David Armano over at the Logic+ Emotion blog answers the question "Why Execs Are Stumbling in a New Media World" very well. He uses the recent admission of guilt by executives at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as a perfect example of a large and very successful corporation losing sight of their customers’ wants and needs. Globe and Mail reports, that according to Wenda Harris Millard, the company’s president of media, "We put beauty before utility."
Ah, beauty before utility. Unfortunately, seeking beauty before utility has always been the advertising profession’s greatest downfall. Beautiful ads win awards. Utilitarian ads wins nothing more than disdain amongst your colleagues for your unrefined sense of style and taste.
Somehow, today’s advertising professionals got the idea that creating irrelevant but beautiful ads has only RECENTLY lead to advertising failure!
Again at the Globe and Mail they report:
One reason is that consumers today can afford to be more demanding. They can choose among television, radio and magazines, or skip those altogether in favor of video games, music downloads and text messaging.
Today’s audience also depends less on media companies for the entertainment itself, executives pointed out. User-generated content like a friend’s video or a stranger’s blog may suit a consumer’s taste more than a film, TV show or song offered by a major corporation.
REALITY WAKE UP CALL!
People have ALWAYS had something better to do with their time than pay attention to irrelevant ads.
The only difference was back in the "good old days" advertisers and their agencies weren’t able to watch via log files as consumers yawned and went on with their lives.
There’s a REASON you need to keep your audience in mind as you create your marketing message. You HAVE to be able to at least imagine walking a mile in your audience’s shoes so you can create content that CONNECTS with them.
Estaban Glas said it best…. CONTENT IS INDEED THE NEXT KILLER APP! Design isn’t useless….by far it’s not. An appealing design is one aspect of creating compelling content. It’s important to note that design is at best second to the actual content.