Look. Listen.

by LISA O

Have you ever had a waiter get your order completely wrong? This frustrating scenario easily can be applied to today’s fast-paced, app-obsessed businesses. Time after time, we see products and services that customers didn’t want or need. It’s a waste of time, resources, and money.

The trick to overcoming this is pretty simple: stop insisting that your business tell people what they want or need.

Instead, observe your customers’ daily lives, ask them what their biggest challenges are, and find out what they dream about. Get to know your customers like they’re your friends. Then, and only then, can you really find out what they want or need.

Want to know your customers more? Here are two well-established resources you can actually use:

Stop Talking So Much

by LISA O

Most of us believe that the more we use words, the more we’ll be understood. It’s communication, right? And we’re always told to over-communicate because repeating using lot of words helps you to be understood. Here’s the problem: At some point, people stop listening.

I’m not talking about those critical things that businesses communicate internally, such as a change in strategy or business model. Those really do need to be heard several times before most of us get it. I’m referring to content that is ultimately consumed by your target audience. Websites, newsletters, print materials, and the lot.

If you think your audience is going to stick around and read a wall of grey text because you think it’s so gosh darn INFORMATIVE, then you’re doing it all wrong. Let me share a few mind-blowing statistics that will change your mind:

  • 48% of a website’s words are read when they’re 111 words or less.
  • 17% of people spend 4 seconds or less on websites. 4% spend 10 minutes.
  • Our overall attention span was a paltry 8 seconds in 2013, down from 12 seconds in 2000. For comparison, a goldfish can last 9.

So what should you do with these statistics? Stop talking so much. Stop thinking that the more words you throw at your audience, the more they’ll listen.

What you need is the right content, boiled down and condensed to it’s thick goopy goodness. Hire a talented content professional who can tease out that solid message, who can break up your walls of grey text into easily digestible bits of information. Your audience, and their attention spans, will love you for it.