What a marketing book’s teaching me about understanding

Over the last week, I’ve been reading a marketing book called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (JJJRH for short). It’s written by a guy called Gary Vaynerchuk, who’s been super successful using the web to create and grow businesses. I work for a digital marketing agency that builds mobile apps, so he’s sort of a “hero” for me.

His philosophy for connecting with an online audience is that brands need to anticipate customer wants and needs before customers even begin to search for their products. Doing this requires the brand to know its audience of shoppers really well, otherwise the content and products it promotes will be meaningless to consumers and never lead purchasing or clicking “Next” to read more.

In addition to what he says about good marketing, Vaynerchuk has a lot more to say about what it means to be a good person. In fact, he preaches listening to your audience first before you can ever hope to communicate with them effectively. This idea is central to all relationships, not just those existing between businesses and customers.

When I think about what it means to talk to other people about misophonia or infertility, I find myself constantly worrying about whether people will truly understand the depth of the struggles we’re up against. If people really knew us, they’d understand that some of the seemingly simplest things in the world—a TV show, ad, Facebook update depicting a happy baby, the friend who gets pregnant and can’t stop talking about it, family dinners—can bring us to the point of tears.

Vaynerchuk says if you understand someone’s situation, you’ll be cognizant of it and appeal to it when communicating with them. I find myself longing for this level of understanding, or perhaps more accurately – an empathetic ear, when I speak with friends or family. Trouble is, no one ever seems to know what to say or do when these kinds of intense emotions are brought forward.

And, I’m not really sure how to deal with that. Similar to the consumer in JJJRH who is overwhelmed with the idiotic ads on Facebook that have no bearing on his life, sometimes I just want to stop talking to people who don’t understand the depth of our despair. It’s discouraging to think that there’s a very real possibility our relationships are being sacrificed just so we can hold it together through this storm, but that’s what happens when you try to communicate with someone who just doesn’t get the full impact of our struggles.

Does anyone out there have success stories helping others understand their pain and how to communicate through that?

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2 thoughts on “What a marketing book’s teaching me about understanding

  1. I think sometimes just being there, being an ear, offering a hug, can be good. Sometimes, what people most want, is simply to be heard and the best way for me to do that is to STFU and just listen. No advice, no “sharing stories”, no explaining/suggesting something, just being present. In a way, I have to remove myself from the conversation because the focus should be on the other person.

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