Is your marketing over the top?

Imagine this scene: a peaceful, relaxing beach. A good book and the gentle splash of breaking waves. Seabirds skimming the water looking for fish. A large boat sailing down the beach with giant, flashing neon signs advertising dinner and drink specials at tacky beach restaurants.

Did that last piece in our Bob Ross painting strike you as out of place? It should—and it should remind us that sometimes our marketing and public relations efforts can be a bit over the top to the point of turning off the very people we wish to attract.

Yes, beachgoers need to eat, and many will want some kind of tropical beverage served from a coconut with an umbrella to help cap their day. But it needn’t be thrust into their faces that Capt. Jim’s Shrimp Shack has two-for-one drink specials from 4-6 pm as we try to enjoy a little salt air and sand between our toes.

Marketers and public relations specialists walk a fine line between being effective and being annoying. We’ve all heard various statistics that say a consumer has to hear a message eight or nine times before they act. Well, sometimes once is too many times.

There are solutions to the dilemma of “how much is too much,” fortunately. Marketing can be tested, whether in focus groups or real-world A/B tests. Maybe Capt. Jim could see if sales were better on the days he advertised on the radio instead of the boat with the Jumbotron LCD panels.

Or maybe Capt. Jim should change tactics altogether. Trade press coverage is like that great beach restaurant guide that tourists seek out when they’re hungry. It’s a resource that’s there when the customer needs it—and not when they don’t wish to be bothered. Most business decision makers will seek out their industry’s trade journals because it behooves them to stay on top of trends in the field. However, they may ignore yet another attention-seeking direct mail piece or e-mail in their mailbox.

The beauty of promoting your company in the trade press is that it’s easy to be effective at getting your message out while hard to be overexposed. For more on how your business can benefit from trade press coverage—whether online or in print—call Trade Press Services at (805) 496.8850 or e-mail

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