#22: The Marketer Mantra: Listen and Repeat

“Marketing is about listening and repeating what people say”, said Victoria, a long time marketer, whose workshop I attended last week. 

It was a good reminder. 

As I’m still exploring this vast topic, one thing is indisputable: a big part of marketing is understanding who you are speaking to and how they are talking about the problem you are solving. 

The more intimately you know your ideal client or your audience, the better the marketing materials you’ll create. 

This is why the first and foremost awareness that needs to be addressed is our marketing planning is how well we understand our clients?


Marketing works best when it’s specific but not too technical. The most powerful messages are ones that use the same words and phrases that your clients and customers will use. 

Here is an example is taken from my recent discussions with two different clients working with different groups of clients: romantic couples and business teams, who actually have a lot in common. Both groups have to withstand different challenges over a long period of time. Each group would describe their problems and possible solutions using completely different words.

A trainer that speaks of ‘resilience’ would have no problem selling her workshops to companies large and small. However, a coach working intimately with romantic partners who are speaking of ‘resilience’ would most likely repel his clients. Here, more commonly used words that would spark interest would be ‘keeping love alive’, ‘staying together’, ‘understanding your partner’ and so on. 


If you are speaking to very particular niches, it’s good to be using context-specific vocabulary that will reassure your clients that you are one of them. 

Let’s look at the idea of planning, as an example. It’s an activity that is used in every part of our life as well as in every single niche, market and industry. 

For each of these scenarios, there is a need for specific vocabulary that should be used in your marketing. 

Source: Unsplash

Using my own work experience of being a teacher, a filmmaker and now a business owner: if I was to deliver a training on planning to each of these groups of audiences, I’d be using completely different vocabulary and describing different scenarios: 

  • With teachers, I’d be discussing the strategies and best tactics for planning schemes of work, lesson resources and assessments.  
  • With filmmakers, I’d be talking about callsheets, movement order, moodboards, shooting schedules and specific job roles, each with their own internal lingo. 
  • When planning marketing, you and I would brainstorm content planning, launching dates for individual products and offers, funnels, strategy for social media, email marketing, promotional campaigns and so on. 

Your Clients Awareness Level:

When planning your marketing, especially when creating content that should lead to a sale, you have to consider where your ideal client is in relation to the problem they are trying to solve: 

  • How much do they know about the issue? 
  • Have they tried solving it before? 
  • What did they do? 
  • Why did it not work? 
  • What mistakes did they make? 

Depending on how advanced your client is in the topic, they may have four levels of awareness. Each of these levels will require a different approach, different messaging and will put your future clients on different lengths of customer journeys [more on that in my next blog post].

If you are reading this and realising that you don’t have all the answers yet, do not panic. Go where your clients are and listen closely to their conversations. A lot of what you need to know is already online: this could be in social media posts, in group conversations or discussions.

Takes notes of the words and phrases your clients use. What topics and themes show up in those conversations? Most of your marketing messaging is already there. 

As Victoria said: “Marketing is about listening and repeating what people say”. Your job is to find it, write it down and repeat back to them.

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