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Seeing and believing – the essentials of great comms planning

Photo of Dan Marsh

Dan Marsh 29 April 2022

Three black telephones on the wall

The old English saying used to go “good little boys should be seen, not heard” (or so my Mum would say anyway). Putting aside this glimpse into my rambunctious upbringing, it acts as a near precise counterpoint to what makes for good marketing communications.


It may sound obvious, but so many brands fall foul of the trap that marketing is simply about telling the world what your business has to say. Whether it’s launching a new product, promoting your long-awaited purpose, or communicating your ESG commitments – our corporate rose-tinted spectacles risk making us blind to audience ambivalence.


An overused statistic suggests all of us, as modern consumers, are served somewhere over 6,000 marketing messages per day. Our increasingly digital lifestyles are a marketer’s playground. But as digital has broadened business’ marketing armoury, it has built up people’s natural tolerance and, in turn, reduced our attention spans. 


So, to return to the original comparison: how can we ensure your brand’s messages are both seen AND heard?


That question is far too broad to answer in this capacity, but I wanted to touch on two critical components that we begin with at RY. Two essential questions to inform all campaign work we produce for clients:




On the face of it, this goes without saying, you have to be visible to be seen. But when we consider visibility, it isn’t simply about the numbers of impressions; it’s about the right impressions.


Getting an understanding of your audience and, crucially, their mindset is half the battle to paint a much more vivid picture of where and when they’ll be more receptive.


Not only that but ensuring your idea will not tire from repetition. Frequency contributes to staying visible – and there’s no sense in just serving up the same old idea in the same forms.


Wastage in marketing is inevitable, but if you understand the emotional need states and desires of your audience (a criminally under-valued exercise in corporate marketing), your chances of achieving the second point are significantly greater.




Commonly misunderstood as simply ‘getting noticed’. Of course, good campaigns get you noticed – but great campaigns contribute to brand salience; or in other words, enhance your association with a feeling or perception to tip the scales of choice in your favour. A brand marketer's gold dust.


True saliency doesn’t happen overnight. It takes commitment and investment (not just financial) in an idea and a belief that it can meaningfully change the minds of people over time. That’s what we seek to do for clients at RY. It’s why we get so passionate if we believe an idea will do just that – create belief. You probably know that it’s kind of our mantra, but is nowhere truer than in how we encourage our clients to market themselves.


Put us to the test


Of course, there’s a lot more to how we work than these two tick boxes – but if we boil it down to these bare-bones, it’s a good place to start. Ensuring people not only see but (over time) make a genuine connection and believe in you.


If you have a marketing campaign or ongoing communications brief in mind, and you’d like to get our take on it, we’d love to chat.