Thursday, February 1, 2007

Today's Marketing - Engaging Or Annoying The Consumer?

Cutting Through The Noise And Clutter With More Noise and Clutter

By David Miranda

The cartoon character Pogo said, "We have seen the enemy and it is us."

Most marketers, or their agencies, suggest that marketing success is the ability to "cut through the noise and clutter" that plagues the marketplace by engaging the consumer with a compelling brand message. To communicate this compelling brand message they then contribute to the ubiquitious noise and clutter. For consumers there appears no refuge from the barrage.

Television programming is rife with commercials. Terrestial radio is comprised of ads interrupted by programming. In print, journalistic content is losing ground to advertising. Mailboxes, both traditional and digital, are filled with unsolicited solicitations. Web pages are framed with online ads including the dreaded pop-up or ambush varieties. Out-of-home ads are pervasive - highways, trains, buses, airports, malls, sports venues, washrooms, and elevators. The mobile phone, blogs, and social networking sites represent new media targeted for ad dollars.

What's the result? Believe it or not, the consumer is harder-to-reach than ever, according to marketers. Consumers have retaliated to the onslaught with do-not-call lists, TIVO, spam filters, and ad blockers, and the like. They have immunized themselves from noise and clutter that surrounds them.

Is there a solution for marketers? Yes, how about starting by employing the marketing Golden Rule, i.e. market unto others as you would have them market unto you." A brand cannot successfully engage a consumer by annoying them, just like an individual cannot engage another by seemingly stalking them. In the latter example, the result will be unanswered calls or communication or in extreme cases, restraining orders, the equivalent of a do-not-call list.

Stamp out noise and clutter, engage.