Archive for October, 2009
Today, we are inundated with information. Sometimes wall to wall information, making it impossible to tell what’s important and what’s not. Too often, to counter this information overload, we reduce our important stories to headlines and/or very short descriptions. It’s frustrating for you and even more important — unsatisfying to your reader. It’s like a dinner at Olive Garden. Lots of food. None of it extraordinary.
Personally, I prefer a meal that tastes exquisite, and even though the portions may be small, leaves me excited and begging for more. It’s important to approach your marketing materials in the same way. Don’t be afraid of the dramatic. Or white space. Some clients think white space is a purely “artsy” thing, but it’s not. It serves a vital function. It helps to organize, prioritize and control the flow of information. That’s true, whether we’re talking about a brochure, an email blast, or a website.
Once you have someone engaged, you can parcel out all the information they need to make a decision. Like dessert at the end of great meal, there’s no such thing as too much.
I’ve always wondered why it has to be quiet during a tennis or golf match, but not during a baseball, football or basketball game. What if people cheered, whistled and yelled while listening to a symphony play, but sat quietly except to politely applaud at a the end of a wrestling match? We expect certain things to happen without even thinking whether or not they make sense. And if the opposite of what we expect happens, it can be jarring.
When it comes to developing awareness of or leads for a product or service, exploiting conventions can be very effective. Taking a common assumption or occurrence and turning it inside out not only catches our eye, but makes us look at it in a completely different way. And by doing so, we become more engaged — by asking questions and beginning a dialogue. It also burns a memorable imprint in our minds, which can be helpful in future campaigns.
Try it out sometime. But not while you’re at a symphony or a play, or any event that you don’t want to get kicked out of.