Two very different recent conversations intersected at the commonality of simplification. One was in the context of evaluating our lives, accomplishments and accumulations over dinner and drinks with friends. The other was at one of McKnight Kurland’s Marketing Roundtables. With the friends group, we were all espousing the virtues of letting go much of our ‘collected stuff.’ You know, the pieces bought on vacation that really should have been left there, the gift from a relative that we feel obligated to keep and display—whether or not they’ll ever show up to see it—etc. A house cleaning, if you will. A stripping down to just the most meaningful items. Ahh, cathartic.

The other conversation centered around the strategic decision to simplify marketing tactics. Streamline the website to deliver a clear message and a better usability experience. Limit white papers to 1500 words—and be sure those words are making a relevant and clear point. Make it EASY for clients/customers to engage with you. Less mumbo-jumbo industry speak, more take-away.

Both of these perspectives seem to drive from the same place—we are overloaded. Inundated. Saturated. Piled-on. With seemingly less time to focus on what we know we need to, we crave the clarity that comes with clear and direct sensory stimulus. Regardless of whether that’s experiencing a room or a brand. Now, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for a nick-nack collection handed down from your grandmother, a 2000-page novel that you can lose yourself in for hours, or a lengthy explanation of your organization’s methodology—complete with supporting Powerpoint. It just means there has to be both.

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