The Message IS the Message

So, now, you’ve got your search campaign going. You’ve got your geofence and mobile messaging up. You’re taking ads out in specific print media and you believe that you’ve got your advertising covered. Yet, as you take stock of your efforts, you also notice other advertisements and messages. Some are similar to yours, some competing directly against yours, other different types of messages and advertisements vie for the attention of the same people you are trying to attract. You wonder to yourself, “My message just seems to get lost in the din of all.” Read more now on

I once wrote that, “in today’s marketplace, it is what one says and how it is said that prevail in consumers’ minds; not necessarily what you do, that matters most.” While this may essentially be contrary to popular belief, in messaging, it’s the kernel of all advanced communication strategies today.”

As the world continues to shrink to fit your mobile phone screen and while you innocently search the web, marketing battles rage among advertisers and their business clients. Promotional skirmishes over market share, over mind share – that is, a share of your mind – are constantly being waged.

In one month, the average person is bombarded by 150,000 ads, banners, commercials, billboards, flyers, circulars, direct mail offers, packaging messages and so on. Brand messaging is even integrated into your favorite sports programming – right there in the score-box area and on your kids’ cereal boxes. Ads are in the emails you receive and as you view the web on your mobile device.

The battle to occupy a part of your brain is big business. Very big.

Naturally, the external pressures on traditional agencies to be more effective have reached critical-mass. Traditional agencies misunderstand the current marketplace and their clients are demanding better results. So, these agencies recommend that their clients advertise more frequently and in more places. Of course, this drives up the cost of advertising and floods the market with even more messages. Yet, the irony of it all is that the more advertisers advertise; the more consumers ignore them. Round-and-round it goes: Ad agencies step-up their efforts and create more elaborate attempts to persuade consumers and consumers learn to deflect these attempts because they are, quite simply, meaningless to them.

On the flip-side is the reverse-gentrification of the market. Wherein the barrier to entry for the fields of graphic design, web design, advertising, copy writing and the like have been driven to all-time low’s. Now, your friend’s brother’s nephew does that, right? Or, perhaps, your IT person handles your website and online marketing. Maybe your receptionist handles your direct mail, social media and other similar efforts.

Consequently, agencies are downsizing. They’re moving to smaller offices and “reinventing” themselves by changing their names to include words like “full-service”, “interactive”, “new media” and other clever descriptors in an effort to reposition in the shifting landscape. It’s an out-of-control situation that is already imploding advertising agencies around the world.

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