August 19, 2011 ↘︎

I didn’t listen to my own advice

Don’t you just hate that? I tell people things, sometimes until it feels like I am blue in the face from the efforts of my passion to get the point across – “how can you not see what your own customers see?”. And then I went and committed the same crime myself so either that means it’s not as easy as I claim it to be or I got carried away with my own selfish plan to be creatively clever (there are many other, less pleasant words you could insert instead of clever in there).

It’s been an interesting week for getting back to basics. Tim and I have had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with some people who are really keen to start understanding what digital can offer to their customers and their businesses. Note: start to offer. It seems, contrary to our own self obsession as a channel, that not everyone is doing digital yet, at least not if that means extending past Yellow Pages anyway. There are many different reasons for this; some are company politics related, others are a lack of resources to get this stuff happening and for some it’s never been the right time to expand into this area. With every one of those meetings this week we’ve really enjoyed helping the person to see how digital doesn’t require a PhD in rocket science. It remains about the same fundamental principals as your business was probably started in the first place:

  • who is your target audience
  • what is the product or service you want to offer them
  • why are they likely to choose it from you

So in a nutshell it’s about putting the customer needs first and working up from there. Every thing you do should be governed by that mantra.Once you understand these fundamental principals you’re on the way to creating a marketing plan that can then be adapted for the digital channel. Oh, and don’t outrun your customers needs or you’ll be wasting money and then everyone will be disappointed.

This is the part of my post where the title becomes relevant. I forgot that bit when it came to thinking about the information architecture for our own website and got far too carried away with the brilliance of the digital channel to get back to the point of what we created digital balance for in the first place. My friend checked out our website as she was interested to understand what we did and she still didn’t get it. Error. How many times have I told people to be up-front, obvious and plain speaking when telling people what their business is about and what the website will offer them.

So with Jane’s words ringing embarrassingly in my ears I retackled our website. And it worked. And then I thought, I’m on a roll, I’m going to take a fresh look at the vision and mission statements for digital balance because these are sounding too fussy and complicated based on this renewed sense of reality. And that worked too. It then seemed really logical to just get on and write the service pages for the digital balance site  as well because now it felt like I had found my groove. digital balance feels like a person I want to get to know again now, not someone who talks at a digital media conference about how much better their ad network is than everyone else’s. Yawn. I would have got there ages ago if I had only listened to my own advice and kept things basic.

The content and advice contained in this post may be out of date. Last updated on August 19, 2011.
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