It doesn’t matter what channel you use to reach your audience. It’s about the message.

And developing the right message is not as easy as one thinks.

We’ve had several speakers at AMA Michiana who have reiterated on some level that it’s the story that matters. Facts tell, stories sell. In fact, one of our speakers, Kindra Hall, makes a living helping people and businesses tell their stories, which is much more difficult than coming up with a clever advertising slogan.

I’ve seen “marketing” ideas and agencies arise, suggesting that the one or two particular tools they provide will help their clients break open the floodgates of new business. During the 90’s and early 2000’s, website developers pitched the notion that being online would raise sales of products and services. When social media began their tremendous growths in use a decade ago, still multiplying in breadth of platforms, several media sales staffs and agencies touted that they could help you build a connection with followers online. Interestingly, there have been several success stories from people who built a website and started engaging in social. But was it the channel? Or was it their message?

See, outdoor print has been used since 1796, when the first illustrated poster was made. And billboards can still work. While the audience is shrinking, newspapers can work, too. Did you know that TV was supposed to be the death of radio? Well, they are still working as part of several ad campaigns. Working well – depending on the quality of message.

Now, there’s no doubt that digital can put your message in someone’s hand or on their lap – on a screen which people look at an average of 10 hours a day in America. So, being online and mobile offers your business a significant advantage. Yet, if the message doesn’t resonate with your targeted audience, it doesn’t matter if you knocked on your neighbor’s door to deliver it face-to-face.

Developing a good message takes research, empathy and insight. It takes diligent work and time to develop. Since the shift in mass communications has went from “you read, listen to, or watch whatever we publish and produce” to, now, as the end user decides what information they will receive, a campaign has to start a conversation. And we have to listen.

As you move forward with new marketing and positioning statements and ad slogans or product taglines, videos, posts, mailers and more – just remember to do your homework, and spend time on the message.