Why Taylor Swift is the Savviest Marketer We Know

The dog days of summer have never been felt more acutely on our planet than the past few months. Record scorching temps, wildfires. And I’m hearing data that many companies are still not actively treating climate change as a business threat. Sigh. Seriously?!

Not to mention the sizzling hot economic buying power of women. Taylor Swift and Beyoncé fans are boosting local economies and Barbie became the first movie directed by a woman to break a billion dollars.

But can we pause for a moment to acknowledge something I’ve said for a long time?

Taylor Swift is a marketing genius.

Not only is she a gifted singer/songwriter, she has cultivated one of the most successful, sticky, and empathetic brands out there. She is a marketing machine, yet never loses sight of her craft – or her fans. The chef’s kiss to her extraordinary summer blitz? She made a surprise announcement that her concert will be launched in theaters as a film experience for those who want to see her again, or those for whom the concert was not accessible (either due to location or cost)

Damn, girl. BRA-VO!

Here are 3 reasons why Taylor Swift is one of the savviest marketers around:

  1. She knows her fans

Empathy is her watchword and she knows exactly what her fans want, need, value, and how they want to feel. Everything she does is designed to delight – from encouraging Eras tour makeovers to friendship bracelets to her vulnerability and authenticity in both her songwriting and on social media, she is tapped into exactly what her audience wants. And she’s constantly topping herself – like releasing the movie version of her tour.

  1. She knows the music business

Taylor writes a lot of her own songs, and retains many rights other artists do not enjoy – but back in 2019, her old record label was sold and she lost the rights to her master recordings. Which meant anyone who wanted to use her songs had to ask Scooter Braun for permission and pay him a licensing fee. So she sidestepped him and has been re-recording all her old songs again, branded as Taylor’s Version to ensure she still retains control over those newer cuts. Boss move.

  1. She knows social media

Taylor is the queen of social media savvy. Her posts achieve crazy engagement from fans, and she posts so much “bonus content” there about her life, behind-the-scenes moments, and first-to-know-news.  But she would not achieve this level of fandom if she simply used social media as a one-way billboard, promoting her records and concerts. She has created a hub that invites engagement, where fans feel like they are visiting a friend, and are part of a community bigger than themselves. She talks about her feelings, her process, her heartbreaks! And she loves using social media to surprise lucky fans, making the others stay glued to her every word in case she may come knocking on their door next! Taylor has created an iconic image, yet her fans feel she is so approachable. A hard balance to achieve!

The lessons here?

  • Know your people – adopt an empathetic mindset and really get to know them.
  • Know your industry – understand how your business operates within the ecosystem.
  • Know your channels – leverage channels to connect and engage, not just “sell.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images, article

What is a Brand Story and Why Does My Business Need one?

A small business owner asked me the other day, “What do you mean by brand story? Is that website copy?” 

I said yes, sort of. But it’s bigger than that – it is not just one sentence, but it’s also the vibe and value promise of your business. Your brand story is not simply what you sell. It’s your purpose and what you believe. How you’re different. What value your offerings ultimately give to a buyer.

Porsche and Honda both make cars. They do NOT have the same brand story. They are not selling to the same people. Customers buy from them for very different reasons – not simply “because I need a car.””

Your business, no matter what industry you are in, needs to understand this.

How did this brand strategist get into the empathy advocacy game? Simple. Empathy is the key to marketing and sales success.

Marketers get this. You can’t influence or persuade someone – or build right-fit offerings for them – if you don’t understand them.(TWEET THIS!)

You must peek into their lives, see things how they see them, and ensure your solutions meet those needs, address those goals, and fulfill those aspirations. Or quite frankly, they should not be doing business with you.

Sometimes empathy gets a bad rap when used by marketers – or sociopaths – to manipulate. If it is used in that way, that’s just lazy marketing in my book. Marketing should be about elevating the truth of your story so the right people can find you and achieve their goals or solve their problems.

Empathy has always been the key to successful advertising. It’s never about the product, is it? 

