Mark Puppe

Mark Puppe







Businesses need to sell products and services, but they often consider advertising to be the best way to boost sales. It might help from time to time, but loyalty is more reliable than split-second attention. This doesn’t mean all advertising and marketing equates to waste, but neglecting language strategy and audience values does mean unnecessary costs and opportunities lost. So, what should you do?

Give your message merit - An effective language strategy is essential. Tailoring your messages to audience values will make the materials relevant, credible, and more likely to cultivate the loyalty needed to repeatedly sell products and services.

Avoid the advertising addiction - As a society, we’ve overdosed on marketing materials, been sobered up by easily accessible information, and become highly skeptical of pretty much everything around us. Flashy marketing materials might catch your eye, but you’re smart enough to know that appearance doesn’t determine value and a witty slogan isn’t enough to win your trust.

Build audience trust - We’re people, and people tend to be skeptical of what they don’t trust, and to trust things that reflect their own values. Messages built upon an effective language strategy are the most effective means for us to articulate audience values and motivate an audience to act.

Think like the audience - Would you rather clip a coupon because it’s pretty or according to its value towards a purchase? Would you buy a cool car on first sight or when its performance during a test drive and the reviews you read impressed you, too? Would you consider comments from a salesperson or friend more credible? Would you want a written contract or handshake to seal a deal?

I’m going to stick my neck out and bet that you chose options that actually serve or protect your own interests, reduce your uncertainty, and come from information you or a trusted source discovered.

It’s tricky, but it works. Figure out who’s in the audience, where the message goes, when to send it, what tool will distribute it, how many to send, and why it’s being sent. It’s impressive to see message impact and influence soar when people match a message to the audience rather than themselves.. Doing it for your products and services just might render the same results.

*Published by North Dakota Young Professionals, January 28, 2011.

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