There has never been a greater level of marketing clutter. Yankelovich Consumer Research charts that “we’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 marketing messages a day back in the 1970s to as many as 5,000 a day today.”
At the same time, marketing communication is often little more than a string of adjectives: bigger, better, faster, cheaper, etc.
So we marketers are interrupting consumers more, but with fewer meaningful things to say. I like how Professor Youngme Moon characterizes this dynamic in her business book, Different:
“Today we have more of everything. More brands. More products. More choices. But it all just feels like more of the same. A great big blur of similarity. And most companies are stuck on a competitive treadmill, competing like crazy trying to keep up with each other. But this only makes them just like everyone else.”
Against this noisy backdrop, it’s important to remember that we can’t break through the clutter by adding to it. We can’t draw attention by shouting louder. Instead, we break through the clutter by sounding different.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post. I’ll pick one comment by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)