Natural vs. Marketing Language.


I have often wondered how difficult it must be to go work in a country with a different culture and language and do brand planning. I worked with a smart 20-something planner at JWT-NY who picked up and moved to Shanghai. Daring. I follow a really smart Brit planner who works at Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai. He’s killing it. How do they communicate? How do they feel? How to they see patterns and interpolate?

In an ideation session last week with some brand planning colleagues, all of whom had done customer interviews for a specific B2B client, we established some guard rails, talked about buying logic, purchase station, recited stories and delved into emotion. It wasn’t until this morning, however, that I realized what was missing. Language. We were speaking in marketing-ese. I was with smart people with great marko-babble radar, but we were missing the cues that come from natural business language. In B2B it’s important to know the language that cues the target to really listen. That gives them permission to listen. That is what was missing. That’s what must happen next. Peace.