reaching your target audience - Woman overwhelmed by too much information

Is your message reaching your target audience?

Reaching your target audience.

Today you will receive way too much information (TMI)

How much? The Annenberg School for Communications at USC calculated the world’s information at 1.9 zettabytes. 

Imagine yourself reading 174 newspapers today, cover to cover, ads and all. Your newspapers grow 28% thicker every year. Talk about TMI!

No wonder most marketing messages don’t break through. As marketers know, creating a unique message for a brand or company is an uphill battle.

Every day, brands flood Americans with up to 10,000 marketing messages. You see them on the Internet, in print, broadcast and billboards. Or maybe you don’t see them, because you block, skip or ignore ads.

A few messages do break through to their intended audiences. But humans will forget up to 90% of the messages received, says Dr. Carmen Simon, a cognitive neuroscientist.

Brain - Unlock your hidden storytelling powers
Your brain will forget up to 90% of the information you receive today. That’s because of TMI, too much information.

If people ignore your message, should you boost spending?

Businesses spend $200 billion USD a year to deliver their messages – more than the gross domestic product of Texas. Here’s the problem: most of this spending is wasted. 

How do you communicate a clear content strategy and message map to all marketing channels? Happy businesswoman holding megaphone
To get through to customers, you don’t need to shout louder or spend more. Instead, improve your message.

Why? Because most brands don’t have a message that’s worth paying attention to. Your audiences hold all the power to decide which messages are worthwhile. Which messages are worth remembering? Which are forgotten in a flash? 

By now you may be wondering: How well is your message reaching your audiences?

A strategic message can make or break brands, businesses, nonprofits and government organizations. The right message helps you stand out among a pack of competitors by overcoming audiences’ increasing impatience and indifference. 

Can you hook audiences in 7 seconds?

How to increase attention span? Use a Message Map! Break Through in 7 Seconds
Hook people in 7 seconds by answering customers’ first question first — what’s in it for me?

The right message enables you to hook audiences in 7 seconds by answering their first question first: what’s in it for me? (WIIFM?) The first 7 seconds are your chance to make a great first impression – or not. 

If your company gets quoted in news media, you are likely to get only 7 seconds or 23 words to make your point. Your message needs to be that sharp. 

A compelling message builds your brand, your reputation, and your business. How much is a strategic message worth? As much as $10 million or more, said 62% of respondents in a FocusVision/InnerView survey. 

Why don’t employees share your story?

The same survey found that inconsistencies between what Marketing tells customers and what front-line employees say to customers wastes $6 million or more a year. People find inconsistent messages less credible. Inconsistency undercuts any message, no matter how good it started out to be. 

While customers feel overwhelmed with communications, many employees suffer in silence because employers don’t bother to communicate with them. Recently, when I asked a Whole Foods employee why a neighboring store stopped curbside delivery, she looked me in the eye and said, “They never tell us nothing.”

She’s hardly alone. About 2 out of 3 employees don’t know what matters most to customers, Gallup found. Employees don’t know what to say to customers since their employers don’t keep them informed. Many opportunities for employees to share a brand message get lost. No wonder businesses struggle to recruit workers and retain loyal customers.

The stock market buys a good story, but not Facebook’s story 

Every day, publicly traded companies play a high-stakes game with their strategic messages. The stock price rises when a CEO frames a compelling message on quarterly earnings and future expectations. The right message can add millions or even billions of dollars in market value in a day. 

The wrong words can vaporize a ton of money or a whole company. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, showed how on Feb. 3, 2022, when it disappointed Wall Street with weak results and guidance. Meta lost $236 billion in market capitalization in one day! That loss is equal to the total market cap of Verizon or Comcast.

How do you create a message that stands out? Reaching your target audience?

Think about recent messages you actually recall. You’ll see that memorable messages stand out in the marketplace of ideas because they are:

  • Clear, even to laypersons, so everyone in the audience can understand. 
  • Concise, so people get the gist quickly, in the first 7 seconds.
  • Consistent, since people equate consistency with credibility.
  • Compelling, emotional enough to prompt people to action. 

The right message empowers you by attracting the right customers, employees and investors – and winning support from other stakeholders. 

We help companies and brands create memorable messages in our Message Map workshops. If your brand needs a compelling message, give us a call.

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