A 1995 Nike campaign that always stuck with me, which I mentioned in my first book Branding Basics for Small Business, was called “If you Let Me Play”. The ads showed bright-eyed young girls playing sports and each would in turn say,

“If you let me play sports

I will like myself more;

I will have more self-confidence,

I will be 60 percent less likely to get breast cancer;

I will suffer less depression.

I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me.

I will be less likely to get pregnant

I will learn what it means to be strong.

…If you let me play sports.”

This was not just about the features of their shoes or athletic clothing. It was about empowerment. About safety. About strong mental health for girls. 

They got me, as a just out of college woman back then. They knew exactly what engaged and connected with me. They knew who I wanted to be and what I wanted to stand for. And they likely grabbed loads of parents who felt exactly the same way.

That’s empathy in marketing. Understanding the goals, desires, fears, values, and needs of your ideal audience and creating products and services that speak to them. But one step further, a good marketer has to be able to communicate that they understand.

That’s where brand story comes in.

Many business owners and even marketers can speak eloquently about the features of their products. But they might not be as connected to the story they can share that will inspire, engage, and influence their ideal customers to join their community and stay loyal to the brand.

Sometimes this is because we get so caught up in jargon, we don’t speak in the way our customers actually talk. Which is the cornerstone of empathetic marketing! Sometimes, they think customers want to hear önly the facts”- when research proves that we often make purchase decisions because of emotion but justify that decision with logic. Yes, even our most skeptical, data-driven buyers do this because….WE’RE ALL HUMAN! Don’t believe me? Check out my podcast episode with behavioral economist Melina Palmer on all the research proving we don’t buy for the reasons our conscious brains tell us we do. We respond to other cues we are not even aware of! 

But what to say? How to say it? How do we even know what our ideal customers really want and need?

New Course to Help You Craft Your Brand Story! Brand Story Breakthrough

As some of you know, I have shifted from pure brand consulting to focusing on empathy speaking and training.  So  I’m unveiling what I hope will be a signature course to help marketers, business owners – and even agency professionals such as PR and design experts who need to help their clients nail their brand story and may not have a good process.

Check out  Brand Story Breakthrough, a 5 week digital course, along with weekly live coaching with me for feedback and guidance. This is my way to help people at scale uncover the magic of their brand story and build all the tools for their messaging toolkit so they can attract their perfect customers, stand out, and grow their revenue and impact.

And the root of the entire course and process? You guessed it. Empathy.

Empathy is too often what is missing from messaging. I once had a corporate VP client who disrespected their target client base, calling them arrogant, entitled, and not interested in the data. You cannot successfully market your offerings to those who need it if you despise or disrespect them! Sorry, not sorry.

If you’re struggling to get attention from right-fit customers you know you can impact, I would love, love, love to help.

Please check out details right here and see if it’s right for you (There’s even a free masterclass video on that page that will be super valuable for you) 

PS, this process works whether you sell products or services, B2B or B2C, non-profit or for-profit. Because it’s about flexing your empathy muscle and communicating in a way that resonates with the right people and ignites them into action. Not to lie to them. Not to deceive.  But to connect with them in a genuine and value-driven way.

Bottom line: We are all human. And if your mission is to have an impact and offer genuine value to customers or clients, you deserve to reach them and they deserve to know you exist for them. Marketing done right  is not sleazy. It’s a way for you to let the people who need you the most find you. Get excited to share your story. If not you, then who?! ChatGPT can only get you so far. First, you have to emotionally connect with the people you serve.

Photo Credit: Social Cut on Unsplash

What Do You Do? How to Nail Your Elevator Pitch

What does your organization do?

Why does this question strike fear into the hearts of new entrepreneurs? And let’s be honest, many professionals and even markteres who can’t quite capture what they do in a clear and compelling way.

My friends, we call the proper response to this question  the Elevator Pitch. 

What is an Elevator Pitch?

You may have heard this term before but might not know where it comes from. It comes from finding yourself trapped on an elevator ride with an investor or C-suite executive and you have about 30 seconds (an elevator ride) to explain what you do, why it matters, and what is your ask. You are pitching them to capture interest so they want to learn even more.

