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Why Simple Marketing Works

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Why Simple Marketing Works

Every marketer parades around this idea ‘simple is better, and less is more’. But why is that and how can you achieve this simple, effective marketing for your Small Business?

I once read something really interesting about marketing in a magazine at the hairdressers, of all places (who says going to the hair salon can’t be productive?). To be honest, it was the last thing I expected to be reading while I had my hair blow-dried. Usually, at a hair salon, you’ll find the staple celebrity tabloids and a few Better Homes mags strewn about but this happened to be a ‘women’s empowerment’ sort of magazine and the edition I picked up just so happened to have a focus on women starting their own businesses.

You’d think I get enough business and marketing talk in my day to day life, but obviously, I don’t because I was like a kid in a candy shop lapping up that magazine, especially when I found an interview with a self-confessed ‘marketing guru’; and I wasn’t disappointed.

This ‘guru’ shared how he had sat down with this little-known CEO who ran a pretty obscure tech company and shared the secret of simple marketing. The man recounted (and I’m paraphrasing from memory here) how he had taken several pieces of paper, scrunched them all up into separate balls and thrown them at the CEO, saying “Catch!” Naturally, the CEO had flailed about after the paper balls but failed to actually catch any of them in his hands. “That’s a bad ad,” the marketer had declared, seemingly out of context. Then the marketer tried the process again, only this time he scrunched up just one piece of paper and threw just one ball; it sailed through the air and landed straight into the CEO’s waiting hands. “That’s a good ad”, he said.

That little-known CEO was actually Steve Jobs, and the obscure company he ran (you guessed it), was Apple.

Simple marketing works because it is so much easier for people to grab onto one idea, then it is for them to catch five all at once. Especially when on average, they’re only going to be giving your Facebook post or radio commercial less than 30-seconds of their attention.

Think about Apple’s marketing for a second.

At the moment they’re running a television ad for the newest MacBook. It’s not full of stats and figures about the computer’s specs; it doesn’t mention price or where you can buy it. The ad is just a simple montage of various artists using the MacBook, while a song in the background chimes “Listen up, I’ll tell a story about an artist…” What’s this ad trying to communicate? You could probably guess it even if you’ve never actually seen it. It’s telling the audience that if you’re an artist, you should get a MacBook; simple as that. And sure, if you actually wanted to buy the computer, you’d probably need to look at the specs and price and all of that as well, but there are other avenues where you can find that out. All this ad is trying to do is throw you one simple idea and make sure that you catch it. And it works.

So, how can your business emulate this sort of simple marketing through a Facebook campaign or a blog series?

Especially when your brand isn’t as well known as the great giant Apple, how do you tell your customers everything they need to know without overloading them?

Well, first of all, you need to figure out how to break down and isolate messages.

Get a piece of paper and write down everything you want your potential clients to know about your business. Then take each of those ideas and break them up into smaller ideas. For example, if you want your clients to know that you value quality, it could look something like this:

We value quality as a company:

  • We only purchase high-grade materials.
  • We only work with Australian-owned suppliers.
  • We offer a 12-month warranty.

If you were building a Facebook campaign, each of those subpoints would easily warrant their own post. From here, you would rank each idea based on importance; the very important ideas are ones that you should be reminding your customers of at least monthly, these are the ideas you’ll build blog posts and podcasts on. The less important ones, you might only bring into focus sporadically, rotating them to keep your content interesting.

Then you can start building your content.

I find it helps (especially if you’re writing a longer piece like a blog or an article) to put your one key idea at the top of your page in bold writing so that after every paragraph or sentence you can refer back and ask yourself:

  • Is this on topic?
  • Is it relevant to my audience?
  • Most importantly, is it simple?

You might feel like your customers need to know more, but at the end of the day, that is what your website is for.

When it comes to your marketing campaigns, it’s time to stop bombarding your clients with unnecessary information and learn how to gently toss them one relevant idea at a time.

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  • Travis Longmore
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    I LOVE this concept! Tracy, how often would you think a business should mix this up? How long before that one simple message has reached it’s peak?

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