Chapter 5. Be a Guide

The average American is exposed to nearly 5,000 advertising and promotional messages per day. Those pushing products, services, and ideas hope that their message is one of the few that actually resonates with a target individual, resulting in a purchase, a donation, or commitment of any kind, no matter how small.

The chances are pretty slim. Why is that? Marketers—and make no mistake, we are all marketers at some level, whether selling a product, pushing an idea, or simply trying to convince a friend to join us for a cup of coffee—do not fully understand the increasing difficulty that people have in making choices. Instead of supporting the natural process that people must go through each day to make choices, we continue to bombard our audience with options. Most marketers overwhelm their target audience with so many options it becomes paralyzing.

To be successful, you have to be a guide. The current media environment mandates that you create the benchmarks and assistance to help people find what they need. Some of those benchmarks may be in the support of fewer choices, or you may utilize information technology to help them identify appropriate choices and come to a decision.

So Many Choices ...

How many different products, styles, and options do we have to filter through before making a decision? Two? A dozen? A thousand? A million? It is personal to each one of us, but for everyone, even the simplest of decisions now requires sorting through a near-endless number ...

Get Media Rules!: Mastering Today's Technology to Connect With and Keep Your Audience now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.