IT Marketers – Five Reasons we aren’t listening

Paul Dunay over at Buzz Marketing for Technology wrote a post titled “Sin of Inclusion” that pointed me to some commentary on the IT Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) website.  The ITSMA article, titled ‘Why Our Customers Aren’t Listening to Us“, lists five reasons that customers aren’t listening to IT marketers.

These reasons are:

  • Customers aren’t just confused-they’re offended
  • Big prices + lack of specificity = frustration
  • The sin of inclusion
  • All marketing-speak sounds the same
  • Marketing-speak makes the purchasing decision more difficult

You aren’t surprised are you?

Everyone’s been subjected to ‘marketing speak.’ From my experience, when a vendor talks to me in plain English and addresses my issues without any marketing speak, they tend to get much more of my time than the marketing-speak that spews from some vendor’s mouths.

I’m sure there are many of you that have been involved in creating marketing-speak too. I have.  Think about the last time you were in a meeting and someone asked you how you could help them.  Did you speak clearly and simply and describe how you can help them?  Or did you revert to the marketing material you memorized?  I know there are times when I’ve reverted back to marketing-speak and within seconds I regret it.

The difficulty of marketing is that it is tough to use one approach to market your product/service these days.   I think this is why so many people/organizations are excited about using social media…you can target your message to your audience (theoretically).  Even with this ‘new’ approach to marketing, you’ve got to listen to your target market first, then market to them.

Regardless of what your message is or who you are speaking to, you’ve got to communicate in a simple, real and honest method.  In other words, have an Authentic Conversation with your customers/clients and you’ll find that they’ll listen intently….after you’ve listened to them.

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Comments

  1. Awesome post Eric. I agree – I want to talk to marketers/salespeople who use plain language as these folks really understand their product, and HOW IT CAN SOLVE MY PROBLEM!

  2. This is so true, it's scary! It's not only true to technology marketers, but to many business people in general. The "speak" has woven it's way into our every day language, which of course makes for more misunderstandings.

    I noticed this years ago when working as a PM for a major telecom company. We were experiencing huge material delays from one specific vendor. These delays were pretty much industry-wide, so projects literally sat for months waiting for the necessary materials to complete the project.

    Yet despite this, we had these status calls twice a week, where everyone basically said "no change on my projects because of the delays". I got so tired of it, I came up with about 100 ways to say "no change" using tech-speak.

    Clarity. It's not just a buzz word.

  3. Thanks Simon. There are marketers and salespeople that can talk to us in plain English but they are sometimes hard to find.

  4. Hi Gary – Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I think we've all been there…how many different ways to can you say something. Apparently, we can come up with a lot! :)

    I had a similar experience as you…delays from a vendor caused delays in my project. I had to find different ways to say 'delays due to vendor' and it got very tiring.

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