What Does “Desperate Simplification” Mean To Direct Marketers?

By | January 19, 2011

The “desperate simplification trend” from noted marketing guru Rohit Bhargava suggests that “Information overload is leading consumers to seek simplification.”

In terms of direct marketing, I think Bhargava’s deals with seven important “musts.”

1. Get to the point immediately. It’s okay to write long direct mail letters – after all, these sometime work best, especially to recipients who already know (and like) your organization. But your point needs to appear upfront. The quick message explains the popularity of postcards, email coupons, and smaller retail catalogs in 2010.

2. Trickery? Don’t even try it. Consumers are very short-tempered – even vicious — with marketers who disappoint them or lure them in with one message and then switch to something else. The Internet makes such consumer activities as boycotts much easier.

3. Back up what you say. One magic development of the Internet is the ability for people to “check the sources” instantly, by clicking a link. If you want money or sales, back up your appeal with as many third-party endorsements as you can generate. The more you can Yelp! your own product, the better.

4.  Make it visual. People haven’t got time to pour over complex data. When making a point, use info-graphics to make ideas jump to life.

5. Make it instant. Offer options for immediate response: p-URLs and QR codes are all about convenience and fast response. [Example: Know those plastic key-chain cards that your grocer and drug store always ask to see? Well, smart phones have an app that can scan barcode and QR codes off those cards, store the codes in your phone, and pop them open upon request.

6. Get smart. It’s a challenge, yes, but smart phones are part-and-parcel of the new integrated marketing model. See if a text marketing campaign using short codes might work for you as well as it has for the pizza industry.

7. Be nimble, be quick. When it happens – whatever it might be — be ready to move immediately to practice random acts of marketing.

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4 thoughts on “What Does “Desperate Simplification” Mean To Direct Marketers?

  1. Alin Jacobs

    Great advise and a worthwhile read. I especially like your #7 “Be nimble, be quick.”

  2. Kevin

    Great summary of what’s important today. I’ll make up poster versions and place one my wall and the rest to forward-thinking clients…

  3. Nancy Scott

    Much appreciated, Kevin. Great “new markets” chart posted on your website, by the way. http://www.printnet.co.nz/msp-intro/ You said it well with this advice: “You may not do it all yourself, but form relationships with people like ourselves or others, to do it on your behalf.” Exactly.

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