Orangeville, ON (My Corner Office) Why do some marketers treat customers as enemy combatants? They often speak of ‘attacking’ marketplaces. Some even organize ‘campaigns’ to ‘target’ people so that they’ll ‘engage’ and be ‘captured.’ There are marketers that use ‘roadblocks’ on web pages. They ‘blast’ potential customers with emails.

Others favor a fishing metaphor. These marketers set out bait to reel in the big ones. Without lowering expectations, they toss the little ones back. They then take comfort that ‘there are always more fish in the sea.’ Sometimes there’s a big haul, but sometimes nothing is biting.

Still others talk about marketing as a ‘numbers game.’ What counts are traffic, open rates, clicks and conversion ratios. In your marketing you might be betting on a sure thing or a long shot.

Words matter. They carry a mindset with them. Viewing customers as the enemy, as fish or as faceless blobs isn’t conducive to a relationship. If you don’t conceptualize buyers as people worthy of respect, is that okay with them?

You should examine the language you use. Decide whether it fits your beliefs and priorities. Are you willing to live with the implications of how you speak?