In my 35-years at 3H, I’ve grown quite fond of an expression I use quite frequently in strategy sessions and yes, even in brainstorming sessions. The expression: – “we are talking to ourselves.” It’s an amusing acknowledgment of a trap we marketers often fall into. We’re so involved with our brand’s world that we sometimes forget our audience isn’t. This awareness has consistently guided my commitment to audience-centric marketing, reminding me to always consider the creative, communication, and positioning from the viewpoint of our target audience

The Impact of Self-Talk.

It creates an echo chamber, amplifying our own assumptions and drowning out the voice of our consumers. We believe that they’re as familiar with our brand as we are. The result? A communication gap. We’re talking, but not necessarily to our audience.

That’s what I refer to as the Self-Talk Syndrome. This self-talk results in a marketing echo chamber. We assume our consumers have the same brand intimacy as we do, creating a detrimental communication gap. We’re in conversation, but are our consumers truly part of it? Our clever taglines and plays on words or even how to express the need and use  of our brand to consumers , so clear to us, may not resonate with those unfamiliar with our brand’s intimate details.

Remember this, our target markets, and by default, our consumers are not part of our internal dialogues. They see our brand quite differently from how we see it.

The Antidote to Self-Talk….Audience-centric Marketing!

So, what’s the solution? A perspective shift. We need to step outside our self-talk bubble and see through our consumers’ eyes. The goal isn’t brand familiarity, but effective, engaging communication.

Keep is simple. Keep it  Clear.
The heart of audience-centric messaging is simplicity and clarity.  It’s not about diluting our message, but making it more accessible – a counter to the complexity often bred in self-talk. Consumers care about benefits, value, and practicality – these should be the focus, not intricate product details.

Let’s Open Dialogue!
It’s also time to turn our self-talk into an open dialogue. Embrace feedback. Listening to our consumers lets us adapt our approach to align with their needs and expectations, ensuring that our self-talk doesn’t drown out their voices.

Bridge the gap.
Escaping the echo chamber of self-talk brings immense benefits. Clear, relatable messages. A bridge between brand and audience. An engaged consumer who appreciates our brand. By focusing on the audience, we foster stronger, deeper connections.

Break free from the cycle of self-talk and embrace audience-centric communication. Examine your marketing strategy. Is it a product of self-talk, or is it truly resonating with your audience?

Always keep in mind,  the conversation we need to have isn’t with ourselves, but with our audience. It’s about making our brand not just known, but understood and valued. We don’t just want to talk – we want to engage, resonate, and build relationships. The most meaningful conversations are those we share with others, not the ones we have in our self-talk echo chamber. For that, let’s step out and tune into the frequency of our audience. Ready to sing along?