Have you ever engaged with a really fancy marketing campaign but got stuck or lost after a few moments? I know I have, and rarely have I stuck around. Only individuals who are really interested and motivated tend to put in enough effort to figure out the marketing message. Without simplicity, even the most clever and engaging idea will eventually lose momentum.
People Need Simplicity
This would be an easy place to talk about the fast paced nature of this information age and how that culture drives the need for simplicity, but simplicity has always been critical to marketing. Twenty, fifty, or a hundred years ago, appeals and calls to action still needed to be streamlined, easy to understand, and easy to act on. A landing page may be very different from the label on a bottle of tonic water, but a lot of things have not changed. If a prospect does not understand what is in the bottle, or behind the “click here” button, they are not going to act.
A Little bit of Creative Marketing Philosophy
Marketers sometimes portray prospects as unintelligent, thus everything must be over simplified with critical thinking elements removed for people to understand the message. I do not believe that is the case at all. I know many people with doctorates that demand incredibly simplified value propositions in order to willingly grant their attention. The reason is not that they are simple minded, it is that they do not want to be sold to. They have also learned how to spot a sales pitch from great distance and refuse to dedicate any time to it unless they can instantly recognize the value and course of action.
Crafting the Approach
People need near instant answers to questions like: What is this? How is it of benefit to me? What do I do? This information must be communicated clearly and through a comfortable thought sequence. Dense paragraphs of information and data will not do the job. You need to present the product or service with a sentence, three bullet points, and a picture. But creative graphic concepts may not be enough. Once a person is sold on the simplicity of the idea, they may want access to the dense paragraphs of information to analyze the real substance.
This is where some of the largest mistakes are made, but also where there is a lot of potential to gain the competitive edge. Either there is no additional information, or it is so cryptically written that it adds no value. Think about the most effective way to get more valuable information to the prospect. It may not need to be a complete manifesto but if people want more information, especially if you are asking them to buy or donate, then have an effective way to get the information to them.
Marketers often think that their presentation is already simple. But the objective is not to simplify a marketing presentation; it is to simplify a thought sequence.