We use this term Elevator Pitch now as the response to questions like, “What do you do?” Or, “What does your company do?”

There’s a lot that goes into your Elevator Pitch though:

  • What do you do? How are you positioned? Is it a product or a service? Are you defining a new category?
  • Who do you do it for? Your ideal customers. What niche do you serve?
  • Why does it matter? Your core benefits or the results that your organization helps your ideal customers achieve.
  • What is the tone? What’s your brand vibe – what are the right words for this response?

And as I always like to say, perhaps even add on a piece of flair at the end, like a tagline or provocative statement. After all, your should easily be able to say your Elevator Pitch out loud – even though many of us use it on our website.

Call it an Elevator Pitch. Call it a Core Value Proposition. Call it a Brand Positioning Statement. Call it what you like. But if you can’t clearly and compellingly articulate it to people who ask – you, who should understand the value better than anyone else – you won’t be able to attract the right clients and customers.

And that’s tragedy because you may very well be the solution someone is seeking.

See? Communication does matter more than you think! Being able to communicate your story clearly and compellingly can make or break your organization’s success. (TWEET THIS!)

How to Craft an Empathetic Elevator Pitch That Gets Attention

If you’re struggling with crafting your Elevator Pitch, please download my free guide The Empathy Edge Brand Positioning Template to leverage the power of empathy to craft the right brand statement that attracts your dream clients. You’ll get:

  • 6 strategies for crafting your empathetic brand statement
  • 18 examples to spark your creativity
  • 3 fill-in-the-blank templates you can customize and make your own.

Through my books, workshops, and client engagements, these tools have helped thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses stand out and attract their dream clients and customers.

Download your free guide now right here and make sure you hit all your 2023 goals – and attract and impact all  the right people!!

Photo Credit: Sung Jin Cho, Unsplash

What is a Brand Positioning Statement?

What is a Brand Positioning Statement? Why do you even need one?

Your business or organization can only grow and attract attention if people understand what you’re all about. While there are no official figures, according to one source, in 2021, the average person was estimated to encounter between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day.

There’s a lot of noise out there, ya’ll!

To get attention, cut through the noise, and ignite action, we must be able to quickly and clearly explain what we do, who we do it for, and what benefit they get from us.

This is where a Brand Positioning Statement comes in!.

A Brand Positioning Statement is a super useful brand tool that speaks directly to your dream clients or customers in the language and words they understand. A Brand Positioning Statement quickly, clearly, and succinctly describes your business to someone so they can understand if you are right for them or someone they know, and compels them to learn more. The brand positioning statement is also something called your Core Value Proposition and can form the basis of a memorable elevator pitch, too. So you can see why this is a fundamental tool in your brand and marketing toolkit. 

A brand positioning statement encapsulates your Brand Strategy into a clear, compelling statement that can inform many other marketing tactics, such as a tagline, press release boilerplate, or advertising copy. 

This statement tells me the essentials about your company: what it is, how it is positioned, the target audience, the three core benefits it provides to me as a customer, and even clues me into the voice of the company.

But how do you create a good brand positioning statement?

Well, you know I’m going to say this: It requires empathy! Empathy for your ideal customers: their needs, wants, goals, aspirations, and values.

The tendency is to describe our businesses by talking about us. What we sell, provide, offer. I, I, I, I, I! It’s not about us. It’s about our customers. 

But to get a customer’s attention, we need a keen understanding of seeing the business from their point of view: What do they get from our products or services, from their point of view? Also, known as benefits

How to Craft an Empathetic Brand Positioning Statement

If you’re struggling with explaining the value you offer or if people are not quite sure if you’re the right fit for them, download my free guide The Empathy Edge Brand Positioning Template to leverage the power of empathy to craft the right brand statement that attracts your dream clients. You’ll get:

  • 6 strategies for crafting your empathetic brand statement
  • 18 examples to spark your creativity
  • 3 fill-in-the-blank templates you can customize and make your own.

