For marketing communications, keep complexity and sophistication in storage.
The more thinking and engineering that go into technology, products and services, the better they will perform (or be perceived to perform). But when it comes to marketing, sophistication and complexity muddy up your messages.
If you have an important message to convey, keep it simple, even if there are nuances. Why? Because the rest of us are mostly babes in the woods. Remember that only you think exactly the way you do and can perfectly connect your own dots. Your job is to simplify it all for the rest of us!
What about the nuances that really differentiate us, you might ask? If nuance is what differentiates your product or service, then your messages should be all about nuance. If a unique aspect of your business must be fully understood by your audience for them to take action, make it the primary message.
If complex, build your message in stages.
Be prepared to articulate every granular detail of your value delivery but save those details until your audience wants or needs to know them.
A Simple 4-Step Approach
If you need to make your message understandable and actionable, there’s a methodology you can use called AIDA (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action). To apply AIDA in your marketing messages and throughout your selling process, take your prospect through these communication stages:
Attention – Make your audience notice and listen. Make a bold, singular promise.
Interest – Once listening, build interest in how you will enrich your customer. Reveal some key features that will help them. You can further differentiate your offering with nuance and sophistication as long as your prospect wants to remain engaged. This is really the make or break stage because interest can be lost as quickly as gained. You must move them into wanting your product, or there’s no sale.
Desire – One way to know if your prospect has reached the “desire” stage is by the questions they ask. If the questions focus on recommended service levels, budget ranges, or what implementation involves, you and your prospect have reached the closing stage of the sale and are ready for…
ACTION – Unless your message is acted upon, why bother with branding, great web design and advertising? Why have salespeople? Your calls to action can be anything from e-commerce or contact links on your website to full-blown contract negotiations, depending on what you’re selling.
It’s best to hold your most sophisticated or complex product/service benefits for when you may need them, such as convincing a senior engineering team that your technology is superior. Give them the building blocks to decide for themselves.
Provide the Navigation
In marketing, the complex features do belong somewhere on your website with a clear navigation path. If your home and landing pages have a strong primary message, your visitors will go deeper to learn what they need to know, and hopefully place an order or call you with questions.
Content is gold.
You have limited mind space and attention spans to work with. Avoid muddying the water by keeping your initial marketing message simple. A powerful first impression can set the ball rolling from attention to ACTION faster than you expect.