Kem Meyer is the communications director at Granger Community Church. Her book, Less Clutter. Less Noise, helps churches, businesses, schools and not-for-profits find ways to get the word out and, simply, do better. In this guest post, she explains how to simplify your marketing.
Information overload occurs when we receive more information than our brain can process. Even if it’s good information, too much of a good thing isn’t good anymore. Whether you’re an information addict or Zen advocate, information overload affects us all.
If you’d like to contribute something of real value that improves quality of life, it’s as simple as dialing back your own volume. Here are five ways you should be looking to help reduce the stress for your customers.
Stick to the facts. Don’t over-sell, over-fluff, over-explain or over control. Just provide the information someone needs to self-sort and self-decide. People don’t need a page on the philosophy for every business, product, or event. They do need to know who it’s for, what it is, when it happens and how to get it.
Stick to the point. Start with the end in mind before you take action. If you know the purpose behind your letter, brochure, or meeting, it makes it easier for you to stay on track and focused. Otherwise, it’s hard to recognize your own excess. Do you want people to show up, respond, or buy? What are you asking them to do? If you can’t answer that question easily, neither can they.
Consider the crowd. Does your announcement (printed or verbal) apply to everyone or just a handful of people? If it doesn’t affect the masses, it’s going to land like dead weight. Don’t punish the crowd to keep a few people happy (even if they are the most vocal). Find a way to talk about the 20% that affects 80% of your audience.
Don’t intrude. Unless they’ve asked for it, people welcome your mass emails as much as a salesman ringing the doorbell during family dinner. Respect personal space and put information in a place easy for people to find when they want or need it.
Deflate your self-importance. Are you more attached to what you have to say than to who you are talking to? People are more inclined to read and respond when something is delivered from their point of view—not yours. Work hard to think like your audience to find ways to connect.
Life is overwhelming enough as it is. Your business, church, school, or social cause shouldn’t be piling on more and adding to the confusion. Look at your own emails, mailings, brochures, web site, and identify where you need to turn down your volume. It’s the right thing to do for everyone.