Get To the Point

by Rob Wicker

The guiding principle in advertising and journalism is the same: Get to the point. The “point” is the most important information that you are trying to communicate to your audience. 

I’ve noticed that real estate agents are not good at getting to the point on their personal websites. You see a lot of the same generic information (e.g., good customer service, work hard, care about you) that consumers find boring. 

What is the most important information that you are trying to communicate on your site? For example, local inventory, what’s special about you as an agent, interesting information about the area… 

How to Get to the Point Sooner

Advertisers and journalists face the same problems—the overwhelming amount of information in the marketplace and the declining attention span of consumers, many of whom now have an attention span comparable to fruit flies. 

Journalists are taught to get to the point using the famous Inverted Pyramid. This is an upside down pyramid that features the most interesting and substantial information at the broad top, and the less important information at the small tip. Whan a journalist begins a story with trivial, rather than important information, it’s called “burying the lead.”

The beauty of the Inverted Pyramid is that it attracts the reader’s attention and enables him to gather important information quickly.

Pay Attention to All Kinds of Advertising

When you read a magazine or watch television, analyze if and how the ads that you see efficiently communicate important information. This morning I saw an ad in Men’s Journal promoting the new Sprint/HTC 4G phone. The leadline in the ad said, “Runs Adobe Flash.” One thing iPhone users complain about is that iPhones don’t run Flash, so they can’t access a lot of videos and animation on the Web. In their magazine ad, Sprint is immediately taking dead aim at iPhone users who are considering an upgrade to a 4-G phone.

 You’ll need to decide what is the most important information that you want to communicate, and when you do, get to the point—not only on your website but in your print ads, brochures, direct mail, blogs, and every other kind of marketing that you do.

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