Friday, August 22, 2014

Learning the Unique Language of Marketing Can Be Similar to Learning a Foreign Tongue

Imagine walking into a room. You hear the buzz of people talking, laughing, and calling to one another. Yet, somehow, you can't seem to understand anything they're saying. You might catch a word here and there, but in general the subject the people are speaking about is lost to you.

Did you just walk into a conference room on a business trip to a foreign country, or did you walk into a marketing conference center?

For those who are new to the world of marketing, especially online marketing, either scenario might seem realistic.

How is being thrown into the marketing world similar to landing in a new country?

When a person first moves to the United States without knowing English, the language gap can feel insurmountable. Basic tasks, including banking, buying groceries, or even returning other people's greetings while walking down the street, can become extremely difficult (if not impossible). Many of those who don't know English when they first arrive spend a considerable amount of time and energy studying the language. In doing so, they begin to make sense of the sounds they're hearing, including what the new vocabulary means and how to use the words. As their language skills improve, new residents find their confidence rise as well. Suddenly, when they walk into a room buzzing with chatter, what once seemed like overwhelming noise now begins to make sense to them.

Similarly, marketing comes with its own defined principles and vocabulary that those who are unfamiliar with the industry might find confusing. There are a range of rules that tell people how to use and be successful with the various platforms, along with industry-specific (and even platform-specific) vocabulary that doesn't make sense anywhere else. As the newcomer becomes more familiar with the language and nuances of the marketing world, they also find the chatter in the room starting to make sense.

How succeed in learning a new language

Whether studying the language of marketing or a new foreign tongue, there are some constant principles for mastering the new form of speech.

1. Practice, practice, practice
Anyone who has ever learned a new language will tell you how critical it is to practice. Reading all the lesson books in the world will mean nothing if you don't put those lessons into practice every chance you get. This might mean talking to yourself while making breakfast, but whatever the case, practice those vocabulary words.

2. Immerse yourself
Immersion is always the best way to learn a new language. For foreign languages, this might mean seeking out a few people who speak the new language, or even moving to a country where it's spoken. For marketing, it might mean a steady diet of marketing blogs, webinars, and similar primary sources for instruction.

3. See if you can find a tutor
Sometimes, a tutor can make all the difference in the success of a language learner. A tutor can help you pinpoint your language weaknesses and practice them with you. In marketing, a tutor can help you become well versed in a variety of marketing platforms and their uses faster and easier than trying to go it alone.

Learning a new language is a difficult proposition, whether you are trying to master marketing speech or a foreign tongue. Both have specific vocabularies, along with rules that govern how the language is used. Keeping these ideas in mind can help you learn the new language and become increasingly successful in the world of marketing. If you're interested in getting acquainted with the 'language' of marketing and want to learn more about how to reach customers, contact us today.

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