Marketing Tips: Give People What They Want… Sometimes.

Choices in MarketingWhen it comes to marketing, people know what they want.
At least they think they do.
The funny thing is that even though people have stated preferences, a lot of times, studies prove that what people have stated as their preference is not actually what works best. It’s important to know and understand this distinction so that you can make an educated decision about how to proceed in your marketing efforts.
Here are a few marketing tips to get you started…

People say that they prefer body copy with shorter lines, because it makes the text more readable.

The cardinal rules of design state that shorter lines structured in columns is easier for people to read. Long lines fatigue the eye, or so they say. While this is generally accepted as common knowledge, studies repeatedly show that shorter lines are not actually easier to read. This is because the movements of the eye darting across the page have to deal with long interruptions when you jump from line to line to line. More lines equals more jumps, equals more time your eye needs to finish a page.

People say they dislike blinking ads and that they ignore them.

Sure, that ad blinking in the corner of your screen is annoying… but there’s a reason it is so irritating. Peripheral vision in design is more critical than people understand. Think back to the days when cavemen were sharpening their spears out in the field. If a mammoth came trouncing along, the caveman would see him out of the corner of his eye, and trigger a signal to his brain that it’s time to react and jump out of the way. Even now, thousands of years later, the instinct is still there to respond to sudden changes in your peripheral vision. When you see movement out of the corner of your eye, your brain wants you to look at it. Those ads may be irritating, but that certainly doesn’t mean people won’t look. They will. The question is, will they be too annoyed to buy? That’s for you to decide.

People say they want many choices.

More is better, right? It only makes sense that more options would make it more likely for a person to find an option that is just right for them, right? Not at all. Even though people want more choices, studies have shown that a situation of too many options¬†actually mentally inundates people. Time and time again, people have proven that they will buy when they are presented with fewer options because it is easier to feel more confidant in their decisions. For best results, present three or four options or present options in a progressive fashion so that buyers aren’t faced with too many decisions at once.
So what does this mean for the marketers out there? Do we give people what they want? Sometimes. The most important thing is that you are aware of both what people want, and what people need.
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Carolyn Byard

Carolyn is Iconic's art director and office dog handler. She strives to build unicorns, and she is completely obsessed with the fusion of beautiful design with strong strategy for unforgettable user interfaces.