Our society has clearly become overwhelmed with advertisers clamoring for our attention. The New York based firm, Media Dynamics, now estimates that the average American is now exposed to at least 254 different commercial messages in a single day. There are billions of websites vying for your browsing time. Cable and satellite networks routinely carry hundreds of programming channels. A glance inside the magazine section of any Barnes & Noble bookstore touts thousands of magazines and periodicals that publish on a monthly basis.

In the advertising world, this is called the “Clutter Problem.” Clutter makes it increasingly more difficult to get any single marketing message to stick with your audience. Much of what we see and hear, we simply don’t remember.

“Connections and the personal character of the people trying to spread a message can certainly help it spread, but if the message is not worth spreading, then it is doomed to failure. The stickiness factor says that messages must have a certain character which causes them to remain active in the recipients’ minds. Moreover, they must be deemed worthy of being passed on.” – Brad Hunter, Stanford University

How sticky is your marketing collateral? Is your website unique, relevant, fresh and inviting? Does your print collateral blend in with the mediocrity of junk mail that crowds your mailbox? How well does your email marketing connect with your audience? How about your television and radio ads?

And I’m not just talking about design. Looking your best is crucial, but your message – your content, is equally if not more important.

Evaluate your marketing collateral and your messaging across your entire organization. How much does it stand apart from the rest? How memorable is it? How sticky is it?