Assuming makes an ass out of you and me

Often when testing concepts or communications with consumers, you have several derrrr moments – steps you have forgotten to mention or no clear call to action.  Once while conducting research for a web based service it was clear their comms didn’t tell people they were web based – so when people looked at the print ads they kept asking what was their phone number, or how they connected with the service. 

Ben Kunz at Thought Gadgets brings attention to this post from a million monkeys typing about how people will fill in the blanks based on past experience or beliefs.  This example is hilarious (I will never see the count in the same way again), but not so hilarious if your target is replacing your message with something they assume you mean.  Sometimes you just have to be bleedingly obvious, especially when people are trying to process a million other messages in their average day. ‘Clever’ may work in more high involvement categories or media, but often in low involvement, commodity categories placed through blink and you miss media channels you have to step it out for people, or you become too much hard work and people will walk away from you.

But I’m going back to that youtube clip…the thing that Count does with candles makes me blush…

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1 Comment

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One response to “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me

  1. The Count is brilliant, isn’t he?

    The constant trap is the roomful of BOGSAT (Bunch Of Guys Sitting Around a Table) all in the same corporate uniform, say, business casual but all the same brand of golf shirts, lots of stripes, all talking about their brand and not realizing how customers might *interpret* their message based on context.

    I think the challenge of communications all boils down to the same, age-old human problem — are we really listening to what our recipients are feeling, or are we just blabbing what we want to say ourselves?

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