Wednesday, November 17

The Simple Challenge

Pssst! Listen up. Here's the most important lesson that I've learned in the last two years on the client side:

Interactive marketers make things
way too difficult for themselves

We have a tendency to put together complex digital strategies that beget complex user experiences, which in turn beget complex creative solutions, which then require complex measurement programs. All in a channel that is already overwhelming for the traditional marketers who pay most of our bills.

It's no wonder brands haven't migrated more marketing dollars online. It is just so damn complicated to explain. I worked with a great offline GCD awhile ago, who I started dragging to client interactive presentations. His summary of our Interweb world converted me:

When I present a print ad concept, I don't have to first explain
how paper is made, how a print press functions, and the
200 different ways someone might read a magazine.

If you can't present your digital strategy in 5 PPT slides, then it is too complicated. If it takes 10 minutes to describe how an interactive ad/game/viral social app will work, then it is too complicated. If your online promotion requires more than 2 clicks to engage with, then you need to make it more simple. If your measurement dashboard is set at 8 pt type to fit on the screen, then simplify it.

Don't worry, simple doesn't mean you aren't doing your job. Your clients will love you for it. It makes their lives more simple as well: They can actually explain it to their boss. They can cut the creative review meetings in half. The odds of consumers actually engaging with it (and not publicly bashing it on the brand Facebook wall) will be much better.

As an agency, your life will be more simple also: Less production hassles, less account management anxiety, 10 minute measurement report meetings. And you will probably get paid the same amount for the project.

Here is my ultimate personification of simple. No instructions required. Takes 30 seconds to figure out. Completely addictive.

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