Sometimes we learn through passive observation. Sometimes we learn through active participation. Sometimes we don’t learn at all.
Today there are more channels for being exposed to information than ever before, which in and of itself is a pretty obvious and relatively useless point. But as marketers, bound to help organizations and individuals determine the most effective channels for communicating information – about products and services and investments and issues and sales and more – it is a rather critical point.
And it got me wondering: Where do you get your information? This morning I woke up and my wife told me that it was below zero outside (info nugget #1). While pouring my morning coffee, my Associated Press iPhone app announced that first time unemployment filings were at a new low (info nugget #2). While driving to work, the local sports talk show on the radio alerted me to the Cavs ongoing losing streak (info nugget #3). As I rounded the corner to my building’s underground parking garage, a mini-billboard alerted me of a new vacancy on the third floor (info nugget #4).
So if you are trying to make me aware of your product or motivate me to learn more about your service or convince me to vote against a particular issue, what’s the best channel to use? Friends & family, TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, books, newsletters, directories, letters, outdoor signage, websites, search engines, blogs, social media sites, e-mail, telephone call, text, direct mail, literature, exhibits, salesmen, movies, libraries, seminars, webinars, webcasts, podcasts, speaking engagements, store displays…? And does it take the form of news, entertainment, advertising, conversation, education…?
These are excellent questions. Because in order to learn – passively or actively – communication must travel through those channels that are most relevant and therefore most likely to reach the target audiences. And here is the really interesting part, it’s a constantly changing environment; so the channels I am interested in and rely on today may be completely different six months from now.
So what’s a marketer to do?