Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Zig-Zag Theory of marketing

"Good Lord, Ben, smoking? In your website and on Facebook? In 2014"??

No cigarettes were harmed during the making of these photos.
"Aren't you losing customers over that"? 

If anything, I noticed a spike in requests in the weeks after I posted these photos. Right because it's so much Not Done in 2014, and thus a rare sight, that my website became memorable. 

This is called 'the Zig-Zag theory' of marketing: if the whole world goes to the left, you go to the right. 

You have experienced it yourself: you search for a hotel somewhere, visit 22 hotel websites (which is the average before making a  hotel reservation), and they are just all the same. One click after the other, it's the same. 

In Fiji: 'Come as guest, and leave as a friend" (I found this 25 times)
In Morocco: 'True authenticity. Experience the real Morocco' (I found this 32 times).

It is remarkable how such hotels also more or less copy the style of the websites of competitors. 

Who can be a contender in that quick series of 22-hotels-in-22-seconds? The hotel website that stands out.

"Everybody uses flash in their website - we need to have that too".
"Our competitors use music - shall we have that too"?
"They are all on YouTube - we must have a video too".

I know it's very tempting. I know that repeat influences can be strong. Yet, in the end, those who give in to such perceived social pressure, are merely 'tagging along' with fashion. They will be, once again, just one in a dozen. 

And the only one who profits is the business that was among the first to use it. For they had an advantage or temporary spike in the conquest of the market share.

There are over a trillion web pages online. 
One single thing no online visitor is searching for, is the possibility to be bored. 


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