When it comes to business communications, most of us simply don’t have time to read all the details anymore – a fact that has serious implications for today’s marketing communicators.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) December 15, 2012
The Daily, an experiment in iPad-only publishing, will cease publication on December 15 after nearly two years of operation, as reported by Martin Peers in the Wall Street Journal. While the demise may be partly attributed to competition from free online news sources, Bob Design also suggests that people simply have less time to read than they used to.
“In our culture, we’ve evolved from readers into scanners,” says Jeremy Durant, Principal for Bop Design, a San Diego web design agency. “People will still sit down to read a good book or magazine for entertainment purposes. But when it comes to business communications, most of us simply don’t have time to read all the details anymore – a fact that has serious implications for today’s marketing communicators.”
The evolution from readers into scanners has occurred for several reasons. For starters, everyone has more to do and less time to do it in. This is especially true in small businesses where people often hold many different responsibilities. At the same time, people are swamped with way more information than they can possibly absorb or even use. Less time and more information means that today’s readers need to quickly separate the wheat from the chafe, and scanning enables them to zero in on the information they need in as little time as possible.
In addition, the Internet has trained people to scan. With the ability to instantly click from one web site to another, people browsing the web no longer have to slog through large amounts of text to see if a web page has the information they want. If it doesn’t, they simply click the mouse and move on to the next one. And finally, social media tools like texting and Twitter have forced everyone to become adept at communicating in very short, concise information bites.
All of which leads to one of the most important principles for communicating in today’s time-deprived, information-overload world: less is more!
It wasn’t too long ago that long, detailed sales and marketing copy was the preferred approach. Corporate brochures often ran 24 pages and more. But today’s time-deprived readers won’t tolerate lengthy brochures, bloated blogs, and wordy web pages overloaded with text. When a website contains thick blocks of dense text, people will take one look and quickly move on to something less cluttered and easier to read – no matter how worthwhile the message.
“Less is more” doesn’t mean withholding important information in the interest of brevity. Companies still need to tell prospects and customers what they want to know about their product or service, otherwise they lose their customers’ interest and trust. “Less is more” simply means companies need to make their point briefly and succinctly while showing their audiences that they understand their issues and concerns and offer a cost-effective solution.
What does “less is more” look like?
- Brief brochures and white papers that focus on a few key customer benefits
- Clean, uncluttered web pages that are easy to read and quick to navigate
- Short, concise blogs that don’t ramble on and on
- Webinars and podcasts that focus on a couple of main points rather than trying to cover an entire subject
- Lots of bold headlines and subheads that tell readers what they will find on each page
Most of all, “less is more” means respecting the reader’s time by making it easy to find and digest the information they need as quickly as possible. Whether in a brochure or on a web site, give readers what they want to know and nothing more. Then offer links, contact information, and other options if they want to know more.
“In today’s world, lengthy marketing messages tell your target audience that you haven’t got a clue when it comes to communicating effectively,” says Durant. “So keep your marketing messages short and to the point, always focusing on your readers’ most pressing concerns. Provide content that adds value rather than only touting your product or service. And always let people know the next step (call to action) in the sales process.”
About Bop Design
Bop Design is a B2B marketing agency headquartered in San Diego with offices also in the New York metro area. We express a business’ values through brand development, advertising, design and web design. We also help attract a firm's ideal customer through search engine optimization and social media marketing services. The marketing firm's focus is on small businesses that want an external team of marketing specialists to help give their brand an edge in the marketplace.