Could Selling Cross Media Solutions be a Recipe for Disaster?

Does anyone understand what we are talking about?
I was speaking at the highly-regarded Cross Media show in London last year.  This was one of the questions that was raised at the show.
The questioner was specifically asking if anyone outside the show would recognize the term cross-media? What about multi-channel? Or how about 1:1 marketing? For many of us in the industry, cross media is a familiar term.  We know exactly what someone means if they use the phrase.
However, for our customers it can be a very different matter.
Using customer language is vital if we are going to sell successfully
This applies especially to many of the more advanced solutions that many printing companies are now bringing to market.  We seem to be developing a new language for many of these opportunities. Many traditional printing terms are still reasonably well understood by prospects and customers.  That’s not the case with newer products.
Using language that customers can relate to will help form valuable relationships. You have a better chance of controlling your conversations and sales processes if customers understand what you are talking about.  You have a better opportunity to achieve your goals.
All too often we use our language, not the customer’s
Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to cross media or multi-channel marketing.  These are both common terms used in the UK.  However, depending where you customer base is located, they may not be terms that your customers will recognize.
As an example, you may be better off using the term multi-touch marketing.  This may resonate with more marketing teams.  Finding the right term not only catches your prospects attention, but it also shows that you live inside their world.  They will understand what we are trying to sell them, and you, in turn will have a better chance of making the sale.
Don’t take my word for it
It’s really important that you don’t assume that I am right.  Your prospects and customers may be familiar completely different phrases. Perhaps the term multi-touch marketing may not be familiar to them after all.  There may be another phrase they are more accustomed to.
So how can you truly know?  There’s a very simple solution: ask them!  Talk to some of your existing customers.  Ask them to tell you the terminology that they know and use.
Language is important, but it’s only the start of the sales process
In my next article, I’ll be explaining why results are so important when it comes to selling these solutions.  In the meantime, start using your customers’ language.  It may be time to start avoiding phrases like cross-media and multi-channel
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on how to sell cross-media solutions:

Matthew Parker has been buying print for over 20 years. He’s had over 1,400 sales pitches from printers. Now he’s using that experience to help printing companies engage with their customers and sell print more profitably.  Find out more about Matthew on his site. Download his e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” for free here

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