After reading Made To Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath a while back (highly recommended btw), I revised many of my presentation materials. Chip and Dan spell out several ways to make stories stick and they know what they are talking about.
It compelled me to retool and rethink the story I tell. It made me realize a key insight to my Fifteen Megs of Fame presentation needed to be put up front, not halfway through the presentation where it had been slotted. Looking at the full story, it flowed much better. And, the feedback from the past half dozen or so speaking engagements has been really encouraging, reinforcing that it was well worth the time to evolve and rethink things from a different angle.
The simple idea I try to spread now from the outset is that the digital world is like a buffet. I’ve blow out the idea and put a bit more description to it here on the blog to share with you. So, here are the four ways digital marketing is like a buffet and things to be aware of when planning your digital strategy:
1. Lots and lots of choice: The average buffet has dozens of individual choices with limitless combinations. The world of Digital Marketing (and Web 2.0 / Social Media) is ripe with choice. Variables such as websites, landing pages, email, search, online advertising, database, video, gaming, content, consumer generated content, blogs, podcasts, wikis, tagging, social networks, virtual worlds, communities and the application of knowledge building with A/B & multivariate testing, optimization, analytics gives us a lot to think about. Too much choice rarely leads to making the right one.
2. Indirect knowledge often drives decisions: Just like a buffet, we line-up and look over the shoulder of the person in front of us wondering what’s on the menu? Most people in the line are as clueless as the person ahead and behind them. As we watch people walk by with goodies stacked high on their plates, it all looks appealing. However, we don’t know how it actually tastes when we are in line. We need more information to know or if it will appeal to our unique tastes. Indirect knowledge is not sufficient.
3. Making decisions in the wrong frame of mind: We are hungry and our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs. We put too much on the plate in our first visit and then realize we may have made some bad choices. We then hope someone will come around to clear the table so we go up again.
Ever watch the plate on a return trip to the buffet? The choices are reduced to the ones that paid off. Those were choices were made with context and experience, not shiny object syndrome. To avoid this, think sample spoon at Baskin Robbins versus heaping portions where we end up wasting most of what we took.
4. Short-term versus long-term thinking: No one ever makes the right choices at a buffet. It is really hard to resist going for the stuff that looks too good to resist. The stuff that we know tastes really good is what we fill our plate with. This usually offers no nutritional value. And we know most people at a buffet don’t go for nutritional value.
So, let’s view digital options as making the right dietary choice for the long term. Diet is really all about long-term nutrition. Doing the right things on a regular basis over the long haul and building a solid foundation.
So, what is your Digital Diet all about? Is it a well planned menu, or a trip to the all you can eat buffet where indigestion is simply a matter of time?