• Stephen James

If only it was as easy as communicating with babies



Communication, something that is so simple in concept but so difficult in action. There’s nothing like having a baby to remind you of just how hard the simplest communications can become. My wife and I had our first baby 3 months ago and it is quite terrifying just how much you forget about effective communication and just how much you take good quality communications for granted.

No matter how many people told me, I just wasn’t prepared for just how many different issues are brought to my attention through crying. In the early days it was simple, 6 different issues that you could systematically work through until you find the one that is causing the crying, fix it and away you go. If only it was that simple for the rest of life, keep trying until you get it right and everything is forgotten.

Babies are forgiving, as long as you fix it eventually, they are happy. When was the last time your boss or a customer gave you 6 chances to understand their issue without holding the failures against you? Misunderstanding what you are being told once, ok, misunderstand twice, it’s frustrating for the other party and you have some ground to make up, misunderstand a third time, it’s probably game over, a long way back and not easily dealt with.

Thankfully when you are talking to your customer base as part of your marketing campaigns it probably isn’t that harmful if you are a bit off the mark first time. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible to get your messaging horrifically wrong and cause a lot of damage, but that doesn’t happen often.

Effective communication is incredibly complex though. When having face to face conversations with your customers that can be difficult, even with having visual cues such as facial expressions and body language helping you understand how effective you are being at getting your message across.

In direct communications, you are in broadcast mode, you don’t have the ability to tailor your communication based on their body language and facial expressions. With today’s technology you are able to personalise your communication though, talking to your customer as an individual with messages relevant to them, rather than blasting a single message to many that works for very few.

These days a personalised message is somewhat expected. People know that there is lots of data out there and to an extent there is almost no excuse for not treating your customer as an individual. It is no longer a minority that is tech savvy, a huge proportion of people have an idea of what is possible in terms of personalised communications. Thinking about it, I’m surprised that mass messaging isn’t viewed with more derision.

With technology, it is much easier to construct a personalised message. When you consider all the data that is available, it is much harder to know what to use and how to use it. Just think of a life insurance provider. Based on all the information needed to work out your premium, there will be a data scientist out there that would be able to predict your ‘last day’. What you don’t want is a cross sell campaign from them telling you it takes approximately 3 years and 8 months to pay for a funeral, saving at a rate of £100 per month, then asking you to save £200 per month.

That might be an extreme example, but I’m sure it could happen. Having the right personalisation strategy and mechanisms to communicate to your customers is very important. The use of personalisation can make your communications far more effective, giving you a high rate of return.

Using personalisation in modern communications isn't all that difficult, in fact, it needn't be anymore complicated than figuring out which of the six issues baby wants you to fix.

If you would like to know more about using personalisation to got the right message across and increase the effectiveness of your marketing then please get in touch.


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