Through my books, workshops, and client engagements, these tools have helped thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses stand out and attract their dream clients and customers.

Download your free guide now right here and make sure you hit all your 2023 goals – and attract and impact all  the right people!!

Photo Credit: Cristina Gottardii, Unsplash

3 Surefire Ways to Attract Ideal Clients and Customers

Is this true of you as an entrepreneur, coach, consultant, marketer, or business owner?

 “We do amazing work and offer tremendous value.. I just wish more people better understood what we can do for them and how much we have to offer. It’s so hard to get people to pay attention, and I hate sales!”

Yep. Been there. We all have.

The solution is not to spend more money on marketing. It’s not to buy more ads or discount more deeply.

The answer is to critically look at your brand story and message and ask yourself, “Is my brand, story, and message infused with empathy?” (TWEET THIS!)

People respond when we feel we are seen, heard, and valued. Think about the last purchase you made where you really felt good about yourself. You felt like the sales email was written just for you! You felt like you had finally found your people. You felt like this purchase really said something about you and the way you want to work and live.

That’s what empathy in your brand can do! To connect with the right clients and customers (and I mean, right-fit, not inquiries, clicks, and follows from loads of people who will never buy from you or those who won’t get the value they need), we need to infuse more empathy into our brand.

What does that mean? Here are 3 tips for making your brand more empathetic and attracting the attracting the right clients and customers:

  1. See things from the client or customer point of view: Empathy requires you stash your ego for a while, and clearly see what your clients get from what you do. It’s not about talking only about what you offer, sell, or provide – but how does the client benefit? What do they actually get, achieve, or feel? This also means tactically go through your own sales process, audit customer support, have someone read through your website and test links. Make sure the experience is delightful, not disappointing!
  1. Speak your client’s or customer’s language: I can talk until I’m blue in the face about “brand strategy” but when clients don’t know what that means, I have to adjust my narrative. Yes, brand and marketing are two different things, but sometimes, I have to speak their language to help them understand the value.. It’s the difference between saying what you think they need to hear, and actually being the voice in their heads so they say, “I need that now!”
  1. Start with love: OK, this might be a bit hippy dippy for some, but hear me out. When you start from a place of genuine concern, service, and care, the money will follow. This is true whether you are a solopreneur or a marketer at a large organization. One past corporate client really despised his target customers, describing them in derogatory (and untrue) stereotypes,  and it was clear he didn’t understand their needs at all. That shows up in your messaging – and your reputation. You can be strong and firm and still be compassionate. Be of service, care about their success, show compassion if they are dealing with bad stuff in their lives – and adapt your policies and communications to be more human.

What Does Empathy Look Like at Work?

We all agree more empathy is a great idea, yes? Companies have grand plans to create inclusive cultures and we as leaders take empathy workshops to strengthen that muscle and boost innovation, collaboration and engagement.

But what does empathy look like at work? Like, in action at work? And how can we avoid slipping into unproductive sympathy when we make those attempts?

When expressing sympathy, for example, you might say something like: “I’m very sorry for what you’re going through.” Empathy, however, sounds more like: “I understand how you’re feeling; please know that you’re not alone.”

Here are three examples of what empathy looks like at work and how it differs from falling into the sympathy trap:

Sympathy Play: “Oh, I feel bad for my colleague in her wheelchair! That’s just awful, poor thing. 

You think you’re being nice, you think you’re being empathetic. Instead, you are making assumptions that your colleague is unhappy and “less than.” Her life may be amazing but you have made all kinds of assumptions. While sympathy might feel good to you, it diminishes who she is and what she can contribute.

More empathetic: Does the site we’re considering for our team meeting have access ramps and elevators? Are our restrooms ADA compliant? Are our tables and desks the right height for her wheelchair to comfortably fit? Empathy is seeing things from her point of view and being proactive. Thinking ahead.

Think ahead and focus on proactive adaptation, not pity, to increase inclusivity and exhibit empathy at work. (TWEET THIS!)

