A More Visual World

I got a chance to hear Jeff Lobb from SparkTank Media speak at the recent Inman Connect '15 conference.  He's way smart and knows his stuff. If you're looking for consulting expertise on your media strategy, give them a call.

This short Inman interview with Jeff hits a bunch of key points.

"Consumers want to see more visually arresting concepts and marketing (think video) — and the real estate industry doesn’t think enough about how customers are affected by the biggest transaction in their lives."

Yep.  Agreed!

The one place, perhaps, where I'd extend Jeff's comments is "visually arresting."  The average consumer is hit with about 5,000 'messages' a day now. Many of them are written text, but an ever-increasing number are visual. It's logical - visuals take precedence, they're processed faster, and they can convey more in less time. 

However....

"Visually arresting" is a means, not an end.  An ad for pantyhose may be visually arresting - but it's completely meaningless to me, thus a waste of my attention.  I don't want to see more visually arresting BUT irrelevant content.  Relevance is the end goal; 'visually arresting' is an improvement of the means.  

Look, we're way past being overwhelmed by crappy language.  When the A.P. has programs writing financial articles...when "spinning" written text to produce something that's different enough to avoid copyright infringement, without actually saying anything new, is as easy as copy-paste...there's more text than anyone will ever read in even the narrowest of topics.

Query "nematode worms" on Google.  As of a minute ago, the official tally was "About 637,000 results (0.39 seconds)."  You may be the most passionate nematode-worm rancher in Texas, but you're not going to read 637K pages on the subject.

Google's rise is based on better relevance; arguably, so is Facebook's.  Don't seek 'visually arresting' over 'relevant and meaningful.' We're not actually looking for that. 

By the way - one tech tip.  In the interview above, Jeff suggests standing behind someone and watching them use your web site.  Good idea.  You can also get a 5-minute narrated video of a random user on your web site free here:  https://www.usertesting.com/ We use this service frequently (along with heat maps from AppSumo) to improve our web site.  

--md

PS embedding the Inman video on this blog - good example of the power of video to jump channels!