Noise Canceling

Market squares have always been noisy places. I don’t care if it is a bazaar in Kabul or an Amazon customer discussion group. Whenever there are buyers and sellers, it gets loud.

Marketing noise reduces your messaging effectivenessThis is a problem for marketers. Basic communications theory says that there is a transmitter (the marketer), a receiver (the buyer) and noise in between. The more noise there is the less signal (your marketing messages) that get through to the buyer.

The internet has made the situation both better and worse. Good marketers can precisely target their buyers in digital media. The problem is so can lousy marketers. Your perfect solution for a buyer’s point problem will not be heard if you are one of a million inbound messages. People aggressively filter, preferring the lost opportunity of hearing your message to the alternative of not hearing everybody’s message.

With so many products and services being sold non-stop through TV, radio, the Net, print (remember print?), skywriters and other media, it is becoming increasingly desirable to tune out. As a species we may devolve by willingly losing our peripheral awareness for the sake of a little quiet.

For marketers, there are three basic alternatives to getting past all this noise:

Get Loud: If violence is the first resort of the stupid, getting loud and obnoxious is the first resort of green marketers. The loudest person in the room will indeed get noticed, but will also be the most reviled. It may well be the best approach for late night infomercials and street-side barkers, but not for real marketers.

Find Their Secret Quiet Places: With people increasingly tuning out, the only places left to pitch products are where people have not pitched them before. I should not have been stunned the first time I ever saw an advertisement framed over a urinal in a stadium men’s room, but it made perfect sense. This was one of the last places where people had the perfect disconnection – staring at a blank wall (men dare not look elsewhere). But there are a decreasing number of relevant quiet places to where buyers escape, and they may well resent you being there with them.

Perfect Frequency: In music recording, producers know that no two instruments can share the same frequency – it muddies the sound, much like current promotional overload muddies all messages. During mix-downs some instruments are confined to very narrow frequency ranges so they don’t compete with others. This way, the instrument can be heard distinctly, not a grain of dirt in a mud puddle.

Precision in messaging is finding that perfect marketing frequency. It passes through market place noise, resonating in the buyer’s ear and being recognized as a desirable sound.


Speak up! What are your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.