Know Your Audience and Adapt Your Messaging
As a writer, my tone, word choice, complexity, sentence structure, vocabulary, length, format, title, font, introduction, and conclusion change depending on my topic and audience. Texting a friend is loose and informal, with minimal punctuation, slang, and abbreviations. Writing an article for this blog aims to be helpful with a semi-formal style. I sign off with my name and add a relevant title. Obviously, the subject is different, but so is the audience.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, we tailor our speech, writing, and actions in everything we do. You wouldn’t talk to a customer like you talk to your buddies. We match our surroundings, a veritable chameleon of conversation.
This adaptation is crucial to success, though. Without it, we would come across weirdly, ineffectively. Catering to our audience gives us a foot in the door and a bit of credibility.
If we can reach our customers where they are, we can tailor sales presentations with relevant information and skip the unimportant bits. The wrinkle is understanding how to present things; you need to know their needs, wants, and personality. What’s important to them? What stirs emotion in them? Why are they seeking a new roof? What drew them to you and your company? What is the problem driving them to make a decision? What features and benefits are they looking for?
Finding these out is a challenge but applying these findings to your sales and marketing efforts is the real deal.
One solution we’ve started testing as a company is a sales presentation allowing for changes on the fly. It gives customers some agency back as they share what’s important to them, what designs they prefer, and what fits their vision for the ideal roof.
We can tap buttons, open galleries, and skip slides, all to deliver the right message to the right audience. We don’t power through a script or cover every bullet point, we reach people where they are instead of dragging them along for the ride.
As we refine the presentation and help our salespeople grow comfortable using it, it only becomes more universal in appeal and specific in application.
Marketing has already gone through this process with targeted Google Ads and Facebook groups. Marketing tools make this easy, as you filter by demographic and tailor your ads accordingly.
Whenever I write articles, I like to include actionable points or thoughts worth rolling around for a while. While searching for this report, I found a great article with more points to consider.
The author adds three methods for nailing down your messaging:
- Pull from customer reviews
- Read online conversations about your product or category
- Interview people about their experience (read a report on this)
Reviews are great, but they vary in quality. Look for the longer ones, then read through the high and low points. If you have an extensive review base, you can even notice trends in the customer experience.
Reading online conversations can give you great insight into the public perception of your product category or, if you are a large enough brand, your company specifically. There are plenty of forums to check out, like Facebook, Houzz, or Reddit.
Finally, a customer interview gets your information straight from the horse’s mouth.
Whatever your efforts, adjust your messaging to your audience. The right words delivered the right way make all the difference. The wrong ones ruin your chances not only with that customer but their friends and family too.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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