This past weekend, my friend Ken Mueller shared a video he’d taken of a Christmas flash mob at the Lancaster Central Market, singing the Hallelujah Chorus.
I love flash mobs – who doesn’t, right? plus, I think they’re in my DNA, since no one can flash mob like Bollywood can – so I watched it. It’s a cute video, albeit without much arm-shaking and leg-waggling. But it’s still fun, and it was neat to see some of the expressions Ken managed to capture (check out the lady in the blue sweater at around 1:39/1:41 – she’s completely tuneless but she’s having such a good time).
When Ken posted the video to Facebook, one of the comments was pretty negative, along the lines of “this is completely boring.”
To each their own; no one’s saying everyone has to agree with everyone else. And certainly, there wasn’t a lot of “action” in the video, but if you actually watched it through, you’d see the smiles on people’s faces, as well as bits and pieces of personality (like the afore-mentioned blue sweater lady) that would make you realize, “Hey, people really enjoyed this.” (I actually think Ken did a pretty decent job given he had only one camera and did this on the fly.)
Unfortunately, when we put together plans and campaigns for our clients/organizations, we are in the same boat.
People are bombarded with information, they have “asks” coming at them left, right and center, and if we are not able to capture their attention in a few seconds, we run the risk of losing that opportunity forever (or at least for as long as the campaign is running).
If something about that first touch point – whether it’s a pitch, a video, a blog post, a tweet – doesn’t appeal to them, it is highly unlikely they are going to come back for more, let alone pay attention to what we’re asking them to do. And even if their friends/colleagues/peers respond, they’re still going to think about whether they really want to do so themselves, because their first experience didn’t grab them.
Where we really want to get them is to the point of saying, “Hey, did you see what that blue sweater lady was up to?” Not literally, of course, but you get my drift.
We want them to enjoy the experience of communicating with us, we want them to derive value from what we are communicating to them, and we want them to come back for more. Right?
As you prepare to slow down a bit for the holidays (unless you are in retail, in which case my sympathies are with you), think about how you are crafting the communications with which you’re reaching your customers.
Have they been as creative as they could have been? Have they been as timely as they could have been? Have they done a good job of incorporating your core messaging, but in such a way that they’re not boring?
Have they made your customers say, “I like that. I’d like some more, please.” … have they? Or have they made you fail in business without really trying?
Now is a great time to look at how you’ve been communicating with your customers and tweak your approach for 2012. Maybe it’s great, and doesn’t need any tweaking. But there are very, very few of us who are so perfect that we couldn’t stand some improvement.
And once you do that, I know 2012 will be much better than 2011 for you. I for one am rooting for you.
Image: Taylor McConnell via Flickr, CC 2.0
[…] “People are bombarded with information, they have “asks” coming at them left, right and center, and if we are not able to capture their attention in a few seconds, we run the risk of losing that opportunity forever.” Shonali Burke of Waxing Unlyrical […]
@ginidietrich Are you practicing? :p
@kdillabough Thank you for sharing!
Um, what is leg waggling? I think I have a visual. I just need confirmation.
@ginidietrich You know. When you waggle your leg along to music (or to the music inside your head). Doesn’t everyone do it? Indians definitely do.
Great post @shonali i bring up clutter all the time. In email, twitter, facebook, out of home, etc. TV is the rare medium where a commercial doesn’t compete with another offer. But you can not pay attention if it doesn’t grab you.
That said have you ever heard about Improv Everywhere and No pants Day coming up in January? No pants day is so ginidietrich kmueller62 and bdorman264 type fun.
@HowieSPM@shonaliginidietrichkmueller62 I tried the no-pants gig once because I was told you need to make a powerful first impression. I’m not sure I got the reaction I wanted. It’s pretty humbling to being hand cuffed naked and a busted nose that is bleeding all over the place……….sheeesh, no sense of humor……….
@bdorman264@HowieSPMkmueller62 Oh Bill. You got a powerful first impression.
@bdorman264 You would have been right at home in the stocks. @HowieSPM @ginidietrich @KenMueller
@Shonali@bdorman264@ginidietrich@KenMueller Places people HAVE to look at ads because of their natural tendency not to want to look elsewhere: Subway Cars, Elevators, any place people refuse to make eye contact in closed quarters/ And sides of bus stops in cities where if you walk towards it on the sidewalk it is impossible to not at least glimpse.
@HowieSPM Ha! No Pants Day, eh? Sounds like Howie-type fun to me. :p
That’s a really great point about TV; on the other hand, when I’m watching TV, the “other offer” is what I’m thinking about, so it’s a rare commercial that catches my attention – and thank heavens for DVRs!
I remember kmueller62 saying in a recent (fun) video (paraphrasing): “If you don’t know how to have a little fun as a professional, well… I feel sorry for you.”
He’s right, and so are you: fun and quirkiness really do capture attention, and lots of wise businesses realize it–and use it.
@ShakirahDawudkmueller62 That’s why @ginidietrich will never succeed. she’s always sooooo serious..
@KenMueller Hey, watch it, you’re talking to a junior-level CSS programmer now, right @ginidietrich ? @ShakirahDawud
Was it your @ginidietrich video, Ken? I didn’t check, so didn’t want to say for sure. But you sure got my attention, with the video and with that line!
@ShakirahDawud I was working on a research project recently (great fun) and that was something that kept coming back to me. Even when one is dealing with serious issues, like literacy, almost always there’s a way to have a little bit of fun and capture the audience’s attention. Of course there are times when it’s inappropriate… but it’s still gotta grab you – else why would you come back for more, right?
And that’s why I love your writing so much. Usually it grabs me SO much that I have absolutely nothing of value to add, but curl up into a ball going, “I wish I could write like that.”
Aw, shuckies, Shonali (check’s with the messenger boy ;) ). Somehow you always manage to make my day. Is that some sort of super power?
@ShakirahDawud If it is, I better patent it soon!
@pasmithjr Thank you!