marketing make it clear to your target audience that you understand their needs, their dragon, or are you concentrating on talking about your business and what you do?
We carried out a short survey, across four different industry sectors, to see what their website content focused on. The website content of 60% of IT support companies, 55% of accountants and 85% of lawyers started with them, rather than their target audience. When we looked at marketing consultants in London, 60% of their websites focused on their business rather than the needs of their target audience. If you are in one of those sectors and you concentrate on your audience, you’ve probably got a good head start!
A solution to their problem delivers success. Whether that is better analysing complex data to deliver workable information, fixing a laptop so users can work flexibly and remotely, or increasing web traffic to drive more leads, you have to talk about what your target audience wants. They want success. They will buy success from you, if they believe that you can deliver that success.
Your marketing needs to talk about how you help your target audience to achieve the success they are after. Some of this will be a description of what you do or sell, but very little. Concentrate on talking about what your audience wants to buy – success.
Some people are great at talking the talk. It is the evidence you can put in front of your target audience that proves you are able to walk the walk too!
Evidence, in the form of testimonials, case studies, videos or imagery, is key to helping your prospects believe that you are the right company to deliver a successful resolution of their problems/needs.
The aim of your marketing is to generate leads that turn into new clients for your business. By talking about the client, about their needs and proving you can deliver a successful solution, you are reducing the perceived risk in the minds of your prospects. Buying from a new supplier is always a risk. Your marketing needs to reduce that perceived risk to the point they are happy to talk to you. Your sales activity, supported by your marketing, then aims to reduce the perceived risk even further so that they believe you can deliver on your promises and will sign that contract.
So don’t be a Jacob Rees-Mogg. Use the language of your target audience so you help them truly understand that you can help them.