Keeping it simple couldn’t be more complicated!

Faire simple, il n’y a rien de plus compliqué

In a world that is changing faster and faster, the consumer evolves right before your eyes. Many marketeers have been pulling their hair out trying to find a way to reconnect with this new consumer.


What if the solution was as old as time?

It’s all in your head

Before delving into marketing considerations, we should focus on the most important thing: our brain. Relax! We are not going to explore this fabulous machine in its most complex aspects ‒ quite the contrary.

 

Each of us has the same goal when we communicate: for our message to be understood and remembered. But while it’s easy to recall the overall idea of a movie, for example, it is far more complicated to remember its details, such as the colour of the dress the actress wore in the eighth scene. The same principle applies to marketing communication, but with a key difference: your consumers did not ask for anything, so it is pointless to expect them to make the slightest effort to remember anything!

 

That is how the human brain works. However, although we are naturally drawn to what is simple, it is extremely complicated to achieve that simplicity in our creations.

Why make it complicated when you can make it simple?

The major problem we encounter on a daily basis is lack of vision. Traditionally, advertisers do not have a clear sense of where they are going. As a result, to be sure they have conveyed the right message, they would rather ‘play it safe’ and say everything. Wrong! The studies speak for themselves: a single message on a poster has a 30% chance of being memorised. But when you move up to three messages, the memorisation rate plummets to 14% (source: Kantar Millward Brown study).

Ask the right questions so the consumer does not have to ask any questions

Who is your audience? What response or what emotion do you want to elicit from those people? On which media platforms are you communicating? The questions you should ask are simple, but you have to ask them at the right time, namely before you write the brief.

Simple but not simplistic!

Simplifying does not mean paring down your message to nothing. The fact that your product is complex is not a bad thing. Au contraire! ‘What matters is that your promise is obvious to the consumer,’ explains Benoit De Saedeleer, Strategy Manager at Altavia ACT*. To accomplish that, you have to be empathetic with your audience because, though something might be easy to understand to one person, it will undoubtedly harder to grasp for another person. This is a painful and costly lesson for a company like Snapchat, which is dropping off the map after having set the world on fire.

 

Let’s conclude with a quote from Henri Bergson:

‘Man should put as much effort into simplifying his life as he does in complicating it.’

Easier said than done?