‘Use Their Language’

“If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language in which they think.”
−David Ogilvy

My daughter is taking French 1 in junior high. Last night I helped her study for a quiz. And I don’t know a lick of French.

“That’s OK, Dad,” she said. “Just say the words the best you can and I’ll spell them. It’s a spelling test.”

Imagine you were marketing something to Americans — in French. That would be absurd. Most would immediately tune it out because they wouldn’t understand a word of it.

Unfortunately, the language disconnect happens in many arenas. It’s not as obvious as my French to Americans example. Rather, it’s when communicators fail to learn the language nuances of their audiences, whether gender, educational, professional, cultural or other differences.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s