We all communicate in some way or another with various degrees of effectiveness. As marketers we try to communicate to customers. As consumers we try to communicate to businesses and as people we try to communicate to each other. But do we really communicate well?
For communication to happen we have to have a message sent and message received. That is called communication. But how well the message was sent and how well it was received is another thing.
When we were young we all played the “telephone game” in Kindergarten. That was the game where one child thought of a phrase and whispered it into the next child in line. That process was repeated until the last child in line was whispered the phrase. Then that child was asked to say what was said. Of course it was way off and everyone had a great laugh. Lesson learned is that communication is one thing, effectiveness is another.
That leads us to our topic. How to communicate better.
First, you have to realize humans are inherently lazy. We do things by habit so that we don’t have to think of it and because we don’t have to think about it we become lazy. Take the example of waking up in the morning. Most people are running over 90% habits. You get up, brush your teeth, take a shower, eat breakfast, get dressed, get in the car and go to work. You don’t have to think much about your routine. It has become a habit.
If you run on habits you do not remember much about them. Some people might not even remember what they wore three days ago or what they ate for breakfast. But if you break your habit by some interruption such as a phone call that you usually don’t get your whole day could be totally off.
So what does all this mean?
If we know that people are lazy then it becomes harder to communicate to them. For marketers that means that customers wont read our ads. Ever wonder why people notice billboards when they change. It is because once you see them you begin to ignore them. They don’t need any more brain time.
If you don’t believe me about people are lazy. Then read this.
Take money as an example. People like money. Money gets you things. It pays our bills. It buys our cars and takes us on vacations. And we work hard for our money. It’s important to us.
Then if money was so important to us, let me ask you this.
What is on the back of a $5 bill, a $10 bill and a $20 bill. Probably 98% of you would not know. On a $5 bill it is a hockey game picture, on a $10 bill it is a Remembrance Day image and on a $20 bill it is people in a boat.
Sure you remember the colour of money and the denomination because you need to know this to pay for things. But to remember a picture you don’t have to. Therefore you have become lazy.
I once ran a challenge at a meeting asking what was on the back of money. I offered to give this money to anyone who told me. Nobody did. I said I would do this again at some point in time. I did and they won it. I was successfully able to communicate my intentions and actions because I gave them a reason to remember.
People are lazy.
You have to think this way in all your communications. You need to add this concept to your marketing communication strategy.
Ask yourself what it is you want customers to know when you communicate to them. What should they remember? How can you help them remember? How do your get their attention and how do you break their laziness.
When you can begin to think this way when you communicate, you will get better at communicating. If people cant remember money, which is one of the most important things to us, then what do you think they will forget about your products and services.
If you need help with how to communicate your products and services better, contact Marketing Constructs. We can help