It’s all about me, me, me…

salesHave you ever met somebody who doesn’t seem able to empathise with other people? They don’t ask questions about you, they just talk about themselves all the time. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

And have you come across companies who do the same? It’s usually smaller businesses who haven’t yet understood that marketing is about understanding (and empathising) with your target markets. That’s take’s listening rather than talking about yourself. ‘We are experts in…’, ‘our company knows all about…’, ‘our services are [add interminably long list]’, etc, etc. Enough, stop! This is like the person down the pub who regales you with a long and overly-detailed story about what they did and thought and felt, without first finding out if you’re interested.

People like talking about themselves, so marketing should encourage them to do that. It should ask questions rather than make statements, invite dialogue rather than propose ‘one size fits all’ solutions. It should engage rather than simply sell.

You would have hoped that the advent of social media would encourage more two-way communication, but from where I’m sitting that frequently isn’t the case. Have you noticed those business twitter feeds which seem to consist solely of sales-speak? ‘This is us, buy from us!’ ‘Here’s a product we offer, buy it!’ ‘Here’s another product, buy this one instead!’ It’s as exhausting as the woman down the pub (and, in my case, it is a woman) who hasn’t once, in all the times I’ve spoken to her, asked me a question about me.

So a question: does your own marketing engage or irritate? Do you have personal pet hates about how companies try to communicate with you? I’d love to hear your opinions via any of our social media channels. Or if you still prefer the good old carrier pigeon (we are based in Yorkshire, after all), 53°50’36.4″N 0°26’00.9″W should just about get you to our front door.