A few weeks ago, we unexpectedly found out that my younger son needed surgery. This entailed a quick, but non-urgent trip to a specialist. The specialist’s office has new patient paperwork online to download, complete and bring to your first appointment. Fantastic! I was excited to be able to complete the paperwork before sitting in the waiting room with a wild preschooler running around.
Then I downloaded the forms. Blurred lines, grey type. Clearly a poorly scanned copy of a really old printed document. Most definitely not a fillable form.
I hit “print,” and dutifully started filling the form out.
While clearly included in a packet titled “Pediatric Forms,” the form turns out to be a hastily adjusted version of an adult form. First the form asks for the patient’s contact info. Then has a space for one emergency contact’s info, complete with home, mobile and work. All good, except there’s no clarity on what should be the patient’s info vs the parent’s info.
Are we the emergency contacts? Or is it asking for our info in the patient info line and then another emergency contact? Either way, there’s no space to input separate phone numbers for each parent. With as many years as cell phones have been around, this seems crazy. I hacked together my own notations that Home meant my husband’s mobile and Mobile meant my mobile and continued on.
How does this apply to your own work?
What forms, process or policies do you have that may be outdated? How can you look at your work with a fresh set of eyes to see what may be outdated? What could unclear to your consumer, vendors and colleagues?
As much as we obsess over what we’re doing, the reality is that even if we are in our own target market, we are entirely too close to our own work to see it as the consumer truly sees it.
Your marketing doesn’t have nearly the reach you think it does. What’s obvious to you may be super-obscure to even an avid consumer in your target market.
Are the key benefits of your product actually stated publicly and easily to find, or have you assumed they are because you’ve paid so much attention to them?
99.9% of consumers aren’t paying as much attention to you as you think they are.
Review your marketing materials critically to see what may be outdated or incomplete. Bonus: Ask someone who is not very close to your work to review and given an honest assessment. You might be surprised at what they do (and don’t) take away.