Yesterday, I watched Harry Gottlieb’s webinar on talking human (It’s called Corporate Blahblahdiblah) and how corporations generally don’t do it. His point was well taken. Corporations seem to use words that have been proven to be good sellers, kind of like the word “ambitious” or “dedicated” when it comes to applying for jobs. It has gotten to the point where it’s hard to tell what a company actually does or what they are actually trying to say. Fair enough.
However, coming at this issue from the marketing side, I have to say that there are a lot of obstacles in the way of “talking human.” For example, there’s Search Engine Optimization. Everybody wants to be on the first page of search results on Google or Bing, right? Well, you need the right keywords, among other things, to accomplish that goal. Unfortunately, keywords do not always jive with how people talk. If you are a medical company, you might want to talk human and talk about headaches, but SEO demands that you talk about “pain in the occipital region.” Who talks like that? Not many people. But maybe a lot of people search like that.
Facebook, Twitter, and texting have me worried too. Have you ever tried to carry on a conversation using 140 CHARACTER statements? I haven’t. As you probably are learning from my blog posts, 140 characters for me is like the calm before the storm. However, this kind of limited communication is what corporations are facing on increasingly regular occasions. They are having to update fan pages (or is it “like” pages now?), they are having to update Twitter accounts, or they are sending out text messages. Is this how they would normally entice customers? Probably not. Is that talking human? Probably not. But it’s the new reality.
That has me wondering. Are we in danger of having more human contact but being less human about it? A fan page can have hundreds of fans, but if you can’t *really* talk to people the way you’d like to and the way Gottlieb recommends, how effective is your marketing going to be in the end?
I guess, being a human, this all just gives me something to ponder.