I was had a chat over the weekend with a friend who can speak music. I don’t mean “sing” and that’s not some sort of weird linguistic screw up in my writing. Let me explain what I mean and why it’s important to you and your business.
Think about many of the laughable marketing materials you’ve seen over the years. Generally they fail for a few reasons, one of which is an inability to speak the language of the target audience. I remember when I was younger laughing at companies trying to be “hip.” I still laugh at the messages targeted at really young people when it’s the parents making the buying decision. It’s an inability to speak the language, and it’s just as bad as running English language ads in a country where the native tongue is something else. Of course, there are the classic attempts to speak the native language and failing miserably (the Chevy Nova being marketed in Mexico with a name that translates to “doesn’t go” isn’t great for a car and is my personal favorite). So what do we do?
We try to speak music. What I mean is that music is a universal language – Bach, Mozart, Miles Davis, and others speak to us all – language isn’t an impediment. Even music that is language-centric can convey a message and emotion – look at the success here of “Gangnam Style” and let me know if you need Korean to “get” the song.
That was the point of the conversation. We all need to think in more of a universal language as businesspeople. Sure, some of us are focused on specific segments, but the more “musically” we convey our message and conduct ourselves, the better our chances of success. My friend was explaining a feeling to me and didn’t use words – just a link to a song. I got it right away. It’s the sort of different thinking all of us need if we’re to break through.
And the best part is you don’t even need to buy a dictionary! Does that make sense?