Message received and understood?

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Communicating key messages (verbally and in copy) is a fundamental task for any marketing department. But are you sure those messages are understood as you intended? Here are 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. Marketers and business leaders put a lot of effort into trying to get this right. As a result, we hear about Christmas products from September onwards (seems far too early to me) and summer holiday offers from the New Year.

There would be no point 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 utmost importance. But you know that, right?

Is your message relevant to your audience?

Talking to someone about cars when they have no interest in cars is a complete waste of time (believe me, I know!). The same applies, whatever you’re marketing.

If it’s cheese to retailers, be sure they sell cheese. This sounds so basic, but you’d be amazed how many companies 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 you know book such venues. Take 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, consider refining or entirely refreshing your audience. 

Is your message too complex?

I’m quite sure you could list ten things you’d like to get across about your product or service.

In fact, why not do just that now?

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.

Give them no more than three clear points and they might just understand and remember all three. Far more effective.

Their 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 at a wedding open day, you're onto a good thing. You’ll get more messages across as your audience is warm, highly relevant, and actively looking for this type of information.

But stand out, because your competition will be communicating right beside you...

Do you speak my language?

Sometimes a message should be casual and friendly. Other times, it might need to be more formal, delivered as an expert, or perhaps more corporate.

Your 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 your audience to understand different message styles.

So, once again, you must 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 your communication. 

There’s a lot to think about isn’t there?

When it comes to your messaging in copy, that's my bag. I can help you deliver a fresh approach and a more effective result.  The right words, at the right time, can be a powerful tool.