Regardless of your industry, you likely believe that it is getting harder to capture your prospects and client’s attention. Whether you sell a product or a service, sell B2B or B2C, sell a $.99 widget, or a $9,999 sophisticated product, you believe that standing out in today’s marketplace is a challenge.
The question is, Why is this the case? (it may not be what you think), and, What can you do about it?
According to Media Dynamics, Inc., the average consumer is faced with approximately 360 advertisements per day*. This is significantly less than the often cited, and rarely supported, 5,000 commercial messages per day. Not only is it less, but this number has only increased about 6% over the past 70 years. Despite dramatic changes in technology, media, and communication, consumers still have a finite exposure to advertising messages.
And, if you think the challenges of marketing in today’s environment are unique, consider this quote by Samuel Johnson from 1759:
“Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetic.”
So, if the amount of advertising we are exposed to has not increased, then what has changed? Why is it harder to capture your customer’s attention?
1) consumer expectations have changed, and
2) the sophistication of both products and corresponding advertisements has increased
Consumers today have a significantly lower tolerance of “advertising” that is not completely relevant to them, is overly salesy, or is not immediate clear in it’s value. Technology created a paradigm shift that leverages more power to consumers. We can now fast forward through commercials, or click-away from irrelevant promotions.
This is compounded by the sophistication of products and services. Not only has the amount of product choices increased, but the specificity and niche functionality of products/services has grown exponentially through technology.
As a result, companies consistently create a knowledge gap between their marketing content and the consumers understanding. A knowledge gap is when your explanation of your product/services does not align with your customer’s knowledge level. Imagine an astrophysicist explaining string-theory to grade school students. Industry jargon, acronyms, and poetic language may sound great to you, but only confuse your customers understanding of how you solve their problem. Your customer’s challenge is always going to be their priority, and should be the sole focus of your marketing message.
Which is where the need for clarity arises. In order to stand-out in todays market, your business does not need gimmicks or hype. What your marketing needs is clarity. A clear and consistent message that is;
Your prospects and clients need to immediately be able to discern what you offer, how it will benefit them, and where they can purchase it. Prospects will not spend time trying to decipher complicated messaging. Picture yourself shouting into a distorted megaphone; even if your customers hear you, they won’t understand what you are saying.
Remember, consumers do not always buy the best product. They buy the product they can easily understand. If you focus on the clarity of your messaging, you will see greater results and higher conversion.
1 Media Dynamics, Inc Study September, 2014