Can we find a new location or change out/adjust our office furniture? Maybe a ropes course is not the best team building idea. Let’s ask her out to lunch and find out how she is able to drive with us – is her car fitted to her needs? Let’s drive with her and ask her or research on our own which cafes are ADA accessible. 

Sympathy Play: “The new hire has autism so let’s be sure to be extra nice to him and not give him too many taxing projects he can’t handle Also, I’m gong to speak v-e-e-e-r-r-y-y-y slowly to him.”

While this new colleague may need some accommodations due to how he best interacts with others, communicates, and learns, assuming he can’t handle his job is insulting and doesn’t help him learn and grow in the role. Stop making assumptions and instead get to know how he best operates. Neurodiverse people often have skills that make them extremely valuable in the workplace as a result of, not in spite of, their neurological or developmental disorders Assuming you need to speak to someone because of your limited knowledge of his reality is also not winning you any charm points. 

More empathetic: Have an honest conversation with your new colleague and get to know him. Share that you know about his neurodiversity and want to support him. Autism is a broad spectrum. Ask him what types of projects he enjoys, and how he best works, learsn, and communicates. Empathy comes when you then adapt appropriately to enable him to be the best version of himself at work.

Sympathy Play: You feel really bad for a new mom returning to work who is feeling flustered, overwhelmed and suffering from a bit of brain fog. But that’s where your support ends.

More empathetic: if you’ve been a new parent, you can say “I understand how you’re feeling right now. You’re not alone so please let me know how I can best support you.”  If you’ve never had kids, you can try to put yourself in her shoes and  say, “I can imagine what you’re going through right now. I’m here to listen if you need to talk. You’re not alone.” Save your judgment and pity and reach out to take action instead!

When you notice the subtle shift from sympathy to empathy, that’s when you can truly create an inclusive culture that welcomes all types of people and helps them bring their best selves to work every day.

Here’s a great video from a Brene Brown talk that amusingly shows the difference between empathy and sympathy.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Gain an Empathy Advantage: Global Workshop

Furious customers and failed business launches. Dysfunctional work teams. Workplace inequity. Partnerships abandoned out of fear, projects destroyed by misunderstanding.

Almost every problem that exists in the business world can be traced back to a single, common origin: Lack of empathy. (TWEET THIS!)

When we are unwilling to place ourselves in someone else’s shoes—unwilling to talk, listen, or understand another point of view—we remain paralyzed. Instead of finding solutions, we repeat the same mistakes. This impacts our brand reputation, team productivity, customer experience and organizational performance.

Our digital world does not let us off the hook in showcasing this deeply human connection. In fact, savvy consumers today demand that brands do more than ever to connect, engage and earn their loyalty. Companies and leaders have to be more authentically empathetic in everything we do if we want to keep customers, gain market share and thrive.

Empathy is not just good for society. It’s great for business and a true competitive advantage. But what does that look like in practice?

So glad you asked! Please join me on February 17 for a unique 3 hour global workshop like no other

Branding expert, best-selling author (any my own brand mentor) Marty Neumeier and his business partner, Andy Starr created the Level C Masterclass, a certification program for the next generation of brand professionals and are now offering Artisan Workshops:

“The Artisan Series of workshops presents accomplished practitioners guiding you through focused deep-dives into the nuances of brand. They’re brilliant thinkers, bold makers, and demonstrated leaders in core disciplines, and we’re joining forces with them to bring the power of difference-making to you.”

And they invited me to facilitate Empathy Advantage on February 17, 2022!

Learn how you as leaders and marketers can amplify empathy through your work, create a more empathetic brand experience and bring your organizations along with you to create a better world.


  • How to make the business case for empathetic practices that proves bottom-line benefits and market advantages to skeptical CFOs.
  • How to gather useful customer insights and turn them into personas that better inform who they are, what they want, and what they aspire to be.
  • How to craft richer stories and experiences that speak to emotion and logic to ignite action and loyalty.
  • How to create mission, vision, and values statements that serve not just as internal motivators, but as external magnets that attract exactly the right people to your tribe.

