Ever been to a function or a party and spotted someone across the room who looks seriously cool?
You eventually catch their eye and smile and head over to introduce yourself.
After you’ve complimented them on their amazing look you quickly notice something really annoying; something that makes you wish you’d ignored them in the first place.
They might look great, but they have nothing worthwhile to say.
Promising on the surface, but clueless underneath.
Your great expectations of an engaging dialogue are shattered as you struggle to find a way to excuse yourself from a pointless conversation.
It reminds me of some of the efforts you see in marketing communications.
A business goes to the trouble of having a designer make their ad, website or brochure look great, cool even, if that’s important to their brand.
But whatever they have to say sounds awful.
It’s wrong on any number of levels – disorganised, too wordy, grammatically challenged, vaguely or too generally targeted, doesn’t highlight product benefits, and more.
Notice I said ‘sounds’ awful. That’s because people don’t look at words, they listen to them.
As you read, you hear your own voice and it’s telling you a story.
And that story needs to sound right.
It needs to have an easy rhythm that picks you up and takes you effortlessly along before leaving you with a strong impression and, ideally, the urge to do or buy something.
This is why writers and designers are equally important to your marketing.
You can’t expect a visual statement to do all the work.
And you can’t expect anyone to be attracted to a bunch of words either, even if they’re cleverly crafted.
It’s a partnership, where the end result is often greater than the sum of its parts.
Sound cool to you?