Marketers: Does your audience feel seen, known, and understood?
In my last blog, I shared success stories from marketing colleagues that we can all learn from as we head into 2023. And today, I’m sharing one of my most impactful learnings from 2022: I wasn’t always doing enough to ensure inclusion – that everyone in my audience felt seen, known, and understood.
For an extrovert like me, 2022 meant more chances to see people in person. Personal connections are priceless, and it was great to reconnect with friends and meet some of my clients in person for the first time.
That said, we all need to be prepared to live in a hybrid world. There are people with many conditions that we may not know about and/or that are not visible to the eye. People who, for medical or other reasons, can’t travel. People who have anxiety or are introverted and therefore uncomfortable in large groups. Creating environments with room and options for everyone to be, and feel, safe is key for our future success.
When we ensure our audience feels seen, known, and understood, they “get” it.
This year I had the pleasure of working with AvodahMed, whose mission is to help everyone feel seen, known, and understood. Early in our engagement, I attended a Zoom meeting right after my morning workout—sweaty and in sweatpants—planning to stay off video.
I learned quickly that when you work with a company that has deaf employees who need to read your lips and see your expressions, audio only is not an option. I turned on my video, and we had a great meeting. We made better connections and faster progress as a result.
We marketers should take AvodahMed’s mission to heart, regardless of our own company missions. Why? Because we usually don’t know every single client and prospect. And they come with different histories, ethnicities, and medical conditions. It’s our job to meet them where they are.
A friend recently posted on social media that she received a holiday card in both written English and braille. That company wants its clients to feel seen, known and understood.
As you make your 2023 marketing plans, consider all your potential prospects, and ask yourself these questions:
- Are you putting closed captioning on all your videos?
- Are you translating your content into your clients’ native languages, even though they most likely speak English too?
- Are you considering continuing hybrid meetings and events for those unable to travel?
- Are you including all potential audience members in your buyer personas and Message Maps?
- Are you doing everything you can to ensure your audience feels seen, known, and understood?
I’ve always considered myself an inclusive person, but 2022 opened my eyes to ensuring everyone I encounter feels seen, known, and understood.
What did you learn in 2022 that will make you think and act differently in 2023? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.