Does Your Message Make Anybody Take Notice?

Besides yourself, that is. We all think our own ads, materials and messages are the best thing ever.

Yet you need to bury that fondness for the spiffy copy you just wrote, and remain objective about every piece of marketing you put out there. Because it’s real tough to get noticed by customers, and if you’re in love with a message or a design or a strategy that isn’t effective, someone is going to notice when your results are paltry.

In my current role, my main target audience is physicians. Do you know all the things physicians do during the day (besides save lives and make people better, that is)? Let’s take a good, long look. Well, they have plenty of chances to interact with advertising…they check email, they access mobile devices, they receive mail, they access media. Just like many of your target customers do.

Yet, also like your customers, physicians do all that stuff in nanosecond spurts. Check 10 emails between patient visits. Visit a few websites during lunch, maybe for news. Maybe do a few Goggle searches. Grab the mail and give it a 5-second sort, then throw what looks good enough to stay in a pile for later. Come back to email for an hour or so, just to sort through and respond to what’s important before the next appointment. Never mind all the external distractions and other messages that they’re bombarded with throughout the day, and how they process those. Sound like that could be your customers too? Think a small business owner or high-level executive has the same kind of day?

That kind of day just doesn’t make for a target that’s gonna put any time into digesting a marketing message. At the time we decide to send them an email, or when a direct mail piece ends up in a pile. It may be days or weeks before they get to our messages.

We really need to ask a few questions, constantly, of our work as marketers.

  • Is our message really compelling? Compelling enough to make someone read it in the middle of that busy day described above?
  • Is our message unique? What are we saying to differentiate it from what else shows up in the inbox, mailbox or elsewhere at the same time?
  • Are we using the right channels to deliver the message? Does our target use another place more religiously than the one we’re in?
  • That kind of oversimplifies it…there are dozens other questions to ask. We’ll get to that later. The questions above are where you need to start if you’re not there now. Charge ahead.


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