One of the first questions that must be answered by advertisers, marketers and anyone wishing to communicate an idea in today’s market is what does it take to rise above the noise and connect,

as opposed to simply raising the decibel level.  And at the risk of being accused of gross oversimplification, I offer this proposition as fodder for a discussion.

At the risk of over simplifying, here’s a proposition: The best way to avoid the creation of more noise and less communication is to know what to say and when to say it.

To further the discussion, here are four message creation and timing tenets.

1. Effective communication begins with listening.Great speech writers, award winning advertisers and marketers, and those that understand relationships (are there any?) practice listening first. Call it research or focus groups or create a new label; but whatever the label, listen closely and your target will let you know exactly what it takes to connect.

2. Drop preconceived notions. Employ what you’ve learned.Effective messaging is born of the knowledge gained while listening

Your target has top-of-mind concerns.  Ignore them in the name of creativity (or whatever) and your message becomes part of the noise.  On the other hand, learn enough about these issues and concerns, you have the outline of a message that will connect.  (No comment on the personal relationship implication of this principle beyond observing that this works in virtually any relationship you care about.)

3. Dialogue builds relationship; and relationship drowns out the noiseInvest in dialogue and watch opportunities for real connection increase.  (If you doubt relationship can exist between marketer and target, consider the case of Apple and the growing i-Cult.)

4. Less is almost always moreIn a marketplace dominated by big and loud and irrelevant, less will almost always preferable…if not more effective.  And that’s my cue to be quiet, and listen.

Your thoughts?