Translation Marketing

Jump of the CliffWhen you’re selling something, how do you do it? Are you keeping it simple or are you overselling?

In other words, are you using translation marketing or not?

In his post today, Chris Brogan discusses the sales cycle and where social media fits into it. Prospects, awareness, leads, customers and evangelists. All great stuff and well worth reading. But that’s internal talk. Yes, the aim is to take that internal talk and transfer it to external listeners.

But when you’re trying to grab these external listeners, are you talking their language or double Dutch?

Marketing seems to have gone through a metamorphis over the last few years. More are trying to be clever with their message – unfortunately, many are coming across as too clever and the message is being lost.

Nothing needs to be complicated. People by nature are simple. We like simple things. Confusion might be fun in a mystery movie or a game of Cluedo. But when it comes to businesses marketing to us, confusion just turns us off you and onto your competitors.

Yet it doesn’t need to be this way.

The Like Factor

Years ago, when I first got into marketing, one of my mentors taught me about The Like Factor. It was a pretty straightforward concept and one I’m sure was widely used. Maybe it still is today, but I’ve seen few examples if it is.

People are more comfortable when they relate to something. Personal experiences tell us whether we like something or not. So use that and turn The Like Factor into your own translation marketing so we don’t have to translate your message.

Compare these two messages:

  1. “It is important to manage the performance and availability of your critical Web applications to deliver consistently superior services aligned with your business goals. Meeting this challenge requires a new approach to application performance management, where IT becomes a strategic service provider and an innovation partner of the business organization.”
  2. “You know that feeling you get when you go out and you can’t remember whether you turned off the gas or not? We’ll be the guys that make sure your gas is looked after in your IT kitchen.”

They’re the same message aimed at the same people – IT managers. The first one is a marketing spiel given by an IT provider, the second is something I just came up with to use translation marketing.

You’re the customer. Which one would you relate to more? Do you prefer marketing talk or translation marketing?

Creative Commons License photo credit: greg321

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