Internet Marketing: Diagram Before the Details

People tend to love designing the details of any marketing initiative.  I truly understand why too.  It’s the slick and cool piece of marketing.  Unfortunately, it’s typically the least impactful to your audience and should garner the least attention.  If you are doing any internet marketing activity, plan an overview before considering any details.

I was in a meeting where a new web design was being proposed.  A basic wireframe was presented with hierarchy and navigation for a website.  I felt the proposed layout was practical, provided good visitor flow (scent), and ultimately made a lot of sense for the company.  The company representative’s comment was that the colors should be brighter and that she couldn’t read the text.  She also pointed out a few typos.

While the presenter obviously did a poor job prepping the company representative for what she was going to see, I’m always a little put-off when I hear this response. 

The first problem was that the text was just sample text.  A lot of it was gibberish so I had to chuckle inwardly at picking out typos in the first paragraph.  The second problem was that the company representative was focusing on all the wrong things.  She was discussing design tweaks rather than hierarchy and navigation.  The latter two are much more likely to effect ROI.

When setting up, designing, or re-designing any online marketing initiative.  Get the overview down.  Clearly define a goal and then create a diagram that will support the audience taking action on that goal.  A slick layout will not convert your audience.  The detail and design is a supporting feature of the larger hierarchies.  You have to map out a trip before worrying about whether to take a left or a right. 

Many people miss the forest for the trees.  Make sure you understand what and where the forest is before deciding how to place the trees.

– Eric
eMarketing Innovation

P.S. No I am not the presenter in this story (though it seems like a “my friend” scenario.  I was involved to collaborate on how the email campaigns would update and be incorporated into a new design.

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