Semiotics: The Term You Need To Know To Get Ahead In Marketing

If you are working hard to get your business promoted far and wide, then you might have heard of the term “semiotics”. Semiotics is synonymous with marketing, and semiotics is defined as the study of signs and symbols as an element of communicative behaviour, which branches into things like language or gestures, or even clothing. So why is this so important? When it comes to marketing, communications or advertising, semiotics is the determining factor regarding the failure or success of any marketing strategy. This is due to its reliance on the power of the image. To put it in simpler terms, as your marketing ploys will rely heavily on the power of image, semiotics has everything to do with your business and is integral to pushing the product.

To break down the semiotics definition a bit more with regards to signs or symbols, there are two parts to any sign or symbol. The first part is the signifier. This is any material thing that is signified. So, for example, an object, words on a document, or an image. The second part is the signifying element, and this is what the signifier refers to i.e. the meaning that is interpreted by the receiver or consumer of the sign. In this case, it is the customer.

So, what does this mean for your business in terms of its marketing and communications? Put simply, it is a tool which you can implement from a holistic standpoint to achieve effective communication through the brand. The study of semiotics involves language, behaviour, rituals, or cultural trends to name a few. It is also a way to understand how the sensory stimuli interact with the receiver or consumer. Essentially, the notion of brand is not enough to communicate to a customer. So what can you do to help implement a better communications strategy in your marketing using semiotics?

The topic of aesthetics is one that can be pored over by your marketing team until they’re blue in the face, and any Digital marketing agency worth their salt will have a grasp on semiotics to help benefit your business much more. But there are things that you can ask yourself as a business to further communicate your message to the customer more effectively, such as the following:

  • Is there a connection between what message you were trying to put across and what your employees are communicating on the ground level? Also known as “synergy.”
  • Are there any significant cultural differences that may influence how the signs and symbols you’re communicating are perceived that could be lost in translation?
  • Do you think there may be an issue with mixed messages in how you promote your products in comparison to how it could be perceived by the audience?
  • Are your current images not relevant in any way, shape, or form to your business?

If you send out the wrong signals, not only is it impacting on your brand, but it is also impacting on your company. So, by embracing the study of semiotics, it will help to improve the impact you make on consumers.


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