In marketing, entropy is about putting forth effort consistently or what happens when a lack of consistency occurs. It’s about what happens when you provide ongoing marketing verses engaging in hit and miss, or start and stop methods of marketing. I have seen many clients spend the right amount of money (the right mass) in the right places and at the right time to push a ball uphill and get great results. Examples would include; taking a blog and growing it from zero to 3000 page views a month in six months. Another would be getting on page one of organic search after six months. At this point they normally evaluate their success to determine if the payoff was good, considering their efforts and cost. The reality in both situations is that their effort got them to the top of the hill, now they need to realize that it’s time to add new efforts to maximize conversion. That fact is, most advertisers do little if any market research. Research must take place to achieve maximum conversion rate. Now that they are at the top of the hill (on page one organically or achieve a substantial audience), they need to test their messages, their compelling offers and make sure their target is dead on. Doing this when at the top of the hill will increase and maximize their return on their investment.
At Business Insider’s Ignition 2013 Conference, the media companies in attendance said 50 percent of their core audience’s content consumption came through their mobile apps. That’s proof that people want easy-to-understand answers and solutions right at their fingertips. (The mobile Web isn’t for heavy reading. After all, when’s the last time you read Hamlet on your Smartphone?)
Even people who are reading on a traditional computer screen want to see content that’s easy to digest. Back in 2006, the Nielsen Norman Group did a groundbreaking study on how people read Web pages, and the results are still very relevant today. After tracking hundreds of readers’ eye movements, they found that people scan Web pages quickly, focusing on the top and left portions of the page the most. (That’s why so many successful Web writers break things down into lists and short paragraphs – because it fits in with this reading pattern.)
No matter what device people use to read your Web content in 2014, you’ve got to keep it concise and conversational. Take all of those fancy words you learned for the SATs and forget about them. Your readers want quick answers and solutions; they don’t want to marvel at your extensive vocabulary.
Financial behemoth JPMorgan launched a social media campaign this year called “#AskJPM”. A seemingly innocent and engaging idea, the premise was simple: Incite Twitter users to ask their hard-hitting financial questions to JPMorgan professionals.
Here’s where they went wrong – they forgot to consider the public view and opinion of banking institutions overall, and the inevitable snarky comments from the angered masses. In other words, they were asking for trouble, and they found it. Because the industry had already generated so much frustration and blame, creating a hashtag to direct public questions only fanned the flames, and created a direct portal for venting. A little forward thinking would have prevented this debacle all together. Instead, it was (and still is) an embarrassment for the company, with many negative #AskJPM comments and questions posted for all to see.
How we can learn from this: If you’re in an unpopular industry, or if you’re doing damage control with your audience, be very careful about the feedback you elicit. Never be ignorant about your reputation online and elsewhere, and communicate your campaigns with a clear purpose and awareness.