The KISS Prin­ci­ple – Keep It Sim­ple Silly (or Stu­pid)! I first heard of KISS 20 years ago and have always admired those who can explain com­plex con­cepts sim­ply. With the rise of social media, sim­plic­ity of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in pro­mot­ing a brand has become a near art form. Every com­pany on the planet will tell you the same story: Just buy our prod­uct and it will make life sim­pler for you. Adobe did this recently with our Met­rics not Myths adver­tis­ing cam­paign. View­ers took away their own impres­sions from the cam­paign, espe­cially from the cre­ative look at busi­ness buzz­words through our BS Detec­tor ad. The sim­ple truth of mar­ket­ing pro­mo­tion is to achieve a mar­ket­ing objec­tive with you—i.e. giv­ing you some­thing mem­o­rable that will stick in your head in con­nec­tion with my prod­uct … a sim­ple word asso­ci­a­tion game. I say this. You think that. By the look of the image below, this brain has fired on all word asso­ci­a­tion cylinders.

Brand X

The point is that the vast major­ity of brands approach the sim­plic­ity of mar­ket­ing con­cept from the point of view that it is all about the brand. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. The abil­ity to achieve sim­plic­ity in mar­ket­ing is a chal­lenge of work­ing in reverse, from a place of empa­thy and under­stand­ing for the inter­ests of a prospect. Ide­ally, it becomes all about the cus­tomer and marketing’s desire to influ­ence the behav­ior of the cus­tomer to do a spe­cific action. From a cause and effect point of view, we know what effect we want to achieve. The chal­lenge is to cre­ate the nec­es­sary causes on the front end to make that effect the most prob­a­ble out­come. Behav­ioral sci­en­tists refer to this as induc­tive infer­ence, which in sim­ple terms means we are try­ing to induce a cus­tomer behav­ior by ini­ti­at­ing a set of actions on the marketer’s part to cause that behav­ior to take place.

Here’s a sim­ple exam­ple to illus­trate the point: Just three days ago I pur­chased a prod­uct online, with an imme­di­ate and witty follow-up email inform­ing me of their ship­ping process and a link to check the ship­ping progress. One day later it arrived at my home bro­ken, the fault of deliv­ery, not the ven­dor.  I sent an email to their eas­ily found sup­port page that evening inquir­ing about my options.  My morn­ing email reply said they’d already ordered a replace­ment for me, it’d ship out that morn­ing, and I could keep the dam­aged prod­uct (which is repairable with a bit of effort). It also asked whether there was any­thing else they could help me with.  No ques­tions asked, no need for proof, trust­ing the customer—marketing sim­ply.  I received the new ship­ment yes­ter­day, with a sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive asso­ci­a­tion for this par­tic­u­lar brand.

The cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) pil­lar of this company’s dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing plan could have eas­ily crum­bled at any step along the way. Cus­tomer loy­alty could have taken a seri­ous hit. One mis­step could have pro­duced a com­plexly neg­a­tive expe­ri­ence for the cus­tomer. This mar­ket­ing sim­pli­fi­ca­tion strat­egy cre­ated an expe­ri­ence that may deliver full cus­tomer life­time value. Again, mar­ket­ing simply.

Seven Phases DM

The com­plex­ity of deliv­er­ing sim­plic­ity is not easy, but it must be trans­par­ent to the cus­tomer. The value propo­si­tion I have for you here is that we wade through the sea of com­plex­ity in mak­ing your cus­tomers’ lives sim­pler. In future posts, I will show you how that is done and that it is not a secret. We work hard to earn loy­alty, trust, and life­time busi­ness by mak­ing sim­plic­ity a priority.