The blog article you wrote yesterday. The product / service description on your website. That online ad you placed in a trade publication.
Ten will get you five that they all have too much text.
People don’t read marketing copy in the same way that they used to. Email, web pages and pop-TV type soundbites have reduced all of our attention spans. Instead, people scan your text to decide whether your message is actually worth reading. You’ve got a few seconds of their attention, so make it count.
Take websites as an example. Your site’s homepage is not the place to explain why you decided to open a business, what your passion is, or the employment history of your management team. Don’t laugh – I’ve seen all of these, and much worse. However I’m not saying such information isn’t important to help customers make a buying decision. That sort of stuff is invaluable in helping develop a feeling of affinity and trust with your business. They have they place in the hierarchical scheme of things, it’s just that place isn’t on your homepage.
Simplifying Messaging Is Hard
I think the reason more businesses aren’t simplifying their marketing presentation is because simple is hard. It seems to be far easier for organizations to hide behind waffle, rhetoric, and jargon than tell it like it is.
And that’s a shame.
Because customers are no longer tolerant when having to wade through reams of doublespeak. They know it no longer has to be that way. They’re fed up with being patronized, especially when customer-focused brands don’t make them feel small.
They’re judging their buying experience with you using the same yardstick as they do for the world’s biggest brands.
Keeping Marketing Short, Sharp, And Simple
That doesn’t mean dumbing things down. I said simple – not simplistic. But it does mean providing context to your communication, depending on where the customer is within the sales acquisition funnel. Feel free to expound on the whys and wherefores of your product or service, how it fits within your company, industry, or the world at large. But respect your customer enough to provide such information at the right time, and in the right place.
Instead of wrapping-up your marketing communications with flourishes and gestures, save the hearts and flowers for Valentine’s Day.
Pull your prospects in with something that gets their attention. Keep it short, keep it sharp, keep it Fisher Price simple. Get to the point quickly. Something that makes them want to find out more. Learn more. Do more.
Something that makes them want to hand over the most precious thing they can give you: Their time.