Definition of Noise in Marketing

So, what does “Noise” mean in the marketing world? Let us have a look…

Noise: Confusion caused by too many messages trying to be delivered at one time.

You could almost group that in with the slang definition of Noise: “empty talk; nonsense” because that is what the public do with your message if you can’t break through the noise.

I’ve always viewed noise as anything that gets in the way of someone receiving the message I’m trying to convey in my marketing campaigns. From this, you should certainly understand that “blending in” with all of your competitor’s messages and copying them may not be your ticket to success. And if you do, it had better be really good.  The risk you take is that your message is ignored.

For example, in the early 90’s, you could write an ad with the words “cutting edge” regarding a new procedure you were offering or a new strategy you were delivering  to your public.  “Cutting edge huh?” they would say. And you’d say, “Yep! Now sign on the dotted line, you won’t regret it.” Boom – deal. Then, a year or so later, all of your competitors were saying “come in for our cutting edge new service!”  Everyone is now getting a piece of your pie. But it gets worse… After a while, the public becomes numb to “cutting edge” altogether as unfortunately for you, some of your competitors were less than “cutting edge” and now the public KNOWS none of you are cutting edge and they’ve heard it all before.

How can we factor this into our internet marketing and advertising strategies?

Here are some good tips for you to keep in mind to help you compete against all the “noise” out there:

1. Write your copy with the other person in mind who’s going to read it.  Does it read very smoothly from left to right? Spelling, Grammar? Is it insulting? Try to get the concept of what images will come into their mind, what will they think of when they read it? Does it compel them to do something? When marketing, your job is to get into their head, not stay in yours.

2. Always look for what they want.   They will only do what YOU want if you communicate to them what THEY want.  Never assume you know it already. Look at text-message marketing which was supposed to be the “next big thing” for the marketing world a couple of years ago.  Millions and millions of Venture Capitalist’s dollars pouring into these start-ups doing text-marketing. Lo and behold, they soon find out no one wanted to get texts on their mobile phones with ads in them. Companies ate up a lot of money trying to jam it down people’s throats. Lesson learned. Some market research well done and intelligently executed could have saved hundreds of millions. Now, what if you have a new product that people don’t know they want? You of course enlighten them on how it helps them with some problem that they know they have. Very simple. Microwaves: ovens were great, but as the world moved faster, a new invention comes out called the microwave. Show a commercial on how it cooks a meal in 1 minute – sold. The problem of course being busy Mom, lots of kids, dinner, crabby husband – fast food needed. Never mind the radiation injections into the food, but that’s so 90’s now anyway. People didn’t know they needed it yet, but it was still a problem that they knew they had, and it took someone to tell them that there was a solution. You just need to understand that it’s your job to find out what they ARE looking for, what they NEED,  rather than what you think they SHOULD look for or what you think they need. A little surveying goes a long way and can save untold amounts of money.

3.  Always communicate what your reality is about your service. Your customers like what you do and refer others to you…but why? Why are you surviving the bad economy when your competitors are closing their doors?  Is it how you treat people? Is your service incredible? Why?  Don’t make vanilla statements and throw in a few buzzwords to sound “professional”. For example, we have a car dealership and we have lots of cars to sell. So we tell the public, “largest inventory in the state of TN!”. Maybe it works, but based on what I see the car industry is really struggling and everyone has a lot of cars. So maybe we say, “best deals in the county!”. Well, everyone else says that too. I would wonder if people even listen to that stuff anymore. But let’s take a common reality that we’ve all had when car shopping- the cheesy “what-do-I-have-to-do-to-get-you-to buy this-car-today” sales guy. If it were my dealership, I wouldn’t have hired one of those guys in the 1st place because I don’t like them. Second, I know other people would appreciate that as we all know it’s a headache to work with them. It’s common knowledge these days. So my statement would be something real to me, real to them like -“Come to our (dealership). You’ll get great prices and a huge inventory, but you won’t run into any corny high-pressure sales people!” That might get people to check you out.

Communicate what you know and don’t underestimate the general public’s intelligence. In the digital age, they are moving very, very quickly and most can tell a tall tale from a mile away, which brings me to my next point:

4. Be honest. People are very perceptive and no one likes the bait-and-switch. It’s the way-hot and romantic husband you married who is now the beer-bellied lifeless couch potato or the cute puppy who grew up to bite your neighbor’s kid to land you your first huge law suit.

If you don’t like your product or service and can’t stand behind it, then you certainly shouldn’t be selling it let alone marketing it. Let’s look at why I feel this is so important: Let’s take the used car salesman stigma again here. We’ve all met them. Painful is the word. They’re cheesy, sometimes even slimy, But why? Most people in the world are good people – including them. Here’s why they come off the way they do – they are occasionally selling something they know to be sub-par, but that is their job, their manager will beat them to get sales and they need to eat too don’t they? In their head they’re thinking, “this may not be the best car for my customer, but I have to keep my job and I have bills to pay so I’d better sell it to them anyways and this beats flipping burgers.” It’s an integrity thing.  I never market anything that I think is not a good product or service, and funny enough I look at my client roster and I think they’re all great people who try to do the best that they can for their clients. That allows me to market their services and products with a clean conscience. I sleep well. So, unlike the used car salesman that is selling junk to make a buck, don’t lie to yourself, don’t lie to your public – they can tell. Even in print, speak the truth to your public. They’ll get it and you’ll gain a client.


Dan York, Founder 

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc. 

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