People cannot recall everything they are exposed to in a single message but safety people think they are.
This year, the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad was $5 Million. And advertising availabilities were sold out … again. Companies lined up to spend millions of dollars for a single 30-second time-slot. But, do you think that expenditure of $5 Million for a single ad drives enough revenue to the sponsor to pay for that ad? Nope. It will not. At least not alone.
Advertisers who take a 30-second time-slot on the Super Bowl are not expecting to drive tens of millions of dollars of sales from a single ad. No. They are using that expenditure of a single TV ad as a showcase for their product. But it is only a small piece of the overall mix of their marketing tools.
In addition to the ad buy, companies will spend millions of dollars more marketing attention on their ad. In other words, they will tease their customers that they will be unveiling a new ad during Super Bowl. They will employ millions of dollars on social media strategies to engage people to watch the ad both prior to the Super Bowl and even more after the Super Bowl is over. They will look for the media to talk about their ads (giving them more free publicity), hope people will share social media links (more free publicity) and even wait for others to mock the ads with spoof ads (even more free publicity). Thousands of people will go to work to get people to take an action: to watch the ad during the game, to share the ad with their social media network, to click links to watch the ad online. And it’s all done in the hopes of driving more foot traffic through the doors to sell more product. People buy what they are aware of and what intrigues them.
There Is An Overall Strategy
Buying an ad is expensive on its own if you expect to drive millions of dollars in business from a single exposure. But people don’t rush right out and buy a case of beer or a new car because of a single ad. That ad is part of an overall strategy. And that is the lesson that safety can learn.
Just like all of the dozens of advertisers who ran their ads during Super Bowl, we as viewers, were captivated maybe by only one or two. And by captivated, I mean we were able to recall the gist of the message but not able to repeat it back verbatim. People are simply not able to recall everything they are exposed to in a single message. But for some reason, safety people think they are. That’s why so many safety meetings feature full information-dumps and endless streams of bullet-points in the hopes that meeting attendees will be able to discern and distinguish the urgent, from the important from the filler material. The purpose of a well-designed marketing strategy is to get people to take a specific action. What is the action that you are expecting from your safety meetings and communications?
1Add a call-to-action. What do you want people to do with the information you give them? Without a reason or a purpose to internalize the information, it will be mentally discarded after a short time. Give people something to do with the information. Tell them why they are being given the information and what you want them to do with it. Don’t just dump the information and expect that they can read your mind. They can’t.
2Distill down your ideas into one or two actionable items. Not everything can be an action step. Your people would be overwhelmed with actions steps that they could never accomplish. So, distill it down. A professional athlete isn’t given a list of seventeen things they need to work on before next game. They work on one or two. We can’t focus on everything. Become exceptional at a few things at a time.
3Repeat. Repeat. And then Repeat. You can’t remember the whole 30-second commercial on your first view. Your people don’t remember everything you told them on their first view. Stop thinking that they can. Have a plan, a strategy for communicating safety. Repeat the key points and ideas. Repeat the key action-steps. Build on the last action step and repeat, repeat, repeat. Keep driving that message home. No one gets all of it the first time.
Just like the Super Bowl, the ads that we remember are the ones that captivate us. We tune out boring ads just like we tune out boring safety communications. So, make it engaging. Make it memorable. Make it all about them.
Kevin Burns has authored ten books on human performance and safety, including his most recent release, PeopleWork - The Human Touch in Workplace Safety. Buy it now on Amazon. Then, consider bringing Kevin's consulting expertise to your company or have him speak at a safety event.
©2017 ZeroSpeak Corporation and Kevin Burns.
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