Marketer #1: Hmmm. Time to update our corporate website again. That swell webinar we went to said we should use more images on our web pages and printed materials because humans are beginning to lose the ability to read.
Marketer #2: I know, let’s go get some stock photos to make our site appealing to Millennials. We sell to businesses, and those businesses are full of people who work in teams. Let’s get pictures of people working in teams and put them on our webpage.
Marketer #1: Those teams work in offices so we should have a picture of an office too.
Marketer #2: Let’s not forget our contact us page: We should show a photo of someone wearing a headset and being helpful.
Marketer #1: We definitely need a photo of our building. Everyone will want to know we are located in an anonymous suburban industrial park. Be sure the parking lot lines are visible.
Marketer #2: Say, our products are kind of hard to understand, so we’ll need an abstract image that conveys connected things with other connected things with a globe. Cuz we’re, you know, global.
Marketer #1: The testimonials page is a bit dull with all those logos, so let’s be sure we show a photo of a confident, happy small business owner who has just used our services. It should have an Open sign and be a bakery or a flower shop.
Marketer #2: We really need to show someone in a shirt and tie drawing on a piece of glass or maybe just in the air.
Marketer #1: Our website is going to rock.
Be honest, somewhere on your website you have a photo of an improbably attractive, multi-racial team of adults, all wearing headsets and smiling benevolently while they tap away on their sleek computers.
This is not what your call centre looks like. It’s not what any call centre looks like. It’s what Shutterstock and Getty and those folks think a call centre ought to look like because the last time they were in one was never.
They also think that white collar workers high-five each other in the airport on the way home from a big pitch; that busy people have two phones on their desks, and that all offices are open concept collaborative spaces in heritage buildings with 14-foot ceilings. How would they know otherwise?
The sad part is, lazy marketers perpetuate this garbage by buying and using meaningless images of things and people and places that don’t exist, aren’t interesting and add absolutely nothing to the conversation.
Getty Critics has lots of fun taking the piss out of the banal and ridiculous world of consumer-targeted images; I think it’s time B2B marketers and agencies got a whole lot pickier about imagery and design.
Images and design matter. Go hire someone to create something original.
Interesting Things I Found This Week
Fewer than half of companies ask their sales people to do role-playing sessions to practice their delivery. This infographic from Corporate Visions, and the research that inspired it, offer some great reminders about why buyers make the decisions they do. This is a perfect opener for your next sales update.
BizMarketer is Elizabeth Williams
You can reach me at email@example.com
or follow me on Twitter @bizmkter