If you are a typical American, you will be exposed to something like 5000 marketing messages today. These will cover the spectrum from logos on shirts and ketchup bottles to impassioned pleas for your business.

Throughout the day today, notice how many of these messages actually have an impact on you. Even if they don’t encourage you to buy something, do they at least stick with you after the exposure?

You will probably notice that very few of these messages make a difference for you, let alone even get noticed by you.

Now, think about your customer, who will also be bombarded with 5000 messages today, in addition to an avalanche of emails, text messages, memos and voicemails. What happens if you send message number 5001? Will she be happy to see it? Will she notice it? Will it move her?

You can not shout your way into your customer’s life. A bigger marketing budget and more brute force is rarely the answer. Focus on creating an experience of brand harmony for your customer, where all interactions with you blend to tell one, cumulative story. And focus on relationship-building encounters, instead of impersonal transactions.

What can you do – today – to rise above the noise of your customer’s life? (Hint: It’s not a direct mail campaign)


  • david
    Mar 13, 2008 - 09:01 am

    I think about this a lot. In fact, I thought about it yesterday, when I took the train to downtown Chicago, and as I climbed the steps to street level, I was confronted with ads pasted onto the riser of each step. It was an ad for a Gilette razor. One panel said: “Enough said.”

    And I thought: “Then why are you paying for space on the step, and in my brain, in order to say it?!”

    • Steve Yastrow
      Mar 13, 2008 - 20:11 pm

      … And every stupid ad like that was, at one time, approved by a committee. Imagine how clever they thought they were.

  • Brian Oates
    Mar 13, 2008 - 09:21 am

    I tried to recall the billboards I saw this morning and you’re right none of them move me. Seems like lost opportunities.

    • Steve Yastrow
      Mar 13, 2008 - 20:14 pm

      And you won’t remember the ones you see tomorrow! (But companies will still pay to put them in front of you.)

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