This interactive workshop will be held online via Zoom. Network and learn from other brand leaders, marketing experts, business leaders, innovative designers and other renegades who are changing the rules and putting people and purpose first in order to lead to profit! from across the globe. Sign up right here, right now  and hope to see you on the other side!

How to Craft a Brand Story that Stands Out

How to Craft a Brand Story that Stands Out

Do you have a brand story that stands out and attracts the right clients? A brand story that just nails it for your business?

Here’s the test. When you talk about what you do, do people immediately go, “I need THAT!”?

If not, I’d love for you to enjoy this free masterclass video to discover the elements of a compelling brand story – and see what your own story might be missing.

I have met so many amazing entrepreneurs over the years with big dreams and great ideas. They have so much value to deliver with their coaching, consulting, services or products.

But they just can’t seem to attract more clients. It’s heartbreaking to me. Especially since it’s not a quality problem. It’s more often a storytelling problem.

Sometimes a story doesn’t nail it because

The message is too product focused and doesn’t connect emotionally. People can’t understand how what you do maps to their own goals and aspirations. They can’t “see themselves” in what you offer.

Or, the message isn’t clear

When we’re too close to all the information, when we know all the ins and outs, we tend to throw too much at people – and we leave them overwhelmed and confused.  They’ll seek out a competitor they more clearly understand.

Or, “My business has evolved”

Things change. Did the last year not teach us anything? What was true about what you do may not be true today. You may have shifted offerings or products or markets. And your old story will of course not be attracting that new audience.

Nailing your breakthrough brand story is the cornerstone to more demand for your business. (Tweet This!)

Want to learn some A-ha’s about how to have a brand story breakthrough and engage the right people? 

I created a fun little 12 minute masterclass just for you. It’s free. Get ready to take some notes!.

Spoiler alert: The key to a great story that engages and inspires people to action is empathy. 

Empathy is the understanding of another’s experience or situation. So the key to attracting customers is empathy at the heart of your brand story 

  1. When you show empathy for a customer’s situation
    • They believe in you
    • They feel like you understand them
    • They subscribe to your list
    • They become a part of your community
    • They HIRE you! They BUY from you. YOU don’t chase them, they chase you

THAT is the magic of empathy. And that’s what makes a brand story a BRAND story.

Check out my free video Masterclass right now

After you view it, you can also learn about my newest course, Brand Story Breakthrough to see if it’s right for you. But no matter what, you’ll get a lot out of the free masterclass!

And did you know? Red Slice has been recognized as one of the best branding companies in California on DesignRush.

How to Write a Good Sales Page

How to Write a Good Sales Page

Writing sales copy is hard. If you’re trying to write sales copy.

I prefer to think of my sales page as a story. A story customers want to dig into, one that fulfills them. One they are moved by. (TWEET THIS!)

Thats means, you have to think of your sales page as more than just “the facts.” It’s best to think about what your sales page story needs to accomplish.

Here are 4 questions your sales page copy needs to answer to be successful and give your customers what they really want:

  1. What do they BELIEVE? What do they need to believe? Empathetic marketing requires you to understand your ideal customers. What do they currently believe about the situation which you product or service helps? Do they struggle with manual processes? Do they find instructions complicated? Do they lack confidence in themselves? What is their core belief? And then….what do you need them to believe? They should believe that there is a better way, a streamlined solution, a healthier option, a more reliable partner. 

Ensure your sales page evokes not just what they currently believe but gives them an A Ha! about how your work changed or shatters that belief.

  1. How do they want to FEEL? With that change in belief comes a change in emotion. Will they feel more confident, profitable, organized, capable, joyful, driven, accomplished by what you have to offer? 

Ensure your sales page copy reflects a future vision for how they will feel about choosing your offerings. Whether we admit it or not, as humans we often buy based on emotion and then use logic to justify our decisions.

  1. What do they need to KNOW? Now it’s time for “just the facts, ma’am!” What is the program? How much does it cost? What will I get? Who else has it helped? What benefits will I enjoy? How does this all work?

