Over lunch one of my colleagues commented on my newly formed habit of bringing salads every day. “The healthy bug seems to have gotten you,” she noted. “What gives?”
I realized there was not one event, but a triangulation of things that lead to my new passion for midday nutrition. The New Year’s Resolution spirit, a recent family trip to Costa Rica, and writing out my 10 goals for 2019 all played a contributing factor. She said, “I wish my kids were ready to hear that message. They are busy and still eat out all the time. I wish they were ready to decide for themselves to eat healthy.”
That concept, of being ready to take in a message, stuck with me.
We live in a tune-out world. There is so. Much. Noise. We see hundreds of ads per day. We only take in about 12. Our brains are being trained to tune out the noise.
“Buy a new 2019 Chevy Silverado” commercial on TV? I already own a car. It’s paid off. And it’s not a truck. TUNE-OUT.
“Always Coca-Cola” billboard as I drive to work? I’m trying to listen to the news right now. And high fructose corn syrup is B.S. TUNE-OUT.
“21-day Yoga Shred for Men” app download on Instagram? I already have 10 workout apps on my phone collecting electronic dust. I don’t need an eleventh one. TUNE. ME. OUT!
There comes a time, however, when we do become ready to receive a message, to internalize it and make it our own. Perhaps we enter a new life stage. Perhaps someone we admire influences us. Suddenly, the noise becomes important. These attention swings have huge marketing implications.
1. The need for frequency. Why is the Rule of 7 a thing? Partly because your message needs to rise above the clutter in our tune-out world and get noticed. But also partly because the first 6 times someone sees your message, they might not be ready for it, especially for longer purchasing decisions like buying a vehicle, buying a home, getting an elective medical procedure, or vetting financial planners. Consistency in your marketing is what will keep you top of mind so that when that customer finally is at the stage of life to hear and internalize your message, it’s available for them to digest.
2. Getting your audience from Tune-Out to Tune-In. Sticking with the car buying example… at any given time, 4% of people are actively looking to buy a vehicle. They are reading consumer reviews, browsing online inventory, and eventually visiting 1-2 dealerships. Automotive messaging will resonate with these 4%, as they are in the market and their minds are open to this information. What about the other 96%? Is it pointless to market to them? What can auto companies and dealerships do to get these 96% into the market? Can this be influenced? I believe it can, through one thing: Inspiration. I’ll be expanding on inspiration in a future writing.
3. Getting a tuned-in consumer to act. A consumer is (finally) ready for your message. You’re targeting them and they’re seeing it. Now what? A strong call-to-action is a critical piece of any marketing piece with the goal of generating a lead or a sale, but can you do better than, “Buy Now” or “Learn More” or “Schedule a Free Consultation Today?” You can. Consider the consumer’s journey to becoming ready to tune in to your message and shape your call-to-action messaging to them. If you sell minivans, your customers have young kids. What do parents of young kids struggle with? Lack of sleep, extra expenses, evaporating free time, stress of keeping their children safe. Telling a story in your messaging using these frames will make your message to the tuned-in parents get them from their mobile to the dealership.
What messages have you recently been ready to take in? What can your business do to inspire great prospects to tune into your message? When they do tune in, what are your best practices to get them to act?