The Single Biggest Problem in Communication

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw

If ol’ Bernard Shaw could see us now. In early 20th century, he made this statement at a time of mailed letters, face-to-face discussions, and the introduction of the telephone. Can you imagine his astonishment in today’s world with countless ways to reach an audience? And yet, is anyone really listening?

How many times have we heard, “Everyone should know – I wrote an email about it!” Unfortunately, I still remember specific instances from former colleagues saying these exact words to me! I’m not sure if this assumption comes from ego (probably) or the inability to put oneself in the receiver’s shoes. Either way, it’s a recipe for disaster and will never allow you to effectively reach your audience.

Build a Strong Foundation

Have you ever looked up the rule of three? It’s everywhere from children’s books to sales concepts, and it’s completely fascinating to someone (like me) who loves math, numerology, and patterns. It couldn’t be more prevalent in the approach to marketing and communications. Example: Content + Design + Strategy. Without one, the strength of this powerhouse triangle flatlines, literally. They are stronger together and necessary for someone building their brand for launch or loyalty.

Mix it Up

The basics of any strategy to marketing and communications is the understanding that people receive information in different ways. The same ethnicity, the same generation, even members living in the same household will prefer different platforms and styles. When thinking about all the ways we can communicate, here are some questions to consider as you build your base:

  1. Website | Do you have too much information? Is it easy to navigate? Do you have a lead generation piece to gather email or physical address?
  2. Video | It’s not just video anymore but what kind of video – are you doing reels, stories, tutorials, introductions? Where can they be found?
  3. Social Media | Are you picking the right platforms or just creating accounts because you “should”? Are you committed to frequent posts? Is there a range of content?
  4. In-Person & Print | Print is still powerful – how are you leaving your mark at networking events or meetings?
  5. Email | Inboxes get saturated, but some people still prefer this as their main form of communication. Are you reaching your prospects via email? If so, do you have the right balance of touchpoints and content?

Engage Outside the Target Market

Throughout my career, I have seen plenty of people disregard groups or platforms because they aren’t the exact match of their ideal client. Looking at adjacent audiences from your target market can help you expand your reach and build brand ambassadors. An example I’ve seen in the past included hiring part-time employees and summer interns for a retail giant. While Facebook and Instagram get you directly to the source, these recruitment dry spells require you to think outside the box. LinkedIn could have been an opportunity to reach parents of part-time and seasonal employees.

When you’re creating or running your own business, there is so much to consider. If you can get the content + design + strategy formula right, you can achieve awareness and loyalty at a much faster rate. Cut through the clutter, and make your brand stand out above your competitors through strategic marketing and communications.


On Key

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