I cannot stress enough how important it is to have simple marketing materials in terms of design and message. It’s been told to death, I know. However, marketers tend to forget so it begs repeating. Even in social media, keeping it simple holds true. You have to make it easy for your audience to understand your point.
To better illustrate my point, I’d like to remind you of the critically acclaimed show, Modern Family. I know what I’m about to say may come off as biased; I am a fan of the show. But I think my comparison should make up for the fact.
The show, like the more successful marketing paraphernalia out there, centers on simplicity. There are no geeky references to look out for. No overly complex drama to ruin the fun. No characters that we were meant to hate either. It’s the kind of show you’d want to watch after a long day in the office. All the show relies on is its arsenal of witty one-liners and amazing cast. All these factors put the show in a unique position where they are able to appeal to a wide range of people while targeting a specific demographic at the same time. But most of all, the show strives to keep things clean and smooth despite a family tree and a back story that can confuse the average viewer.
What can we take away from all this? You can take Modern Family’s recipe for success and apply the concept to your marketing strategy. Don’t make complex ads. Rely more on wit rather than visuals. Find a way to interest everyone but, at the same time, know who your core audience is. In short, keep things simple.
But why do people end up with ads that, metaphorically, won’t shut up? First, we must understand why some entrepreneurs find it difficult to keep their ads simple. It’s safe to assume that small-time players find it harder to keep the content and design to a minimum because they have more to say as opposed to their better-known counterparts.
A company like Coca-Cola or Target barely needs to explain what they offer. We know what they can give us; they’re well-established enough to get away with simplicity. Those lower on the corporate food chain find a need to let people know what they have to give. They need to explain their product, create a fan base, and tell what sets them apart from the competition – those kinds of stuff. This results in excessive text, wordy copies, cluttered design, or the dreaded lack of focus.
If you think you might have gone overboard with your promotional materials, you might want to consider changing your design. You can start by checking what products you are using to promote your brand. You see, each product has a purpose; you can’t treat each one like they’re the same thing. Look at the products we are offering. Notice how some products are meant to attract attention (canvas prints, flyers, car magnets), encourage communication (business cards, envelopes, letterheads), increase revenue (gift certificates, event tickets, labels), or disseminate information (brochures, catalogs, booklets).
By choosing the appropriate product for your campaign, you lessen the chance of having a convoluted message. If you’re selling electronics, for example, you can have us print brochures with all the specifications and other data you need to divulge instead of putting everything on your promotional flyer. By doing so, you can have a simpler flyer design that’s sole purpose is to drive customers into your store.
Once you have a simple, well-structured design and a better understanding of what are the right promo tools to use, you’d have a better chance of converting and getting better recognition.