After 25 plus years in the advertising business, I often ponder if true quality and great design still matter in this Internet-centric world. I see mediocre photos on Pintrest, senseless messages on Twitter and Facebook and videos on YouTube that give homemade a bad name and ask myself if this is the new standard for communications? What ever happened to the art of photography with tediously tweaked lighting, words that are smithed and not spewed and videos that actually had meaning and were crafted by talented professionals that were schooled in these art forms? So does quality really matter anymore?
The online audience seems not to mind, and now it has seemingly trickled down, or perhaps up, to the corporate ranks. It appears that costs are more imperative than the final outcome of a marketing message that not only is a direct reflection upon that business, but could also potentially influence a consumer to purchase. Although the economy is dragging on us all now for many, many months, does that force us to accept the unacceptable?
I say no! If we hope to pull ourselves up and out of this muck we have been thrown into, everything matters, no matter how small the message is. Brand is still, and will always be, critical and a company that respects itself, will in turn be respected by others. This is no time to turn our backs on the art of communication. Rather, it’s more important now than ever to stand tall in a sea of sludge that is endlessly flushed onto the web in hopes of getting noticed for 15 minutes of fame.
Recently, we found ourselves being rated by another SEO “expert” who found it easy to point out our faults on a site we had developed. So, like any true competitor, I took an un-opinionated view of their site. It was so verbosely over worded I fled the scene as quickly as my fingers could escape. Was that the ultimate SEO-driven example of an online presence in this new marketplace? Again, I say no.
I’m a passionate designer that would no more develop a site using a me-too template than I would quaff a glass of Malbec with a flakey white fish dish. Just not happening!
We only craft websites that are as unique as our clients, from start to finish. Why bother making a website if you’re going to look just like another company only with different photos and text? Give me a well coded and optimized site with some real design flare that will not only allow me to find my way there, but actually captivate me upon arrival. It only makes sense, especially in a world of words with no meaning. The eyes have the last say in whether one stays or flees a site in the long run. And, don’t display pics from your phone or a video shot by your cousin that’s lit like it was shot on the moon! Give me quality or give me another website!
Romance, as we know it, is fleeting and we are guilty of allowing it to happen. Did we really save money in the long run when potential buyers lost interest and we lost revenue? Cheap is, and always be, a direct reflection of the business willing to allow themselves to be represented by substandard creative work. Penny wise and pound foolish is not the road to success.
Maybe I am a part of a dying breed, but you’ll miss us when we’re gone, or maybe not. Because if we continue to accept mediocrity, we will continue to nurture it and lay rest to those who are the champions of communicating through an artistic voice.