Driving Through the Clutter
Patricia | Jan. 8, 2010

The case for the difficulty of modern marketing is enumerated by Augustine Fou, a social marketer for the health care and pharmaceutical industries.

“Studies have shown that 1) ad recall is at an all time low, 2) banner ad click-through rates are usually rounding-errors to zero – i.e., very, very low, and 3) consumers’ eyes avoid the top and right of Web pages because they know that’s where ads are typically placed.”

These three facts (which I haven’t checked independently but which sound right) total one thing: the human mind can only take in so much and after a point, adapts by efficiently filtering out the surplus, or in the case of advertising, what is referred to as “clutter.”

It’s like driving. If you registered every single detail as you moved across the landscape, it would be impossible to proceed. To survive, we assign categories of importance to the things around us: pedestrians and bicyclists in the road are number one, other cars are number two, red lights and stop signs are number three…and so on. If we allowed billboards to be number one, we’d have a lot more wrecks.

Of course we already know this. What we don’t always know, and continue to try to crack, is how to be the one message that breaks through. And since our desire for products, services, ideas, candidates, etc. is as complicated as a busy street, there are no blanket answers to that.

Comments are closed.