Message received and understood?

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We all want to talk, and marketers are certainly no exception. Communicating key messages is a fundamental part of any marketing department. But are you sure that those messages are being understood as you intended? Here’s some points to consider. 

Timing is everything

In all aspects of life, to effectively hear and understand a message, we need to receive it at the most appropriate time and marketers put a lot of effort into trying to get this right. As a result, we hear about Christmas products from October onwards (which always seems far too early to me) and summer holiday offers from the New Year. There would be no point in trying to communicate a message about Valentine’s Day in June or shouting about summer swimwear in October! So, whatever your product or service, timing is definitely of the utmost importance. 

Is your message relevant to your audience?

Talking to someone about cars when they have no interest in cars will be a complete waste of time (believe me, I know!). The same applies, whatever you’re marketing. If it’s cheese to retailers, be sure that they sell cheese. It sounds so basic, but you’d be amazed how many companies can get this horribly and expensively wrong. Highlighting your novel dog collars to an audience of dog lovers or pet shops would be an obvious route, as would communicating your conference facilities to businesses that you know tend to book such venues. Take some time to study your audience and understand what would be of most interest and motivation to them. If they’re not a good fit and you have nothing relevant to say to them, then consider refining or entirely refreshing your audience! 

Is your message too complex?

I’m quite sure that you could list ten things that you’d like to get across about your product or service. In fact, why not do just that? And then select the top two or three that are most important. You see, if you try to get all ten points across at the same time, you’re likely to get no points across at all – there’s just too much to take in (though it does partly depend on what level of awareness and interest your audience have). Give them no more than three clear points and they might just understand and remember all three. 

The level of awareness and interest is a good point actually. If you’re talking about wedding services and doing this via a wedding website, in a wedding magazine or perhaps at a wedding open day, then you’re going to be able to get more messages across as the audience is warm, highly relevant and most likely actively looking for this type of information. But stand out, because your competition might well be communicating right beside you! 

Do you speak my language?

Sometimes a message should be casual and friendly. At other times, it might need to be more formal, delivered as an expert or perhaps more corporate. The choice of language, tone and words should draw from the content of the message itself, the culture and character of your company and the ability of the audience to understand different styles and levels of message. So, once again, you need to have a good understanding of your audience profile in addition to the style and culture of your product or business – which hopefully remains consistent throughout all communication. 

There’s a lot to think about isn’t there? And sometimes, getting a third party such as Cantaloupe involved can deliver a fresh approach and a more effective result. After all, the desired outcome of communication is generally some form of action that will help you to progress your company. The right words, at the right time, can be a powerful tool to achieve just this.