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If one more business owner tells me their website sucks because they're just "too darn busy to deal with it", I'm going to hurl. That's like saying, "I'm doing business in my dirty underwear because I'm too busy to get dressed." Realize it or not, your website (or lack thereof) is very often the first impression your prospect or peer will have of you. Now, it's no longer a matter of having a website -- it's a matter of having a great one.
Most websites are informative, but dull. Not surprising. The Internet today is not unlike TV in the early 50's when TV was the new media. Back then it was totally exciting to have a radio announcer in front of a camera. It was revolutionary to actually see the announcer holding the package of soap or toothpaste. What soon followed was "The Golden Age" of TV when things took a major creative leap forward.
There's a definite parallel today with the Internet.
Bill Bernbach, a great leader of that last creative evolution, stated;
"You can say the right thing about a product and nobody will listen. You've got to say it in such a way that people will feel it in their gut. Because if they don't feel it, nothing will happen. That's where the creativity comes in."
Applied to the Internet Bernbach's words resonate more than ever.
So, what makes a website effective and creatively exciting? That depends on who you talk to. A techie may say you need lots of flash animation. A designer may say it's about the right layout and color scheme. Someone else may argue it's all about blogs. When applied intelligently the latest design trend or technology is exciting. But have you ever clicked on a site you're eager to see only to have to sit through a self-indulgent 30-second flash intro? If the thinking behind the technology doesn't respectfully address the mindset of the person viewing it, it doesn't matter how cool it is.
An exciting, creative, effective website begins with a clear understanding of the target audience and the marketing objectives you're trying to reach. Only then does it take a fresh, simple, memorable creative approach that touches and moves that audience on an emotional level. Accomplishing that takes strategically smart, creative talent. So, if you don't have it, find it. The bottom line is that The Evolution has begun. Don't be left behind.
© 2005 John Follis. All rights reserved.
John Follis is one of the 12 "Best Advertising Minds of New York" as voted by The New York Ad Club. His campaigns are in 3 college textbooks, he has written for ADWEEK, and he has taught at 3 New York universities. Currently, John works on select projects, conults, and speaks. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For John's booklet: How to Attract and Excite Your Prospects: A Guide for Getting the Best Marketing Results, visit: http://www.follisinc.com/booklet.htm For conulting info, visit: Marketing Therapy: http://www.follisinc.com/therapy.htm For speaking info, visit: Follis Speaking: http://www.follisinc.com/speaking.htm
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