Avoid the Cookie Clutter Cliches

March 30th, 2019

Consumers today (also known as “audience,” “customers,” “target,” or just plain “people”) are overwhelmed. By the daily onslaught of news. By helpful tips on how to live a more fulfilling, healthy life. By the latest celebrity scandals. And, annoyingly (for our business), by advertising.

Some reports say we receive more than 10,000 brand messages per day, but that number seems a little short. Advertising follows us everywhere we go – across the digital landscape and in the real world. Ad messages are inescapable, whether it’s product placement in film and TV or on our coffee cups, Amazon boxes, clothing, stadiums and sidewalks. Not to mention traditional places like radio, TV and print media for those who still consume it.

What’s a marketer to do? How can we overcome the wall of indifference that this overload of information creates?

The answer is actually pretty easy. It’s the same approach that is the hallmark of most successful marketing communications: focus, simplicity and respect.

Keep it simple. Remember the mantra K.I.S.S.? “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” Tossing a complex, nuanced message at an already overwhelmed audience is asking for failure. Try to focus on one message, not a list of copy points. Get in, get out.

Respect the clock. We’re already strapped for available time, and we see most ads as an interruption. Asking us to “follow the rest of the story” online is both insulting and unrealistic. Be clear, be concise, be relevant. Everything else is just noise.

Be realistic. “Join the conversation” is an inane way to get people to be interested in your brand. Who really wants a relationship or dialogue with their toothpaste or coffee? Know your objectives before you start crafting your communication.

Yes, we are all overwhelmed by a never-ending stream of information, content, news and brand storytelling. But, if you focus your message, say one thing, say it well and say it in a relevant manner in a relevant place, your chances of cutting through the clutter are greatly enhanced.

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