You do not have to have billions to create great marketing, but clarity is key. Always remember: KISSing is good for you!
Keep it simple stupid
“Keep it simple stupid’, is a phrase that sticks in mind from my postgraduate training at Kimberly-Clark and CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing). It was a real ‘a-ha’ moment when a colleague who had been to Cambridge University and graduated with an honours degree, was told to work with me to help her rewrite her marketing plan as no-one understood what she had written, but did not wish to offend her.
Spend time with your customers
In twenty years of working on major international brands, I learned that the essence is to get out of your ivory tower (especially if you are senior management/very fortunate to be highly educated), and truly spend time with your actual consumers. Who are they? What do they do? And most importantly, what language do they use?
In my early years of training to be a researcher at KC, I had one rainy day spent in a grim London suburb recruiting for a global brand tracker that I was in charge of running.
After standing in a recruiter’s shoes, I have more understanding for this job to get great respondents so the client can join the dots to create great insight and then overlay with commercial experience to determine the best strategic plan for that brand.
On this particular day, I had another eureka moment where one of the statements was ‘Is Brand X, a brand that you would see as innovative?’ 99% of people had asked what innovative meant. I had to say, “new and different.” They responded, “ah, so why didn’t you say that?” Indeed, why not? The reason was that the Eton and Oxbridge educated colleagues studied Greek and Latin and knew exactly what that meant, and would see it as uneducated to use basic English. However, the point is that their consumers and shoppers did use this language.
I then championed a global consumer programme which ever the CEO joined in on to promote clear language in order to turn round the brand which was seen as stand offish and unattainable. Once more, clarity is key.
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