Mediocre Marketing Messages – A Major Marketing Malfunction

Mediocre Messaging

Mediocre Messaging is a Major Marketing Malfunction

Too many choices, too many options, it’s overwhelming …

Major Marketing Malfunction #4

Part 1 – The Issues

Your prospects, clients and referral sources are being bombarded with marketing messages almost every hour of every day. It’s worse than the cereal aisle in your grocery store. Too many choices, too many options, it’s overwhelming and more often than not, you end up sticking to your established preferences unless something irresistible cuts through the clutter.

  • In 1970, the average person was exposed to about 500 advertisements each day. In the early 1990s, it was 5,000.[1] Today it is estimated that people are exposed to close to 30,000 marketing messages a day. 

That may be hard to believe at first. But imagine the start to your day: tags on your clothes, the ads in your newspaper, TV or online news; the drive-through breakfast coffee-cup and cartons. As you drive, you encounter billboards, radio commercials, logos on cars, messages on trucks, bus benches and store signs.  Now you’re at work – banner ads, marketing emails, logos on pens, promotional items, shirts, vendor logos on all types of office equipment and then there’s all the ads on your smart phone apps! The day is barely a couple of hours old and you’ve already seen several hundred ads and marketing messages. Now how many marketing messages do you remember from yesterday? One, two, three, five perhaps? How many marketing messages actually made a favorable impression on you? Perhaps one?

  • In 1965, consumers recalled 34% of commercials they had seen. In 1990 that number had dropped to 8%, and by 2007 consumers could barely name 2 commercials that they had seen in a given day.[2]

If they can’t see you, it’s as if you don’t exist. If they can’t hear you, it’s as if you don’t exist. If they haven’t heard your value-added claims then you’re just part of the marketing noise. Perhaps they’ve seen or heard of you and even learned of your value –added claims, but they don’t believe your value-added claims, then you are wasting your marketing efforts; you’re not telling your story well.

I believe every business, every organization, every solopreneur, every product or service offering has a story to tell. Finding that story and telling it well is the keystone to your marketing strategy. Without it’s just noise.

The Advertising Research Foundation, ARF, conducted the largest post- analysis in history and concluded “$50 billion of US ad spending is “wasted” every year.” With the largest portion, $30 billion, wasted on sending the wrong message[3]. Sending the wrong message is unappetizing and disappointing – it’s like having to eat spam when you really want lobster! Is your message as bland as fried spam or is it as irresistible as lobster thermidor?

In conclusion, your message has to be so irresistible that it can cut through the noise and clutter of the marketplace so you can be seen and heard. Secondly, it has to be so irresistible that it will actually interrupt and get your target audience to pay attention by being relevant, persuasive and compelling.

Tomorrow: the Solution crafting a core story that is “simply irresistible” and becomes the keystone to your marketing strategy and your marketing communications.

[1] Jay Walker-Smith, Yankelovich Consumer Research

[2] Empire Research Group

[3] Ramsey, Geoffrey. “Message to CMOs: Show Me Some ROI, or You’re Fired!.” The Ramsey Report 8 Nov. 2004.


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