While watching my kids play soccer years ago, I often heard the coach yell “Open Spaces! Pass to space!”
The instructions might not make sense, but on the playing field they were obvious: the coach was imploring the team to pass the ball to an area that was unoccupied by defenders.
Marketers of today can learn a thing or two from this philosophy. For as long as I can remember, companies have been told that they need to find ways to “break through the clutter” and “rise above the noise.” This generally involved brute force – “talking” louder, or more persistently – ideally in combination with clever campaigns.
But today’s hyper-noisy world demands new metaphors and strategies. In a crowded field, it is much better to find an area where there are no defenders. Said another way, instead of trying to compete with the din, and punch your way through, why not find and fill an open space?
There are many practical ways to market to open spaces. The beauty is that you can use these tactics individually, or combine them for even better results.
Please see below for the first tip, and I will share others in my next post.
Communicate Clearly when others are Confusing
Most industries have their own language. Using the acronyms, buzzwords and slang identifies you as a member of the club, an insider who is smart about the business. It can serve as shorthand and streamline communications. However, jargon run amuck – when used by marketers, who have no actual experience with the product or industry – can be confusing.
For example, the tech world is famous for geek-speak. Just try reading press releases in B2B and IT tech and you will see what I mean – it can be tough to understand what the products actually do, and who benefits, even if you are a techie. This dense landscape of impenetrable prose leaves an open space for those who can relate more clearly and powerfully.
How can you fill the space? Replace all those “purpose builts”, “scale outs”, “seamlesses” and “end-to-ends” with words that actually mean something – and sentences and phrases that connect with the intended audiences.
It may sound easy but it isn’t – doing this right means knowing what you’re talking about, either from first-hand experience, or by tapping the knowledge of someone who is close to a space and ideally has been a user or implementer of similar solutions.
Do it well and you will not only hit the bulls eye when it comes to getting on the radars of prospects – you will also likely reach a wider audience via approachable language. My Words that Work in Tech PR series goes into more detail about this tactic.
To learn more about how you can market to open spaces, please visit this page.