Communications – A Few Tips to Cutting Through

It’s 6:00am on a Monday morning, you’re at the airport, reading a newspaper – an analogue tool in a digital world. What stories do you remember when you put the newspaper down?

I recently tried this exercise and in no particular order here are the topics of the stories I remembered:

  • Home renovation – probably because we are doing one right now
  • The Australian dollar – I’m about to go to New Zealand
  • The refugee intake in Australia
  • Taxation reform
  • Local government elections
  • The NRL finals

Imagine you are a marketer, how you would try to market to that eclectic mix! In a world of tailored content it is always going to be highly challenging to market to everybody on every level with every story. But what you can do is focus on the customer and write for their needs not yours. This will make a story resonate with your customers and potential customers far more than your company singing it’s own praises. Here a few short tips:

  • Use a customer example – case studies are great, particularly those that show the whole story, don’t be afraid to mention the challenges and how you overcame them. This makes a story real.
  • Do your research about your customers. Invest in research about your customers’ challenges, engage with them, speak with them and tailor communications from a basis of real knowledge. A lot of our successful work in customer communications comes from a position of real knowledge about their customers. You can only change the way people think and act if you understand the why.
  • Drop the jargon, talk like a real person. Make sure this is reflected in every piece of materials that comes from your organisation. Have a clear tone and consistent messaging.
  • Keep listening. Engage regularly with your customers and learn from what they have to tell you.