Worry about the ‘Small Things’

December 18th, 2009  |  No Comments

…And the ‘Big Things’ will take care of themselves.


So often, we tend to focus on the end results before we even start; be it a website, campaign, online marketing…etc. Clients tend to pay less attention to the process and the many small variables that a good designer, consultant or developer brings to the table. But this is a very difficult concept to get across to the a prospective client. You’re essentially trying to sell them on your experience and it ends up sounding like something that Chris Farley might have said in the movie Tommy Boy.

This came to light recently when a client insisted that a Facebook Ad look a certain way. They insisted that the itty bitty ad that they wanted have writing on it, i.e. name of company, website..etc. I tried to tell them that this wouldn’t be readable for the user and they’d be much better off with something simpler and that they should rely on the text below the add for any details. I mean, what would we know – we’ve only been doing this forever.

So, the we placed their ad up. But the story doesn’t end there.

To prove a point, we kept the other ad to and served it as well without the client knowing (and we paid out of pocket to see how our ad would perform). Lo and behold, our Ad returned 700 percent higher click-through rate than theirs. We mentioned this to the client and they said something to the effect of oh, yea..we wanted ‘our’ designer to do the work because they ‘understand’ our style and brand. Huh?

Every time I think about this my heart starts beating just a tad bit faster until I calm the mind with some ‘Buddy The Elf’ truisms that I keep handy. All kidding aside though, I come across countless small experiences where experience can help a client, increase campaign performance, drive online sales, increase leads for websites but most of them tend to fall into the ‘intangible’ category – things that aren’t easily tracked and things that are done without the client even knowing.

This concept of  ‘many small things’ become evident when working with a good developer who understand usability. A good developer will create small elements, enforce logic and simplify based on experience that eventually enhances the user experience (and eventual success of a website). Nearly all of these things will go unnoticed by clients.

So how do we compare how a site is built, versus how a site would have been built if the client moved in  a different direction?

I guess it really boils down to good communication with the client and in making sure that we focus on analytics. In the end, success online comes from the proper execution of many small elements. If we can show companies results at the end of the day maybe the details should remain the intangible things that make up a good marketing team, dev or design team?

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