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KISS rules for all marketing, not just social media

January 31, 2011
Kiss me quick hat

KISS me quick - the shorter the message the more likely the impact

KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid – is the mantra of every marketer. Never more so than today, when social media demands that simplicity is key to understanding. Yet there’s still a tendency towards hyperbole, complexity and obscurity in marketing.

Social media, we are told, is the new marketing. A marketing of trust agents, brevity, instant gratification, youth and more. Well that’s all fine and dandy but it ignores one simple truth. Marketing has always been the same – it’s just that we didn’t have the tools we have now.

Here’s my take. Whatever you’re selling, it doesn’t need to be┬ácouched in weird language, pomposity and nuance. A golden rule is marketing communications is to speak like the people you’re speaking to. Another golden rule is don’t assume how people speak!

Just because they’re lawyers doesn’t mean they talk like barristers in court. Just because they’re accountants doesn’t mean they don’t have exciting lives. Just because they read throwaway novels doesn’t mean they can’t read.

There is an illusion in marketing – particularly of “high brow” products – that language needs to exude pomposity and erudition in order to be credible. Nonsense! Credibility is the output of demonstrable truth. Sales relationships come from delivery not expectation.

Success is the result of consistent truth – trust agency. But we all have to start somewhere in order for companies to become consistent. This is where self-evident credibility emerges:

  • Honesty in who you are and what you do.
  • Sell yourself, don’t knock your competitors.
  • Have confidence in the offering so that short words can spell – and sell – value.
  • Don’t try to second-guess the customer.
  • Your price is right if your product carries demonstrable value.

If you’re in sales and marketing, do you pass the simplicity test? Or do you find yourself getting lost in exquisite word-smithery?

If you only remember one thing, always wear a Kiss-Me-Quick hat when it comes to copywriting and marketing messages. What say you?

Image: The Hat Store – buy your kiss me quick hats there!

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