From the December 2006 issue of our newsletter, Let's Grow. For a FREE subscription, CLICK HERE.

Right Brain, Left Brain

Appealing to All Thinking Styles

I always learn a lot about how people think when I ask them for driving directions. I’m in awe of my designer, who gives the most precise directions completely in pictures. Perhaps because I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag, my directions tend to be text-heavy. We make a great team.

When preparing your catalog, ads or other marketing materials, it’s important to keep in mind that different people absorb information completely differently. Look at the photos and headlines without any other text. Is the main point clear? Read the text without any photos. Is it still clear?

If you fall short on either the visual or the verbal side, revise accordingly. Studies prove that there’s a remarkable 89% increase in information retention when pictures and words are combined.

A few more suggestions:

  • Use headlines, subheads, bulleted copy and bursts to make your points easier to grasp quickly.
  • Keep paragraphs and sentences short.
  • Place captions directly under photos. Tests prove that such placement dramatically increases comprehension.

Whether you absorb information better through pictures or words, don’t forget the other half of the world. Team up with someone whose work you respect but who has a completely different style. That way, you’ll maximize your results by speaking a language your whole market responds to.

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