Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Location, location, location

I have this theory that people don't read signs. I think it's true for the most part. There's not a wall on campus that isn't slathered with flyers, so it's no wonder that people pass over them as just another piece of clutter in their already cluttered visual world. But, every once in a while, despite all the competing information, a message gets through. How does this happen, and better yet, how can we make it happen for us? Part of the answer at least seems to be location and messaging.

I was reminded of this last night when some friends and I paid a visit to our nearest Starbucks. On my coffee sleeve I noticed a quote from a scientist about mountains and their significance. The message prompted me to visit Starbucks' site The Way I See It where people can read more quotes that serve as points of discussion. Maybe this is only news to me, but I thought this was a good example of how thoughtful placement of an interesting message can get people to take a desired action like visiting a certain site.

Here are some other placement/messaging ideas being discussed lately:

Put It In Its Place suggests 5 questions marketers should ask themselves about placing advertisements, including Does the location draw your best prospects?; Does the ad appear in the right context?; Can your place-based ad influence a purchase [action]?; Is the venue appropriate for your company's [library's] message?; Can your place-based advertising create community goodwill?

In the book world, some authors are leaving nothing to chance with their location strategies. They're taking their books right into people's workplaces. According to the New York Times, authors are conducting readings in business offices because, "The idea is to reach people who rarely buy books and might otherwise never attend a reading."

Just getting your message to the right place is half the battle. The other half is creating an effective message. Emily Bennington at Marketing Genius says that one of marketers' biggest shortcomings is a lack of clarity. To make your meaning clear, Emily advises marketers to picture their target customer who knows nothing about your business, and then picture that person walking down a crowded street distracted by kids and then decide if your message has what it takes to cut through it all.

In a recent article, Sridhar Ramanathan discusses The Power of Excellent Messaging. He writes that great messaging answers the questions Who are you?; What do you do?; Why does that matter? Ramanathan also provides links to further reading on the topic.

Don't be the clutter - cut through the clutter! Happy messaging!

Categories: resource_roundup | tips_to_try

1 comment:

Nicole M. said...

Another example similar to the Starbucks quotes are the questions on the Pizza Hut pizza boxes- a set of questions kids can ask their parents and vice versa. What a great way to get families talking- especially in these wired and TV-controlled times!