The Medium Is The Message

The title of this blog is a common marketing idiom. However, its meaning and importance can easily be forgotten. Consequently, I think brief refresher course may be in order.

For the unfamiliar, advertising guru Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase in his book Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man published in 1964. To me,  “The medium is the message” means that how you distribute your message (TV, newspaper, social media, direct mail, etc.) can be just as important as the message itself. I don’t believe McLuhan is saying that one is more important than the other, just that they are both important things to consider when communicating.

To go in a slightly different direction (and to be more accurate to the phrase’s literal meaning) how you communicate (i.e. what medium you use) says something about your brand. Here’s an extreme example: for years people have said that marketing on television implies that you have a premium brand. It may even imply that your brand must be successful (since TV is typically more expensive to buy). However, I’m not sure this is true in the same way anymore, or that we should count on a medium’s “halo effect” to sell our products. Rather, I think it’s a smarter plan to choose a medium because it will be efficient, effective and increase the likelihood that your message will reach the correct target.

It is true, however, that your message can be lost if you don’t choose the right way to present it to your audience. This is something we constantly keep track of here at Anchor. We’re known for our creative marketing messages, but we’re also known for our strategic thinking. We work hard to ensure that the medium is just as important as the message. At Anchor the message is powerful and it is delivered accurately to your target audience. That’s what planned communication is all about.