As marketers, one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is: “How easy are we to work with?” – as in how easy is it to download the whitepaper? Request a demo? Get help from the support team? Pay their bill?
Sometimes, while we are in the thick of creating websites, materials and processes, we forget that we are experts at our own products and our own companies. What is obvious to us (click on Resources, to get to our blog) may not be obvious to end-users/the audience we are trying to appeal to.
I was reminded of this on a recent visit to a local hospital.
In an effort to reduce their environmental impact most hospitals have implemented waste sorting stations in their cafeterias and food courts. Here is a picture of a typical station:
The concept is simple – ask the end-user (the person who finished eating) to sort their waste into the correct receptacle so that it can be disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way. Unfortunately, the result is often a mess.
Despite the welcoming colors and the clearly printed graphics, these sorting stations are often confusing to end-users. Do plastic-lined paper cups go into the paper bin or do they go in the regular garbage? Should used napkins go in the food waste or paper?
Worse, during the lunch rush, these stations often become a bottleneck so people only have a few seconds to make up their mind or risk holding up the line of people eager to get back to work. Thus, paper ends up in the regular garbage and plastics end up in the organic container.
The hospital I visited had one of these waste stations, but they added something to help make it very easy for people to know which bin to use. Above each receptacle, they mounted a display of all the items used in their cafeteria and the corresponding bin they should go in.
Now there is no confusion. All you have to do is look at your tray and look up to see where the matching item is. No more guessing. They made it extremely easy for their end-users to know what to do.
One of the best things we can do as marketers is make it easy for customers and prospects to engage with us. We need to design our websites and our processes so that customers know exactly what to do next. It’s an investment that will pay off as much as launching a new paid search campaign would.
Now that the quieter summer months are upon us, it’s the perfect time to step back and assess your materials to see if you can make things even easier for your target audience to engage with you.
Now please excuse me as I put my salad container into the correct bin.