Clarity Is Crucial To Good Marketing

Your business messages must be clear, crisp and obvious. If they're not, you risk losing potential customers to competitors who make clarity a top priority.

Andrew McDonald

6/3/20222 min read

Have you ever sworn at an instruction manual? Thrown it away in anger or disbelief? Cursed the company who sold you a product/service on the promise it was easy to use, only to find utilising it more akin to solving a Rubik’s cube... in the dark?

The reason is probably very simple - sorry, don’t aim your DIY booklets at my head for using that word!!! The guide, or rather its writer, is likely guilty of assuming you, the reader, have the same knowledge as them. In other words, they picked up a pen before they’d done their homework.

Imagine you buy a new car. The people who made the vehicle are automobile experts. They have a level of knowledge far exceeding that of the general public when it comes to family saloons, hatchbacks and 4WDs. When they sit down to write the car’s instruction manual, they should have that fact clear in their minds. Frequently they don’t, and that leaves the user very frustrated.

A similarity is when you or a loved one are in hospital. We all know doctors whose bedside manner is excellent and others who are hopeless at that part of their job. Those who fall into the latter group often talk at patients, rather than to them. Using medical jargon might be OK amongst professional medics, but it leaves most of us feeling confused and, often, embarrassed through no fault of our own.

What experts need to do is address their audience. Focus on communicating in a way that people using their guidance can easily understand. In short, deliver information from the perspective of the user, not the creator. This goes for car manufacturers, doctors, and it holds true for your business, too. Failing to do so is a fatal error which is far more common than you think in all forms of marketing.

Have a look at your business website, your marketing materials, any literature which your business produces, then ask yourself these straightforward but powerful questions.

‘If I were not an expert in my field, would I understand this?’

‘If I didn’t know what I do about this, would I quickly and easily be able to understand the benefits to me, the customer/client, of paying for this product/service?’

If your answer is anything other than immediate, resounding yes to both questions, you’ve got a problem. You can’t expect potential clients and customers to join the dots for you. Your message must be crystal clear.

All of us see thousands of marketing messages every day. Experts suggest we get bombarded with between 3,000 – 20,000 advertisements in each 24 hour period. If you want yours to stand out and, crucially, be remembered, you’ve got to ensure it’s doing its job properly. That means that the message is obvious, that the benefits of using your product/service are as clear as perfectly pure water.

Sorry to tell you, but if you fall down on any of these points, you're making very hard work for yourself.

Next week, we’ll look at ensuring your marketing message comes across in the way you want it to.