In our haste to get the message out, we often forget to spell out what it means. This is pervasive in the design of a variety of communications. Go beyond benefit -- what will the other person's outcome be? This is their take away in exchange for their attention and time. If you don't spell it out you may run into two problems:
- Your call to action is not going to be strong enough to stimulate action -- a waste of resources
- Your customers' expectations will be widely diverse from your intent -- and that may be bad
We forget for a variety of reasons -- it's in our heads, we're too close to the information, we're too lazy to go the extra step, we're copying someone else's tactic without seeing or knowing the strategy behind it. So we have a list of incompletes:
- the press release that announces a new product or service with a bunch of technical specifications in the company quote
- the direct mailer with the bold statement that something or other is vital, a "must have"
- the annual all employee meeting or company wide announcement that lists all the things the company has done in the year
- the speaker who presents a whole bunch of facts and data
Tell me what it means. How is your product or service going to improve my business? How does this list of accomplishments take us closer to our goal? How is the data relevant? Make the information come alive, use stories. Let's not bury the lead in the Q&A, let's put the answer right where it belongs, in the communication piece.
Do you have an example of a communication piece that connected with you? Chances are, it's because it told you what it means.
[Question Mark, Stuttgart Galleries, Bart's Flickr ]