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The sound of marketing

In marketing a great deal of time and money is spent on communicating; after all marketing is about connecting to audiences and "speaking" to them about your company, product or service.

Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of marketing will be familiar with the terms tone of voice, share of voice and the need to cut through the noise in the marketplace and be heard. In the digital world that we live in the plethora of tools and channels to communicate with your target market is almost endless, and endlessly bewildering.

But have you ever stopped to think about the sound of marketing? By this I mean what does your company sound like? Don't worry - this is not one of those esoteric exercises that gives marketers a bad name, where they focus on navel gazing and not the bottom line.

So what does your business sound like when it communicates with your target market? Let's break it down a little:

Written word. What sort of language do you use when communicating with customers? Is it clear and simple or does your sales collateral contain lots of technical terms and abbreviations?

Spoken word. When your employees speak to customers or prospects, what sort of words do they use? Is the emphasis on listening rather than speaking?

Images. Are the images that you use in your brochures and on your website engaging and linked to what your company does or offers or are they bland and instantly forgettable?

Video. In a multimedia world, what sort of videos are you sharing with your customers? Are you telling an engaging story to educate and entertain or did your prospect switch off after two seconds?

Audio. Please don't tell me Greensleeves is your music on hold! Maybe I am being flippant but if a picture paints a thousand words, sound enables your customer to create a picture of your company in their mind. Think about the accents they hear and the tone of the voice they listen to if they are waiting for their call to be answered.

What if you are selling abroad? Do you assume your French customers speak English fluently? Unless you are targeting ex-pats everyone knows that local marketing is done best when you use the local language (and it's more than a change of spelling for US customers).

The next time you are planning a new marketing campaign or launching a new product or service, think about the sound of success. As you map out your tactics think about what you want to say and how you want say it.

Look at tools such as videos, ebooks and podcasts as well as your website, email and trusty brochures which you use to converse with your customer. If you are marketing to a global audience think about translation services and using native speaking voice-over artists. It's not just about sign-ups, downloads and transactions, it's about hitting the right note with your marketing.

Copyright © 2016 Armin Hierstetter, founder of

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