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Marketing Message: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Woman whispering to another woman

"By listening, marketing will re-learn how to talk." David "Doc" Searles

“It’s pee like me,” I said hotly.

“No, it isn’t. It’s be like me,” my friend retorted.

It’s summer. 1970. Church camp. I’m sitting with my friend in the main hall of Camp Paddy Run, surrounded by some of the best music of the time, The Beatles, the Stones, and, of course, Bob Dylan. (Young ones, look him up here.)

Hence, the heated subject over lyrics. How I ever thought Dylan had a sense of humor, I don’t know. But I was convinced I was right.

So my friend and I agreed to listen to the song in its entirety. When Dylan moaned out that last fateful line, we were both taut with anticipation.

We both knew what that line was. We said in unison, “See I told you!”

I was struck by how we both heard what we wanted to hear. How could that happen? How could we both listen to the same words yet hear something so different?

Now, that’s not news to you, I’m sure. It happens all the time in relationships.

But it also happens in business. The most common is when customers hear what they want to be true, like 20% off EVERYTHING in the store, not just on a certain line, or a certain item. Or 20% off a particular service, just not the service they thought was on sale.

Signs with the offer on them solve that problem.

But what if customers think you offer X and you really offer Y? Or they are confused about what exactly you do offer.

That’s a whole ‘nother issue. Misalignment. This isn’t just a misunderstanding of what you offer, it’s a marketing misalignment.

A message problem.

How to Solve Mixed Message Marketing

Consistency on all fronts is key. Make sure you’ve got the same message everywhere, online, in newsletters, in-store. Do not deviate.

Stick with the message like a mantra because it is. You’ll get tired of it and want to move on to something “new,” but don’t. It takes constant repetition to get that message deeply distilled into the marketplace.

And keep the message simple. Notice I said simple, not cute. Geico’s message is both: 15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance.

Simple. Direct. We get what they offer. There are no ambiguities. That’s what makes an effective, profitable marketing message that grows your business!

Need some help with that? Let's set up a time to talk!

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