Death of a Salesman, communication, Toby Elwin, blog

Communication in the age of saturation, part 2

Death of a Salesman, communication, saturation, Toby Elwin, blog
The communication salesman winds down

People don’t care what you are selling. People want to know what makes their life better. Is your communication effort designed to interrupt people? Communication saturation is about overload.

Think of the filters you put up around your world to manage the saturation of information and decisions you have to make. What percentage of today’s decisions do you make from a telemarketer, billboard, or yellow pages?

Conversely, what decisions do you make from a friend’s recommendation, a web page, or a Google search.

How can you expect others to not weed your effort through filters?

Even an effective multi-tasker is flooded with tweets, social media messages (Facebook), RSS feeds, emails, phone calls, and text messages.

Our challenge, as communicators, is to get our message delivered through the deluge of information and communication.

Noise Filter

To cope with marketing communication saturation, people use filters to weed messages out.

Google is a filter.

RSS feed subscriptions are filters.

The filter cuts out noise.

People also rely on recommendations to decide what to trust. Websites that use “if you bought this you would like this”, or tools similar to Zagat’s ratings filter information. A trusted friend’s recommendation is a filter.

Our message can not be about what we think they need to know, but communication strategy should be based on what customers want.

They certainly don’t care what makes your strategy a success – whether you are a CEO or a brand manager, don’t delude yourself thinking otherwise.

How do you find out what customers need? Listen and ask and provide vehicles for feedback. As you look through the below communication life cycle, think back to a leader or marketing strategy you executed, did they include all these choices:

  • Listen
  • Research
  • Form relationships with folks
  • Conduct outreach and response
  • Decide on information channels
  • Decide on communication channels
  • Measure or collect responses
  • Report
  • Repeat at least once and modify without ego

Stop telling (selling/yelling) and start engaging. Think of your communication as if you were a publisher not a marketer.

From Interruption to Engagement

Moving from interruption to engagement provides valued marketing communications. Start this by thinking about magazines, environments, and sources that you trust for information?

You only go back to those sources as long as they provide value and keep your interest. You move on when they are no longer relevant or communication saturation overflows.

Buy-in is a dead concept. Write, speak, and communicate to impress potential stakeholders with creative, relevant content. Respect your stakeholder”s attention and time.

Your stakeholders filter, evaluate, and decide to act on your message in their degree of commitment.

Evaluate your communication strategy from interruption to anticipation or championed communication.

Better still: your stakeholders advocate for you.

Communication in the Age of Saturation Series:

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Comments 2

  1. Just what kind of strategy is integrated within a company will depend on the form of business and the framework of the enterprise, but you should consider both inner, company-wide marketing and sales communications strategies as well as exterior

    1. Post

      The form, framework, and strategy of the business represent physical inanimate objects.

      The key to communication is that you engage people, their community, and their needs, not as objects, but as people with needs, desires, and objectives.

      Information is one-way, communication is two-way and intended to have a feedback loop to gauge both effectiveness as well as community insight.

      The only formula or prescription is that there is no formula or prescription, but the principle to communicate with respect.

      I like your point about marketing and sales strategies, strategies based not on market segment, but on persona create new possibilities of effectiveness. Take a look at Adele Revella’s marketing insight around persona’s.

      How have you measured the downstream results from marketing and communications strategies you have worked on?

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