One of the first questions I ask starting to write - whether it's a case study, training guide or even an internal email, is: "Who is this for?" We've been trained to look at what our readers' concerns are and write content that addresses those interests.  

But it is important to remember that there's an exception to every rule.  Take the case of Microsoft. In a recent marketing campaign, the writer focused on who they were writing for (millennials) and the purpose of the message (recruiting interns). So far so good. But what they didn't do was ask what they wanted the readers to think or feel about the email, or look at the potential impact of their writing style. Unfortunately, instead of engaging readers in a friendly informal way, the email came across as awkward, patronising mimicry.

In the age of social media, it's more important than ever to be read as authentic. So as marketers wanting to engage our audience, and hoping they sign up to our campaign rather than delete the email, we should choose our voice with care.