In all the work that I have done so far getting my marketing degree (and from my professional experience) I have noticed a reoccurring message that all too often evades marketers. Advertisers assume that people hear and see their message, they also assume that people care. In reality marketing is like a fire hose aimed at a teacup, there is too much coming at us for us to retain. However, a few select messages cross the barrier into our conscience mind. What makes those special? It's a combination of luck and skill. Obviously media placement is a big key to this. The second key is making sure the message hits a "nerve" with the audience. This engages the listener and creates a more memorable advertising message. The key to successful marketing is having these two things coincide which at times seems like more luck than anything... but research and understanding of the audience can increase your chances of penetration.
Marketing is not a guaranteed science but it's also not a game of roulette where you throw random messages around and see what sticks. Their is an art to creating the right message for the right audience... and that is what truly fascinates me. Sometimes it baffles me that small advertisers waste time, effort and money by not understanding these concepts.