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Industry Insights

Ad Messaging - Rise Above the Noise


As a consumer, you’re likely aware of hundreds of marketing messages trying to get your attention. Each one aiming to drill a tunnel right into your memory banks. So when it’s your company you want to get noticed and remembered – and your competitors are vying for the same attention – how do you make sure your message hits its mark?

A good marketer begins with a deep understanding of both participants in the conversation. In this case, that’s your business and your target audience. To really communicate, you must first know who you are and what you have to offer and second, and just as pivotal, know your audience and what’s truly in it for them.

In most ads, it’s usually the visuals that immediately engage, but it’s the language that develops a personal connection. It’s the words that create the feeling of like-mindedness, set you apart from the others and lay the building blocks of trust.

This applies to the landscaping/building/home improvement industry as much as any other. And those successes are very important – with every touchpoint.

For businesses where the product is often about tasteful, even luxurious homes and naturally beautiful environments, we typically develop ad messaging around a few particularly relevant principles:

Establish tone. Whether a luxury or blue-collar brand, keep the conversation on a personal level. Not like an exclusive secret so much as an inclusive tip between two friends. We know we have the right tone when it sounds like something your client’s friend would say to them.

Differentiate. You are far from alone. In the consumer’s mind, there are a lot of businesses like yours out there. You need them to know how you’re different in order for them to see your significance and remember you.

Target your audience. See things from their perspective. Address their unique needs in their day-to-day lives, even their social/economic concerns. If your conversation isn’t about how you’ll benefit them, you probably won’t make an impact.

Don’t try to say it all. Your message should be limited (basically) to a single idea. There will be time to unpack it further and you can express it differently in different places. But by trying to say every great thing about your company at once, the power of your overall message will be diluted. With the artful interplay of images and carefully chosen words, that important message and a much broader message about your brand will be told.

Humour. Not required, but it’s a sure way to reward the reader and potentially leave a more memorable impression. As creative people, we love to produce it. As consumers, we tend to give the company extra points for being clever.

Be creative. Avoid industry jargon and clichés unless you can put a new spin on them. Delight the reader with something unexpected – be it something especially smart, funny, beautiful or unique in delivery. If the crazy idea is exactly where your customer’s head is at, it just might be brilliant.

With these ideas in mind, your message will have a better chance to rise above the ever-present ad noise to connect with your audience. And when it does, it will start a conversation that accurately reflects the kind of company the customer can expect to deal with.

The words we choose say a lot about us – how we conduct our business, what our character is like, and how we treat people. More than just getting your details out there, the marketing language you use presents a personality and should reflect your business in an honest and engaging way.

Written by Carol Classen

August 8, 2013