Great Marketing Isn’t Just Finding Your Ideal Client: It’s Speaking Their Language
In the realm of marketing and advertising, there’s a lot of emphasis on finding your ideal client. This focus isn’t misplaced: after all, it’s hard to put together a viable marketing strategy if you don’t know who you’re marketing to. But to have a truly effective marketing plan, you have to do more than simply identify your ideal client: you have to speak their language in an authentic way.
Take Taco Bell, for instance, who direct their marketing efforts at Millennials. To do so, they’ve taken to advertising on Millennial-friendly platforms, such as Snapchat and Pandora. But they didn’t just find places where Millennials gather and throw ads at them: they’ve actively researched how Millennials speak, and incorporate that lingo into their advertising.
For instance, the company features a Millennial-curated “Millennial Word of the Week,” in which younger employees teach senior marketers how to properly use vernacular popular among twenty-somethings. From this has come advertising taglines like “Will you be my baerrito?”, which delight Millennials — even if they leave older generations scratching their heads.
Now, this type of advertising works for Taco Bell because it’s authentic to their niche. But imagine if, say, a life insurance company employed the same marketing tactics.
Surely, an ad for MetLife asking consumers “Is your life insurance on fleek?” would fall flat — largely because, unlike Taco Bell, MetLife’s ideal client base does not consist primarily of hungry Millennials on a budget.
Nobody understands the importance of speaking your ideal client’s language better than Alejandro Chabán, whose fitness company Yes You Can! is founded on the principle of being authentic to his niche.
In Chabán’s case, this niche is Latino immigrants in the United States — a group that has historically been underserved or outright ignored by existing fitness plans.
Speaking of his experience when he immigrated from Venezuela to the United States in 2000, Chabán elaborates: “None of the fitness plans I saw [when I arrived in the US] were connected with my culture.”
That’s why his nutrition plan features recipes from several Latin American countries — in English and Spanish.
But to Chabán, “speaking his clients’ language” goes beyond just writing his recipes in both English and Spanish. Rather, he draws from his personal experience as somebody who struggled with his weight to use the particular language that his clients will resonate with.
“I know what it’s like to be overweight,” Chabán says. That’s why he uses positive encouragement to motivate his clients — the way he would’ve liked when he was trying to lose weight. “I want my clients to know that they’re important, even if they’ve been treated wrong their whole life due to their weight.”
And this authenticity seems to be working — in its first year, Yes You Can! broke a million dollars in sales; since then, it’s grown by over 1000 percent.
A quick glance at his social media channels shows this philosophy in action: Chabán personally engages with his followers, congratulating them on their successes. Every Thursday, for instance, he hosts VIP calls where he connects with 10 clients at random to check in with them and encourage them to keep going.
Again, imagine if life insurance companies cold-called their members every week just to “check in.” Needless to say, these calls probably wouldn’t be met with such positive reception.
Ultimately, the lesson we can learn from businesspeople like Alejandro Chabán and chains like Taco Bell is two-fold. First, yes — it’s important that you isolate your ideal client and tailor your message to their needs.
But in order to do so effectively, you have to speak their language: authenticity counts.
Understanding who your ideal clients are — and equally crucial, how to communicate with them — is the cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy.