Worst Marketing Communication of the Week

Messaging - the noun - is a popular term in marketing. It is, indeed, important to "get your messaging right," but this includes more than just the words you choose. It's not just what you say, it's the way that you say it. Everything you offer in a marketing communication becomes part of your messaging, like it or not.

Case in Point:

This sign - freehanded in magic marker on a piece of corrugated plastic - was stuck among the weeds alongside a freeway entrance ramp that serves two of the most upscale neighborhoods in Los Angeles. During my first, brief impression of it, I was not filled with confidence that the advertiser knew anything about making big money. Even if I had been able to stop laughing before the car behind me started honking, I would not have written down the phone number.

The advertiser chose the right audience: plenty of people using that entrance ramp have money to invest.

However, a crucial piece of his messaging goes counter to his message.

Getting all the pieces right requires both insight and wide vision. It's easy to get wrapped up in crafting the message and get seduced into any of a number of pitfalls: publicity articles that strike the wrong tone because they're selling too hard; ads that try to be clever for a product that really needs to convey honesty and transparency; and websites so carefully designed to control User experience that they make access to information difficult or irritating.

Professional marketing people have to develop the ability to stand outside the work occasionally and see how it looks to the target. Unless they know how to make Big Money In Real Estate.