Straightforward Is Best: Let's Simplify Our Ideas

Omnichannel marketing feeds us so much data we’ve come to over rely on it within the marketing organization. In the relentless pursuit of frameworks, charts, graphs, and predictive models, we’re losing sight of the simple idea -- the solution we’re providing to get people to buy our products. It’s to the point where if an idea seems too simple, we distrust it.

Marketing can’t be reduced to an engineering problem. We need to honor and hone simple ideas, because the biggest ideas are the simple ones. That’s the unchanging essence of great strategy -- a bold, simple premise the entire marketing campaign can be based on.

Get single-minded. People can only digest so much information these days. What’s the one thing you need them to remember after life has hit them with thousands of communications? Single-minded takeaways combat data overload, so lead with the impact. 

Honor your instinct. Sorting through data doesn’t get to the root of human truth. What do you know to be true, deep down? How does the idea make you feel? Does it ring true in everyday life? The more data intelligence we collect, the more we need to balance with emotional intelligence.



Follow the three-second rule. In scripting dozens of national sales presentations, I’ve learned if I don’t grab the audience in the first three seconds, they won’t register the idea. That’s equally true in the board room, on Teams calls, in meetings with the CEO, and in content consumers see. Give yourself three seconds to feel an idea. Keep honing until you can. Steve Jobs captivated the Apple organization by introducing the iPod as “10,000 songs in your pocket.” He didn’t have to show his homework first.

Take a hike. The biggest, simplest ideas don’t shout through the data noise. They whisper into a clear mind. So, get up, get out, and refresh your mind’s palette. It sounds trite, but it’s truer than ever because we’ve become glued to our monitors. We think we can’t afford to take the time, that we’ll miss that thing which will reveal the answer. The simple ideas come when we take a break for real life.

The more complex life gets, the more clarity marketing needs to create. That clarity takes bigger, simpler ideas, rooted in human triggers that often defy data. We need to spend more time being human to feel human.

3 comments about "Straightforward Is Best: Let's Simplify Our Ideas".
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  1. Marcelo Salup from Iffective LLC, June 5, 2023 at 1:36 p.m.

    EVERYTHING here has been said before 10,000 times. One phrase I don't agree with at all, and which I think sheer observation contradicts right away is this "People can only digest so much information these days." I would argue that, on the contrary, our omnimedia exposure means that we can digest much more information than, say, our parents. The problem is that we might not be interested in YOU. Not that we can't digest the info... we just don't care.

  2. Will Peter from Strax Networks, June 6, 2023 at 1:26 p.m.

    Hi Sonja,  Love your piece and agree completely.  Love to have a quick chat as I think you'll be intrigued by our tech that addresses exactly what this artcle is about.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 6, 2023 at 3:32 p.m.

    While I agree that in making a presentation it's best to get across the basic point very quickly  many simplified thoughts are born from examining lots of variables, then condensing the salient findings down to an easier to digest ---or simpler----explantion. As a rule, in order to really get the person you are targeting to accept---and act on what you have told them, you also  need to provide a fuller explanation detailing why---or how-   you came to your simple answer. Without that backup the recipient of your simple statement or idea will not feel confident that he or she can explain it to others whose cooperation or interest is required.

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