Friday, July 28, 2017

Are You Sending Mixed Signals?

It is surprising how many businesses send mixed signals to their markets.  That is, their messages talk to different segments in different (and usually contradictory ways) or they speak to one segment with more than one message.

One example is a pizza shop in my city.  They conspicuously brand themselves as a pizza shop (it is in their name) but they message as a traditional Italian restaurant.  And they proclaim that they are a trendy night spot/bar but also a family-friendly dining spot.  The result is confusion.  And traffic is not there.

Another example is an entrepreneur who sells two entirely different products at the same time, advertising both financial planning services and a healthy living supplement.  Because advertising time and space is limited, only half a message gets out at best for each line.  The result is confusion.

Less glaring examples exist.  Consider an advertisement that emphasizes low cost (something that appeals to a classic budget-conscious shopper) but also style/fashion/trendiness (something that appeals to a vanity shopper).  They are in fact trying to sell to two different markets in the same space.  And the result is confusion.

Bottom Line:  How do you speak to your market?  do you inadvertently send mixed messages to your market place?  Are you trying to do too much with one advertisement or promotion?  Can you simplify and speak to one target at a time and avoid trying to target too many different segments?

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