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.

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