A lot of my clients who are launching new medical device or healthcare tech businesses seem to think catchy taglines are pulled out of thin air. Frankly, I blame Apple for a lot of this confusion. That “think different” campaign had such an impact that people don’t see the enormous market research that went into it.

So, let me tell you the secret …

Good taglines – just like every other part of a solid marketing strategy – come from knowing your target audience.

You don’t have to know what to say. Just listen.

The magic of marketing is in the listening. Your prospective clients have different goals than your investors. The Value Analysis Committee has different goals than the Department Director.

In a lot of our conversations, we are waiting for a break so we can make the point that is important to us. With marketing, you have to develop the habit of listening for what they feel is important, instead.

People also have a tendency to dismiss information they don’t expect. To be successful at marketing your product, you have to notice what your target audience actually says – even when it surprises you.

Here are some tips to help you do that …

Pay attention to the words they use. These are their magic words; you don’t need any others. In fact, you want to be careful when creating your marketing materials that you don’t erase their language. If they talk about “neighborhood” and “community” don’t use “population.”

Find out their goals. You may think your investors want to double their money in 5 years. If you’re right, great. If you’re not, you are going to base a lot of marketing materials and sales conversations on the wrong goal. Save yourself time and ask them.

Discover their motivations. People can share the same goal but for very different reasons. You may want to reduce readmissions because it means people are receiving better care. But your prospective client may want to reduce them because they are going to go out of business if they get penalized. When you market to them, address the motivations important to them. Which, hopefully, will never be so either-or as this example! 🙂

Learn what puts them off. You may find that certain terms work against you. Or that certain so-called benefits are actually a turn-off. These are the moments when you have to listen hard and then pivot your messaging.

Keep track of all you learn. Take careful note of the words and goals of each group you are targeting. Prospects are very different from investors, who are very different from the members of the Value Analysis Committee. Make sure you know which language to use with each group.

Success doesn’t come from fancy taglines.

Your business will be successful in direct proportion to how well you understand your target audience. Listen to them.