Is the Medium the Message?

Today would have been Marshall McLuhan’s 100th birthday. The Canadian author, academic, and expert on all things communication is perhaps best known for coining the phrase, “the medium is the message”. He saw the arrival of machine printing as having had the equivalent effect of an atomic bomb on language and discourse. He foresaw a world where we would all be interconnected. But most of all, McLuhan saw a world where our devices would define us, almost more so than what we expressed by using those devices.

Was he right? Is your team spending more time talking about how and where to express your message, than the message itself? Are they asking, “Do we have an app for that?” or “Shouldn’t the field force be using tablets instead of documents?” We’d bet these kinds of conversations are taking place in your workplace, just as they are in ours. So it bears repeating that there are some simple rules of thumb that will help make sure your message is an effective one:

  1. Does it clearly differentiate your product or
    service from the competition?
  2. Is the benefit explicitly stated, or can it be
    simply decoded by the customer?
  3. Have you taken time to understand which medium
    is most appealing to your target, to deliver it where and when they need to
    receive it?
  4. What is the action you are calling the consumer
    to take?
  5. Are you sure you’ve let them know how to answer
    that call to action?

Hats off to Marshall McLuhan. We’d like to hope if the medium changes us; it will be for the better.

Express yourself!

Megann and Steve



Make better decisions, get better results, grow your business. We use a deep toolkit of specialized techniques help clarify your objectives, identify decisions that must be made, and eliminate knowledge gaps, resulting in strategy with a firmer foundation and better results.

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