Communication is critically dependent on the flow of signals between the sender and the receiver. Two distinct variants of communication exist, depending on synchronicity of communication exchange. Either the communication is in the same time (syn – chronos) or not (a – syn – chronos). In the syn-chronous case, the sender can adjust his output on the basis of the feedback he starts receiving in the very moment he is communicating. This process of adjustment between the sender and the receiver is conscious and subconscious, wherein generally the latter is the key element to real understanding, although primacy is rationally attributed to the former.
What I am more interested in is the a-syn-chronous case, wherein the messenger has to package his message without direct knowledge of how the receiver will respond to it. In such cases it helps if the sender, i.e. the messenger can control, either consciously or subconsciously, the perception flow of the receiver.
No, this is no obscenity, nor is it a measure of my provocation, rather it’s a case in point of what was just said in the first two paragraphs. They are mostly written in a manner that is:
- hard to read,
- not easy to digest.
Short paragraphs do make an impact, especially if they are capable of establishing the flow of perception.
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT GREGOR?
I am talking about the flow of perception. I am talking about the interplay of form an content. It is not only about what I say, but also about how I say it. In written words, i.e. here on this blog, I have to know that your eye will not only follow my exact line of thought, but will jump around to discover interesting bits and pieces, like short paragraphs, capitalized letters, strong words, and also, this is very important, mistkates.
Our brain is supposedly slow in conscious perception, but also massively fast in its subconscious part. If that is true, the assumption is that in the subconscious level the brain is capable of “reading” a page in an instant, however we tend to believe that we do need about a minute of time on a page of text in order to comprehend it. We start at the first word, follow the lines of text and end at the last page. The truth however is, that our brain wanders away very quickly and we need to invest a lot of energy to keep it focused at something that we believe is valuable, although our brain knows upfront that it is nothing else but a pile of rubbish. And so the fight alas forced learning starts.
The perception flow is about observing how to compose messages in order to help facilitate the flow of the brain and create this interplay of content and form which helps us to transmit information in its purest form.
How does this apply to marketing?
Whenever you compose text, be aware of the hierarchy of messaging. Plan on what gets read fiRSt. Plan on what gets read sEcoND. Plan on what gets read tHIrd. If you’re capable of designing the form and content (i.e. information) in such a way that your reader easily goes from this fiRSt, to sEcoND and to tHIrd, then there’s also a very high probability that the whole text will be read.
Here’s a small hint. The first thing to be read is thing you see before you start reading. Thikn about it. What comes next? Well, thikn about it again.
Confused? I am proud.