Too Many Choices

For some people the change of seasons is depressing, even overwhelming. I can see why - especially if a person reads one of the endless season previews of the arts that show up in the newspapers (at least the ones that are still big enough to have arts coverage).


A friend of mine told me that the sheer scale of openings in every art was enough to make him simply stay home. Many of us know that too much choices can result in a paralysis of decision-making.

I can understand that newspaper editors look for ways to write about something in a positive way - "Look at all these great cultural offerings" may attract more readers than "There's too much to do so why bother doing anything?" But the effect of reading about all those great cultural offerings may lead you not to bother doing any single one of them.

That's the marketer's dilemma. How do you not only stand apart from the other worthwhile attention-grabbers, and how do you do it in a way that doesn't alienate an already over-stimulated brain?

If you read or scan articles about coming cultural offerings, very little of what's being described may actually make it into your memory. You may end up with a very vague awareness of something - perhaps a writer you've read or an actor you like is doing something that you may be interested in looking at further once that book or film or show comes out.

Or you may end up thinking that the four months that make up the end of the year are too filled with possibilities, and you long for the downtime of off-season. But there aren't any off-seasons, really. You'll soon see articles about holiday entertainment, about the new year's offerings about spring seasons, about what to look forward to in the summer. It's an endless blather of anticipation and you barely focus on any of it.

The sledgehammer approach doesn't work. A personalized approach does, and it's not difficult. It simply takes time. By building a platform - blogging, a well thought-out website -- an artist or writer or thought leader can speak directly to his or her audience rather than by being included in a roundup of what's hot. It's a steady build of awareness rather than a short burst of attention-seeking.

I believe it's more valuable, since you're more likely to remember someone who's communicated with you in a direct manner. It's you who've chosen to follow this person, and your doing that makes it more likely you'll remember when that person comes out with a book. It's no longer one face or name among thousands - it's your choice based on your preferences and how this person's product or service answers your felt needs that sets him or her apart. Whatever the season.