By Marshall Communications Account Executive Jessica Donahue

The infamous DressToward the end of February, the Internet went wild with a dress that will forever live in infamy (which, by the way, is black and blue). While we could debate the color of “The Dress” for hours on end, the whole ordeal really proved how differently people perceive visual content. Even carefully crafted marketing messages can be, and will be, interpreted differently by individuals.


Be selected and gain attention

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Even Ferris Bueller knew that as consumers we are bombarded with more than 1,500 advertisements in a day, which equates to billions and billions of pieces of stimuli over a lifetime. Processing this stimuli is uniquely different for each individual; by drawing on their own physiological and social past influences, their perception of a marketing message can alter their perception of your brand.

Our brains would basically shut down if we weren’t able to effectively organize all the pieces of stimuli that come at us in a day. Selection is an incredibly significant part of deciphering what’s important to a consumer. By figuring out what information is important, you’re able to present your brand in an easy to digest manner.

Everyone will interpret your marketing content differently, there’s no way around it and there are also many different ways to access and view marketing content for your business. Consumers may be reaching you through their smartphone, iPad or tablet, or desktop or laptop computers, each with their own screen resolution and surrounding environmental factors. Add in a variance of ambient lighting and all these factors greatly influence how logos, photos and other visual marketing items are seen.

Take for example, filters on Instagram. Is your logo in a photo that you’re Instragraming? Just by applying a filter, you’ve altered your brand’s identity by changing the perception of the logo. Depending on the filter, consumers may not even recognize that it is your logo, therefore not making the connection to the brand. This multitude of viewing and editing options can add unpredictability and confusion to your brand if not carefully calculated and watched closely.

Be the choice they make

There are many factors that play into memory. How do you get your customer to remember you? One of the best ways is to stay current with the news and industry trends, so your message is timely and relevant. This can be difficult to do, especially if you’re running your own business.

Basketball on a court

A couple of the easiest tools for staying current are ThinkWithGoogle and Google Trends. These are ‘one stop shops’ on the latest insights and trends regarding your industry. There are real-time search data results that help you tailor your message to what’s happening in the world around you. It will help you understand how your customer is finding you and gives you insights on their behavior.

It is up to you to decide what imagery or content you think your customer going to pay attention to. Is it the ad featuring a Boston Red Sox second baseman selling tires or is it the ad featuring a hotly debated “color to be determined” dress? It all comes down to what the customer’s interests are, what their needs and wants are.

At Marshall Communications, our team is on top of the trends. We closely monitor the outside world for your company and find the best opportunities to leverage your brand wisely and consistently.