I started reading Dan Hill’s About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising a few nights ago. At first I was ready to throw it on the nightstand and categorize it as a snoozer. But as I got further in, I realized the book is a gold-mine of data. Hard core data.
So while it’s not an easy read, it’s a highly valuable one if you’re looking for reasons why your marketing is flailing and clear steps to make it better, all based on research. In most cases, facial coding which is Hill’s specialty.
Keep it Simple
That’s chapter two of the book, AND the focus for tonight’s Neuromarketing tweetchat (otherwise known by the hashtag #NMchat).
We all know KISS (keep it simple stupid), and I’ve talked here before about things like cognitive fluency. Keeping it simple is a well-known and simple concept, and yet I see ads, teaching tools, and websites every day that fall flat on keeping their message or creatives simple.
But How Can Simple Be So Hard?
Companies, organizations, and agencies “suffer from tunnel vision”, Hill says. They can’t see when there’s too much information, not the right kind of information, buried information, and so on because they are too close to the projects. They already “get it” so they see their message with biased eyes. Not to mention that the drive to sell or persuade can override common sense on simplicity.
That’s bad news because no matter how good your product, your service, or your cause, if your audience experiences frustration or confusion they will develop a negative view and abandon ship. Dan Hill found over a decade of market research that “frustration is the number one negative emotion felt by us in response to exposure to advertising.”
So…here’s where things get fun. For #NMChat tonight we’re going to look at three sites and talk about what wasn’t clear, what was frustrating, every little element that made things more difficult for us and what happens to our perception of the brand or organization in that process.
And if you’re brave you can offer up your site in the comments and we’ll take a look at it too! Free and awesome feedback on how you can improve your site’s simplicity score? Sweet! But I have to limit it to THREE otherwise #NMchat will go on all night!
Let’s Get a Look at Those Sites!
To come up with three sites I went to Google and searched for the first three things that came to mind: “protecting the environment”, “writing”, and “meditation supplies”. I chose the sites that hold the #1 position for these terms. These are sites that hold valuable Google real estate for short phrases so they’re already doing well on getting attention, now let’s see how they do on connecting.
Wait, before you click! Set a timer. Once you click, let your eyes flow naturally and see how many seconds it takes for you to figure out the mission, product, or service of the website. In other words, what’s the point? It’s not a race, I’m curious to see how long it would take a random visitor.
Site 2: Writing.com
Site 3: Dharma Crafts
As you take a brief surf through these sites, take note of if and when you have even brief moments of confusion or frustration. What caused it?
Ok then…have fun, share your site if you want to be a guinea pig, and…