What Your Online Business Can Learn from NBC’s The Event


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I’ve watched the first two episodes of NBC’s new series, “The Event” and I’m in no hurry to watch episode 3.

Why? A variety of reasons including:

• poor character development
• frantic time-traveling sequences
• derivative plots

If you haven’t seen the show yet – spoiler alert!

As my family watched the plane crash sequence, my daughter looks over to me and says, “That’s the music from Lost!” Ok, it wasn’t the same exact music, but the trombone solo sounded pretty darn close.

Then in episode two, supposedly everyone on the plane (except for the Jason Ritter character) “died” in the desert. Last year’s Flash Forward (Another show I liked a lot better, right away, in fact) featured a bunch of people “dying” in the desert too.

But what really drove me nuts about The Event was the way they kept skipping around in time. The first episode did this a few times, but I swear in the second episode, it happened even more! There would be a five minute sequence of plot and then boom! Suddenly, it’s 1944 or three weeks ago, then we’re back in the present, then it’s yesterday.

Full disclosure here. I was a big fan of Lost. I watched every season. And it’s clear to me, that the makers of The Event are trying to tap into that audience now that Lost is over by employing some of the same strategies that made that series successful – mysterious “events” and flashbacks, etc.

But I think they’ve gone about this the wrong way. They’ve forgotten that at its heart, Lost was about the characters. The Event’s constant flashbacks and flash forwards have made it difficult to care about any of these characters. As a result, I’ve lost interest.

What is Unique About Your Online Business and Why Should I Care?

It’s the same thing with Internet marketing. You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention when they visit your website. In that time, a visitor needs to learn why they should do business with you and not your competitor.

You do that by conveying your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

What is your USP? It’s different for everyone. Yours could be a better guarantee, a cheaper product/service or free delivery. Whatever it is, a visitor to your site should be able to see that USP right away – preferably in a headline at the top of your website. Then your copy underneath expands on that USP by listing the benefits your product or service has to offer your customer.

One other thing – and this is where The Event failed for me – don’t distract your customer with flashy graphics. Graphics and images are OK, as long as they complement your message. Keep your web design clean with plenty of white space in between your images and copy, so your customer can clearly see what you have to offer. And include a call to action, so your website visitor knows what you want them to do!

I’m pretty sure The Event has a USP. But their flashy time-travel gimmicks have gotten in the way of character and story development for me.

On the bright side, I now have an extra hour of time to start reading David Meerman Scott’s book, “The New Rules of Marketing & PR!”

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