Eco-biz: Communicate a timely message
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Are you communicating a clearly understood timely product or service message? Recently, I watched a TV advertisement and later asked "What was that about?" Unfortunately, present-day advertisements appear to stray into the idea that as long as you grab consumer attention, it is effective. But frankly, if consumers remain clueless to the advertised product or service, is there value? While my colleague Annette Pelliccio of The Happy Gardener says, “It is imperative ...
Are you communicating a clearly understood timely product or service message? Recently, I watched a TV advertisement and later asked "What was that about?" Unfortunately, present-day advertisements appear to stray into the idea that as long as you grab consumer attention, it is effective. But frankly, if consumers remain clueless to the advertised product or service, is there value?
While my colleague Annette Pelliccio of The Happy Gardener says, “It is imperative that I communicate …, be the spokesperson for my product or service,” perhaps more imperative is message content, not the messenger. For example, while participating in the Richmond MAC Maymont show, I observed consumer messages that appear to work and others that do not work well.
As a speaker for the event, each day I walked the show and identified vendor exhibits to illustrate my speech talking points. Usually, within a few minutes, numerous candidates were identified; but it was not until the third day that I finally noticed one exhibitor's underlying service message. This exhibit contained an eye-catching outdoor sports display, but it was not until you "read the fine print" that the advertiser's product was noticed. So, simply creating visual noise, an eye-catching display, is not effective consumer advertisement.
Equally important is consumer expectation. From a designer, gardener or novice perspective, the event hosted numerous landscape displays. In fact, multiple exhibits were awarded professional honors. It was interesting to observe that the exhibit that received the 'People's Choice' — a multi-layer water pond display — was not recognized as "first in show" by the award judges. So, my question is, "While you may have a valid niche product, is it in sync (timely) with present-day consumer expectation?"
In some ways, because of multiple platform industry involvement, I've gained a different perspective related to consumer expectation. While I participate in the industry as a niche eco personality, I also participate as a communications specialist, writer and marketing/PR consultant. Through these multiple roles, I've gained knowledge of consumer, product/service provider and media expectation. In fact, I've observed well-intended advertisements that fall short. So, let me share a few guidelines.
First and foremost, be aware of media print and event deadlines and follow them. Regardless of advertisement content, it is useless when not delivered in a timely, acceptable format. So, format your message in the expected text style. Next, whether you are or are not comfortable with electronic transmission, please be aware it is much preferred over snail mail and/or FAX. Assuming you did meet publisher/event guidelines, did you provide a clearly understood, timely advertisement?
There is a present-day trend, a connection of “living green” to people and critter habitats. During the Richmond MAC Maymont show, the Central Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association created an excellent exhibit that effectively illustrates this point. Designer Tom Thompson, by combining a winter garden theme with critter habitat, hit a home run with consumers and professional alike. And, it was the Ashland Berry Farm's multiple layers of water ponds combined with lighted trees which attracted the spirit of consumer expectation, the "People's Choice" award.
So, related to your product or service, is your message effective? Is your message timely and clearly understood? Or, do consumers pause and ask "What was that about?" Are you creating unrelated visual noise or being heard? Would you and/or your product or service receive a People's Choice award?
To share comments, ideas or strategies related to this subject or other communication topics, contact me at Sylvia@TheWrightScoop.com. Together, let’s create a series of column topics that are helpful to the industry.