Sian, Creative Strategist The impact of medium on message In the age of Trump, WikiLeaks, and fake news, Marshall McLuhan’s idea of ‘the medium is the message’ has become somewhat prophetic, with ramifications for everyone—from marketers to web designers. Writing in the 1960’s, McLuhan was most interested in the medium used to deliver content to us—the platforms used to house our news articles, our social media posts, our advertisements, our product information—and how the means by which we experience the content can impact how we perceive something. A computer delivers information in a different way to listening to a radio or reading a book, and this difference in turn impacts on our collective experiences, identities, and understandings. On a different level, you can see this effect in the restrictive formats of different social media platforms like vine (rest in peace), Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Live—all different formats where the medium impacts the creation and delivery of the content, therefore affecting the message. The saturation of information enabled, encouraged, and proliferated by the Internet also has impacts for media experiences. McLuhan described this as ‘a total absence of secrecy’, and ‘with the end of secrecy goes the end of monopolies of knowledge”. For those who work so closely with mass media, marketers and designers need to understand that the medium chosen to deliver a campaign message will have a significant impact on understanding and experience. “There’s no continuity, there’s no connection, there’s no follow through. It’s all just now.” You can check out this neat animation which provides a primer of McLuhan’s theory:
Chris, Head of Digital Choices, choices, choices… The other day I suddenly felt the desperate need for a chocolate bar. As I entered the newsagents I was met by a counter with 30 plus varieties of the item I craved. After spending a couple of minutes staring blankly towards the counter, I ended up leaving the newsagents with a packet of salt and vinegar crisps in hand. This paralysis of choice also transfers to the usability of your website. You have done all the hard work and got the potential user onto your website with an intent to enquire/purchase but there is no clear path to take to execute their intent. Too many ‘Call to Actions’ (CTAs) can easily confuse a user, therefore you need to ensure that they are not overloaded with choices and that your CTA(s) are clear and concise. If a user has a clear path to conversion once their purchase decision has been made, they will more likely convert. Contact us to make sure that your potential client walks out of the newsagents with the Crunchie they wanted in the first place.
Candice, MD Value over volume We all know by now how important it is to create regular content, and we also know how time consuming it is. The biggest thing to take into account is that creating content for the sake of creating content is just adding to the noise. Also think about the channels that you use for the content that you push out, and evaluate if your audience is actually interested in it. If not, it’s time to change tactics, and fast. It’s important to listen and understand your customers, they will help guide you into what content they are interested in and what channels they simply don’t value. Start by understanding the content that you already have. Take time to evaluate what resonates and what doesn’t. Create a process to map your content strategy going forward to the needs of your customer and make sure you are able to deliver a personalised journey for them. User experience, especially for mobile, is incredibly important to look at. Google is splitting their index to evaluate mobile sites separately, and therefore it’s valuable to look at how you structure your content that can be crawled by Google’s mobile ranking algorithm, which are all key to helping drive SEO. Great content alone isn’t enough! It’s important to know what your objectives are, whether that is to raise brand awareness, improve SEO or generate a better online engagement, and then create content of value, over volume, in order to help you achieve those objectives.