Your site is the message

marketing communication

Years ago, a colleague handed a copy of You Are the Message: Secrets of the Master Communicators to me. “This will change the way you communicate,” he promised. Tucked inside the pages of the book were anecdotal pearls of wisdom from the renowned Roger Ailes. As each chapter illustrated individual techniques of public speaking and effective communication, the book’s overall message was simple. It takes seven seconds to form an impression. And in the time that our words convey an idea, every inflection of tone, each nuanced gesture speaks volumes in itself.

Did the book change the way I communicate? Yes. But not just in ways in which to improve my verbal and nonverbal communication. As the Internet and digital media have burgeoned in the past decade, I’ve looked past the book’s obvious relevance to interpersonal communication and come to appreciate its underlying theme: every form of communication is its own message.

This includes marketing communication, especially on the hyper-communicative World Wide Web where a company’s website is sometimes its only form of messaging. Here, tone is replaced by effective phraseology and gestures are swapped with the firm’s design aesthetic and branding. Some companies have mastered these techniques. Apple® and any number of design studios come to mind. Others, however, are still communicating in an unimpressive, outdated monotone with the passé look-and-feel of an ill-fitted polyester suit.

So what message is your website conveying? Some of my clients initially are surprised by this question. The answer, however, generally is the same: “Let’s change it.” And so begins the gratifying task of evolving and aligning the firm’s marketing communication with its overall positioning. The results are immediate. Simple changes, such as updating the site’s copyright date or modifying the look-and-feel, can have an immediate impact on consumer perception. Better yet, adding a real-world case study or industry analysis is practical, tangible evidence of a firm’s ability and commitment to solving real consumer needs.

After all, there’s a reason why no one really wears polyester suits any more.

Neena Needel is founder and Principal of Point2Point Group (www.point2pointgroup.com). If you would like to continue the conversation, post a comment or send a message to neena@point2pointgroup.com.

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about neena gupta needel

In marketing, a brand touchpoint refers to every opportunity a company has to impress its brand upon its consumers. I hope my thoughts on these pages will help to connect my ideas with others who share a passion for marketing and communication.

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