Ensure your sales page copy clearly lays out exactly what someone gets with your offering and what they can expect.

  1. What do they need to DO? They’re on board! You won them over. Now, what’s next? What’s the clear call to action? Enter their information? Swipe their credit card? Book a discovery call? Attend a webinar?

Ensure your sales page copy precisely informs then of what you need them to do next to engage or purchase. Try not to give them a million things: Limit it to one clear next step they can take. You’d be surprised how often this step is missed and then people can’t buy, donate, volunteer because they don’t know what they are supposed to do next!

By making your sales page more of a story or a conversation, and covering these four bases, you’ll be able to have the impact you want to have, make sales, and activate change! 

By making your sales page more of a story or a conversation, and covering these four bases, you’ll be able to have the impact you want to have, make sales, and activate change! 

HT to Alexandra Franzen who was the first to teach me about the Feel-Know-Do formula, that I’ve built upon!

Photo Credit: Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com

How to (and How NOT to) Market to I.T. Professionals

Ah, the poor IT professional. Be it developer, database analyst, director of enterprise architecture, or heck, even the CIO, they are recipients of the driest, most boring marketing and messaging I’ve ever seen.

Coming from tech, I actually started my brand consultancy due to a frustration with tech companies not talking to their prospects like they were human beings. We throw jargon at them, robotic phrases that no one ever says in real life. We “stick to the facts” because everyone knows “Tech buyers are skeptics! They don’t want any BS, and will see right through it!”

True. But who the heck determined that writing like a human being, with conversational language and even the occasional sense of humor, made others skeptical?

I hear this time and again with many of my tech brand strategy clients. They are sometimes so scared to say anything human or unique, constantly shouting the rallying cry of “They are skeptical!”

Skeptics don’t hate a conversational human tone or a bit of light humor. They hate lies. So tell them the truth – claims you can back up. Marketing should never be about lies but should always elevate the truth of your story (that’s a different rant). But do it a human way.

Guess what? IT buyers are human beings. Yes, flesh and blood. They love their families. They enjoy a good Will Farrell movie, they may even in equal doses cry at a wedding (gasp!), or get out on the dance floor for the Chicken Dance. They binge on Netflix, bake sourdough bread, and play Legos with their kids on the floor.

We have to stop assuming that IT buyers leave their emotions and personalities behind when they get to the office.  (TWEET THIS!)

Humans buy for both logical and emotional reasons, and often use logic to justify the emotion.

So here’s what I do: I conduct qualitative customer interviews, MacGyver style, so that it’s not just me simply telling the client to be more human in their brand marketing. The customers actually tell us what they want to hear!

Some things I’ve heard from these skeptical, serious, no BS IT buyers:

“Everything marketed to us is so dry! I like the occasional funny memes. They stand out!”

“We want our tech partner to understand we have serious business problems to solve, but they could also lighten up and talk more conversationally on their website.”

“I would love for them to lighten up in their marketing – I would respond to that. Their people are so personable and fun  – why does their marketing sound like it was written by robots?!”

“The product is so innovative, I wish the marketing emails could be, too!”

Please, save these poor IT buyers from a life of jargon-filled websites, a litany of feature-function vomit, and such a serious, formal tone. They are humans. They want to be inspired, provoked, sparked, and moved like the rest of us.

  • Lead with empathy and get to know your customers as human beings
  • Inject some personality into your copy. Get creative and yes, perhaps whimsical, with your marketing campaigns (if that suits your brand)
  • Ditch the jargon when you can (of course speak the industry language, but be discerning)
  • Write like human beings talk – on your website, in your emails, in your white papers. Ask and echo back.
  • Stop writing customer-facing marketing like you are presenting to an analyst. Pleasing Gartner is fine – but they don’t buy your product. Remember who does.

Remember, B2B buyers are humans, too

Want some help revamping and refreshing your brand story to be more empathetic, connective and human? Let’s see how we can work together to make that happen.

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