Is Your Business Blinded By Familiarity?

blogging change
Last summer I was contacted by a business that said they wanted to find a way to improve the effectiveness of their website.

I told them I would be happy to help them and asked them to answer two questions:

1) What did they mean by improving effectiveness?

2) Did their website tell their story?

They told me effectiveness referred to generating leads and told me the second question was silly. I asked them why and they told me it was silly because it was obvious what they did and the services they provided.

I asked them to humor me and suggested that familiarity with their products/services was creating blind spots that they needed to fix.

They assured me again that they had no doubt but said they would be willing to test my theory.

Did Their Website Tell Their Story?

They asked some friends and acquaintances who were not familiar with the business to take a look at the company website and were surprised to find out that these people did not walk away with a clear understanding of what was being offered.

What they learned from this experience was the website was not effective in telling visitors what the company offered.

It didn’t tell their story.

It wasn’t for lack of effort on their part either. It happened because familiarity can cause blind spots. When you know something inside and out it is sometimes easy to forget to include key pieces of information because you think it is obvious.

Yet what is obvious to you isn’t to everyone else.

Change Your Thinking

Sometimes the best thing we can do to help our businesses and ourselves is open our minds and allow for the opportunity to change our thinking about some things.

It doesn’t have to be a radical change either. Sometimes all that is needed is a simple restructuring of how you look at things.

When it comes to websites and encouraging prospective customers to respond to a call-to-action or at least to ask for more information simple is good.

Make it easy for them to understand you story.

What do you do? What do you offer? Why is it valuable.

Share the features, share the functions, share the benefits.

Don’t let familiarity prevent you from being open to recognizing not everyone can see what you see or knows what you know.

What do you think?

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  1. Larry July 1, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Valid point and well stated. It’s easy trap to fall into and I think we fall into it in all walks of life.

  2. Danny Brown June 30, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Excellent points and great example, mate.

    A few years back, I worked for a start-up that was trying to challenge the likes of Hootsuite and Sprout Social when it came to social media dashboards. The CEO was forever changing his mind on what he wanted the platform to do, and this resulted in a frequently-changing and ever-confusing website/message.

    Meanwhile, on the marketing team, we knew exactly who it would benefit and how to tell that story. So, instead of a heavy website trying to be all things to all people, we created a very simple video, that showed each tool in the dashboard, and how that related to business goals.

    The result? Increased sign-ups and activations, and nary a website referral in place. So, yeah…. confusion and being too close to a product can be very dangerous bedfellows.

    Cheers, mate, good stuff.

    • Joshua June 30, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      I have had a similar experience with management that has the attention span of a gnat. It is a challenge to keep them happy and to make things work when they are forever changing their minds, especially if they are unaware of how crazy it makes people.

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