The Medium is Not the Message

by Jessica Ramesh dotmailer

Skip Fidura, Client Services Director at dotmailer, says marketers risk focusing on how their messages are delivered rather than on what they’re actually saying

We’re facing two major trends which are transforming the marketing landscape before our eyes. First, customers are increasingly interacting with our brands in a homogeneous, sterile, online world. Secondly, customers are demanding that we interact with them through the channels of their choosing.

In response to these trends, marketers are focusing more and more attention on developing a single view of customer-driven, contextual customer experiences through cloud-based automated marketing solutions.

I’m concerned that we’re so focused on how we’re delivering the messages that we’re not spending enough time on what we’re saying. This is the wrong way round. It is very easy to determine what we should be saying. Most times you only need to say something in response to an action by your customer. Once you’ve identified the situations where you need to say something, imagine your customer was right there in the room and ask yourself, ‘What should I say to this customer?’

Then and only then should you start to think about how you’ll source the data to initiate that conversation and the delivery mechanisms you’ll use to deliver the message. By starting with the data you have available, you severely limit your options, and by focusing on the delivery mechanism you run the risk of saying something monumentally stupid at enormous scale. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln – better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

This comment appears in Figaro Digital Issue 23 – January 2015.