Designing Websites That Appeal To The Senses

Taking Advantage of The Experience Factor

We read the newspaper, we watch television, and we listen to
the radio, but we experience the Web; this is what makes ‘The
Website’ one of the most powerful marketing tools available to
today’s marketing executives. Unfortunately conventional wisdom
has stifled the ‘experience factor’ on most website
presentations.

Traditional circulation based advertising biases and
pitch-mandated direct mail practices from metric-minded
agencies have limited businesses’ ability to take advantage of
the Web’s capacity to provide a more active, creative, and
penetrating sensory experience aimed at furthering marketing
objectives.

As consumers of information we all filter what our mind
considers irrelevant. When we go to a website we quickly
recognize where banner and text advertisements have been placed
and proceed to ignore them for the rest of our visit. Even
television ads are becoming increasingly less effective, even as
their cost increases. Yet people will watch and even look
forward to creative, entertaining advertisements that capture
our imagination and inform our ability to make better decisions
about what we buy and who we buy from.

Does Anybody Really Know What Works?

It is easy to rely on after-the-fact number crunching and
projected head-numbing statistics to justify how marketing
campaigns are constructed rather than on the less predictable
but more relevant elements of psychology and human nature. But
do numbers really tell the true story, or are they just
protect-your-butt justification designed to ease everyone’s
mind when it comes time to commit to a budget?

Take the entertainment industry for example. Here is an
industry that can tell you how many people watched a particular
television show on a per minute basis. So, if these and the other
cerebral-cortex-boggling figures are so telling, why do networks
have such a hard time delivering programs that people will
watch; or do they yank new potentially successful shows
off-the-air based on their initial numbers before they ever
have a chance to find an audience?

Television is such an expensive medium, its practitioners have
come to rely on seemingly safe, tried, hackneyed old formulas,
knowing that it is easier to sell sponsors what used to work,
even when they know there is little chance of it working again.
The fact is nobody really knows what combination of stories,
writers, actors and producers is going to capture the publics’
imagination.

So what does this have to do with Web-marketing? Everything.
The Web is not an expensive production medium and that allows
marketers to experiment with different techniques and creative.
Unless your Web-business is a circulation-based advertising
model, there is no reason to limit your creative marketing to
worn-out concepts and number-based incentive formats that for
the most part, no longer work.

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