Simplicity is the key to effective marketing

Graphic of a confused businesswoman

There are many elements that contribute to an effective marketing campaign, but one of the most overlooked elements is simplicity.

Simplicity can act like a secret marketing weapon in world overloaded with information and options.

There are many types of people on the planet.  Some like lots of information and detail, some people are more visual, whilst the vast majority prefer simple, easy to understand communications.

Information overload – a bottleneck to effective marketing

Have you ever stopped a complete stranger and asked for directions to somewhere you are trying to find?  Within a few seconds you know whether you have picked the right person.

If the conversation consists of some simple “left, right, roundabout, lights” you have a chance of retaining all the information.  Even if they provide a little more, we distil it down to 4-7 things to remember.  This is because we can’t cope with more than that!

If they start to mention road names, landmarks to look out for, how the road undulates and pubs to look out for – well personally I haven’t got a hope of retaining it.  In fact, worse still, I will probably mix them up and start following the directions in the wrong order.  If there are two of you in the car – you will probably end up disagreeing on what the original information was!

Simple effective marketing communications

So let’s put this example into the context of marketing communications. The “destination” of every marketing communication is ultimately for the recipient to take some form of action – this may be to request more information, visit a landing page, follow you online or even directly purchase your products or services.

The key thing is to focus on one action.

In addition, most businesses offer a plethora of different products and services but again, focus on one. Keep it simple.  Too much information is a turn off!  If they are detail people, they will seek out more information for themselves throughout the process.

With marketing communications we are not casting a huge trawler net and hoping we catch a few random fish.  With carefully targeted and construction marketing messages we are attracting the right prospects with the right bait.

Remember, if someone can see that the communication is relevant, of interest and timely to them, they will digest it.  If it is easy to understand and makes it easy for them to take the next step – they are more likely to.

Don’t bamboozle people with irrelevant noise.  Stick to the point.

If you can get your message across in 10 words rather than 25, do so.  Use graphics as well, they can sometimes get across the same message using no words.


So next time you start to construct a marketing campaign or message, stop, pause and consider your audience.  What is going to get them to the desired destination quicker.

In fact this isn’t relevant to just marketing campaigns, it is any communications in general.  Next time you present, send an email or contribute within a meeting, think about the end goal and the simplest way of getting there!

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.
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