In this world of media overkill and waaaaay too much messaging, simplifying your marketing is the counter-intuitive approach that will win in the market place. This includes your in-store/online customer experience as well. Many businesses are now offering a range of items and services to compete today. Being the “specialist” in only one area is no longer the desired strategy. Consumers of both B2C and B2B have less time to cobble together items and services from different places and prefer to simplify their lives by cutting down on the sources they buy from.
Marketers must echo this trend. There are now more choices for media than ever before. Just the social media alone exponentially complicates things. One of the main mission of social media is to give all of us additional ways to express and communicate, but it also has had the opposite effect of adding to the noise to where most of us are starting to ignore many of the messages coming from those channels. With all of these options available and the fragmenting of the customer base, what’s the best way to focus your marketing?
The real key is simplify your messaging across all media channels. The biggest “fail” that most large and small businesses make is they try to tell their customers EVERYTHING they do and provide. This not only adds to the clutter, but we humans can’t remember more than a couple of things over an extended time period. A marketer must get back to the core brand promise of how you can help simplify your customer’s lives and make it better. Get this right and it shows on the bottom line.
For example, Office Depot had too many messages it was delivering to their customers. The problem was they had many shoppers in the store, but less and less buyers. They had too many things that were distracting their customers from actually buying. This was showing up on a multi-quarter slide in overall sales. Office Depot simplified their messaging for the 2012 campaign, “It’s Depot time again.” No laundry list of new items. Less “Hot Deals” approach. The new marketing simplified the message to “What brings you in Office Depot today?” This refocuses the message to the main activity, buying something while at the same time allows Office Depot to offer other suggestions that compliment the customer’s main need. Even the in store signage has fewer words and are more directional.
Across all mediums, traditional media, online, social media, direct mail and in store promotions are all focused on this one core idea. Early results look promising as their marketing are scoring much higher across all mediums than their competitors such as Staples, WalMart and Amazon, providing a much stronger call to action. Their reputation perception is also rising in the minds of their customers.
It’s really a yin-yang principle, to balance out the many media and communication channels, equally simplify your messaging. As marketing get complicated, you get more simple.