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Simplicity In Marketing

By Darrin Coe
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005

In a world that is spinning out of control; with consumers being bombarded with hundreds of advertising messages per day in a variety of mediums, it is imperative to develop an understanding of the consumer’s thinking to develop an edge in advertising.

Consumer’s get confused with excessive stimulus. Consumer’s also become very selective in their perceptive processes given the amount of advertising to which they are exposed. This leads to a dulling or tuning out of any advertising that takes extra effort to process.

Also, consider that consumer’s selective perception leads to a filtering out of branding that is complicated or includes excessive products or services. Thus, focus and simplicity in marketing are keys to developing consumer’s attention and loyalty as well as maintain that attention and loyalty.

In a recent Keynote report on the state of online retailing, it was noted that those retailer’s who focused on one product or service were more successful than those companies who offered multiple products or services. This is in part due to how folks on the internet operate. They want ease of access; they want relevant information; and they want speed. A retailer with multiple products or services must have a very simple, easy to use search process and purchase process if they are to maintain a consumer’s attention and loyalty because the consumer will tend to lose focus and leave their website if it is confusing or difficult to navigate.

What does all this mean? It means “keep it simple silly”. The best marketing, whether on tv, through the radio, or via online rich media provides simple, factual information that evokes an emotional response. This hooks in the consumer while at the same time meeting the thinking needs of the information seeker.

It also means that all your marketing, in all your chosen media channels needs to be congruent so as not to confuse the consumer and lead to them filter out your marketing message. Use the same colors, message, wording, and graphical presentations in all your marketing contact to maintain focus and allow the consumer to track you through all media channels.

Finally, maintain simplicity in your brand development. This will also allow your consumer to maintain focus and not become confused when processing your marketing message. Try to focus on one concept as you create your brand and then develop it. Use big concepts that elicit perceptions of benefits. People purchase product or service to, in part, save time, improve social status, increase efficiency, improve self-perception, or to improve safety and security. Focus your brand around one of these foundational concepts and then stick with it over the long term.

If you focus on presenting a simple and well-focused marketing message, you’ll have more success than if your marketing is complex and generalized. Take time to examine your marketing message and simplify where necessary to grab the consumer’s interest and keep it.

About the Author
Darrin F. Coe, MA holds a master’s degree in psychology and operates “The Center For Understanding Consumer Thinking at ( He is available for consulting. Contact him at or 719-275-5907 after 5:00 PM mountain standard time.

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