4 tactics for combatting marketing blindness

Do you remember the first billboard you saw on the way to work today? What
about the second?

As another exercise, try to remember what cereal boxes are in your
cupboard. Which cereal is on the left, which is on the right? If you can’t
remember, you’re not alone.

We become blind to the things we see every day. Our eyes see things like
billboards and cereal boxes and immediately (subconsciously) decide that we know about them already. Therefore, they aren’t worth our
conscious attention anymore.

[RELATED: Craft engaging stories that inspire audiences, build brand loyalty and more.]

What does this say about your company’s marketing efforts?

Your website might have been super flashy and eye-grabbing the first time
potential clients saw it, but what about the third or fourth—or twelfth
time? If you can forget your favorite cereal, you can certainly forget a

(For those who are interested in a deeper dive on the topic,
researchers have studied this phenomenon quite a bit. Psychologists
have even given it a name —
”Inattentional Blindness

—and Scientific American posted

a fascinating article

about it.)

Take these steps to ensure your audience stops glossing over and your marketing starts landing once again:

Play with your website.

Of course, it’s not necessarily feasible to whip up a new website every
month or two. However, the changes don’t need to be severe or complex. Even
if you start with small changes, it can start adding up.

The main image on your homepage might have been unique or interesting a few
months ago, or for first-time visitors to your site, but it no longer
registers for repeat visitors. It’s time to change it up.

You could pick a new stock image each month and have your web team swap it
out for you—better than nothing—but there’s an even better way. Get on
board with a service like
Optimizely’s Web Personalization
product or BrightEdge’s
BrightEdge Content
product, which automatically change the display content on your landing
page for repeat visitors to your site. These “smart content” providers do
the work for you, making sure that your website stays fresh and arresting
for repeat visitors.

2. Revisit your email template.

What changes do you make to your template each time you’re introducing
yourself and your products to a journalist or potential client?

If the only change you make is the recipient’s name, you’re doing it wrong.

In fact, Cision’s
2018 State of the Media Report
recently discovered that journalists have been itching for more

According to the report:

For the third year in a row, journalists ask that you to [sic] research
them, understand who they are and what they cover before pitching them,
ranking this their top request of PR pros.

Take an extra five minutes here and there to punch up your emails. Show the
recipient that you’re human and that you realize they’re human, too. Prove
to them that you’re interested in them—not just their money or their

  • Did you meet them at a tradeshow? Point out something specific that they
    told you. Show them you were listening.
  • Are you responding to an inquiry they sent through your site? Before
    replying, look up their organization first and identify a couple of things
    about what they do. Show them how their specific industry is a perfect fit
    for your service.
  • Have you researched their previous work and connections? Power up a
    search engine or visit their LinkedIn profile and do a bit of digging.

3. Use press releases to continue your story.

Your organization started with a story. Maybe it began with your founder’s
lemonade stand, or a vision during your business ethics class in college.

Whatever it was, it’s a story.

In the time since your organization was founded, did your story stop? Of
course not! Your story has been developing this entire time. So, keep
telling your story.

Share with your clients, readers and the media how your story is staying
fresh, even today. The best way to do that, unsurprisingly, is with a press
release. According to the Cision’s 2018 State of the Media Report, the
number one most trusted source for news is the press release.

Every press release is a new chance to show your audience how your story is
changing. It’s a chance to make sure your audience doesn’t tune out.

4. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

You want to stay original and fresh—but this doesn’t require a whole new
approach to marketing. These can be small changes: updating your website a
bit more often (or using automation to do it for you), tailoring your
message to your clients and the press (rather than giving them a generic
template) and sending out a few more press releases.

These small changes can undo the inattentional blindness that’s been
building around your brand, allowing you to start catching the eyes of your
audience once again.

Aaron Searle is a PR Newswire senior customer content specialist. A
version of this article originally ran

on the Cision blog

(Image via)

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