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Realize it or not, your website (or lack thereof) is often the first impression a prospect or peer will have of you. It's ironic that a company with great offices, and sometimes even decent work, will have a crappy website -- or amazingly, no website. Those who don't yet embrace the new technology, will. Like last century's horse-and-buggy luddites, it simply takes some folks longer than others.
Besides ignorance and lethargy I have another theory why many current websites are uninspired. Every new technology seems to follow an evolutionary chain of events. It starts with the techies, evolves with the media folks and, just when things get really boring, leaps forward with the creatives. Take the automobile, for example. Not long after Henry Ford got his Model T in every American's garage, something happened. Despite affordable prices and savvy marketing, sales plummeted. The novelty of owning an automobile had worn off. Simply having a car wasn't enough. It was the beginning of a major creative evolution in the auto industry. Automobiles became exciting. Same with television. Back in the 50's, when TV was the new media, common thinking was that sticking a radio announcer in front of a TV camera was the cool way to sell stuff. It was -- but not for long. Cue "The Golden Age of Advertising." Another major creative evolution. As I surf websites now I'm reminded of those early radio guys on TV -- informative, but dull.
Sure, some will argue it's not a fair analogy since TV commercials need to grab attention whereas websites need only appeal to the person who's already interested. True. But, as with any media, your audience won't stay interested for long if the information you present is creatively uninspired.
Bill Bernbach, a great leader of that last creative evolution, stated;
"You can say the right thing about a product and nobody will listen. You've got to say it in such a way that people will feel it in their gut. Because if they don't feel it, nothing will happen."
"Merely to let your imagination run riot, to dream unrelated dreams, to indulge in graphic acrobatics and verbal gymnastics is NOT being creative. The creative person has harnessed his imagination. He has disciplined it so that every thought, every idea, every word he puts down, every line he draws, every light and shadow in every photograph he takes, makes more vivid, more believable, more persuasive the original theme or product advantage he has decided he must convey."
Of what Bill Bernbach so profoundly spoke is "disciplined creativity." Now, try this... replace the words "every line he draws" with "every flash animation he codes." Applied to the New Media Bernbach's creative credo applies today more than ever.
We, in this business, are expert communicators who know how to get a message across in an exciting, persuasive way. Nobody does it better. As we find ourselves on the verge of yet another great creative evolution we must acknowledge the fact that it will be those creative thinkers among us -- who understand and embrace the new media -- who will be the ones leading it.
TalentZoo.com is the online destination for both job seekers and employers in the communications industry. It's also a must for up-to-the minute content on industry trends, news, career guidance, or just to schmooze. Find a better life with Talent Zoo (http://www.talentzoo.com).
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