What Does the Term 'Noise' Mean in Marketing?

A business marketing meeting.
A business marketing meeting. (Image: Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Effective marketing communication demands that marketing materials deliver a clear message that creates the right results, from securing brand recognition to boosting sales. Achieving a clear, effective message calls for culling anything that distracts the intended recipient. Of course, not all marketing achieves message clarity, and noise often stands as the culprit.

Noise Definition

For marketers, noise encompasses everything the serves as a distraction from the message. In some cases, the marketing material tries to convey multiple messages and succeeds in conveying none. In others, the message gets lost in visual elements that do not correspond well with the message. Other culprits include typographical errors, poor word choice and even the slang employed in message delivery.

Alternate Definition

Dan Kennedy, a legendary direct marketer, offers an alternative view of marketing noise. He suggests in an article on the GKIC website that the sheer abundance of marketing that permeates every facet of contemporary life functions as its own noise and makes it difficult for any single message to grab customer attention.

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