This week’s business news cited an Ad Age article about J.C. Penney’s plans to host 10′ x 9′ Pinterest boards in select mall stores in an effort to attract new and younger shoppers. It may be “too little too late”, and whether or not their efforts can save the struggling brand remains to be seen. However, the example serves as a valuable reminder that we need to continually update not only our brand’s marketing message, but the media in which it’s delivered as well.

Way back in the 1960’s, communications pundit Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message”, meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. In practical terms, think of your own reaction when a friend says “Acme Co. makes great products” vs. when you read “Acme Co. makes great products” in a magazine ad.

Review your current marketing tools and the media they employ and contrast those against the media your target customer base sees, uses and considers influential. Are they using Instagram? Are they reading blogs? Are they attending conferences?  For example, your brand’s effective appearance at a professional conference will carry the conference brand’s attributes into yours by association. An actively updated Pinterest board will help your brand be perceived as youthful and visually interesting.  The medium is the message!

Full Ad Age article>>>