Avoiding Audience Message Overload

Trader Joe’s is wildly popular among consumers. And one of the reasons for its popularity is something too few marketers understand: it strategically lacks options. By focusing on the strength of individual products rather than the quantity of products in its store, Trader Joe’s has created shopping ease, leading to increased customer satisfaction.

Notice the key takeaway there? Customers want simplicity.

Internet and social media marketing have drastically increased the amount of content people see on a daily basis, so it’s more important than ever to apply the Trader Joe’s approach to marketing.

A 2018 study by Gartner Inc. says, “most B2B buyers report frustration with lengthier, inefficient purchasing research journeys and information and messaging overload.” In my own experience, I have witnessed consumers ignoring lengthy appeals and vague sales pitches altogether. If your first instinct may be to provide all of the available information, go against your gut. The real key to making a lasting impression? Simplicity.

A recent Harvard Business Review study found that the driving factor in consumer purchases is  “‘Decision simplicity’ –the ease with which consumers can gather trustworthy information about a product and confidently and efficiently weigh their purchase options.”

Marketers can foster decision simplicity like Trader Joe’s by keeping their materials concise – and avoiding message overload.

The most important question that I like to ask my marketing team is this: “What is the one thing you want your customer audience to remember?” To take it a step further, could the customer phrase their takeaway in ten words or less?

With a straightforward “one thing,” your message – as well as your brand – will stand out, resulting in a better ROI.

To get that clear message, consider using the following tactics to organize your information:

  • Know your audience: What are they looking for and how can your brand be there for them in a way that’s real, authentic, and simple?
    • Know your barriers with your audience:
      • Time and energy
      • Relevance of message
      • Distraction
      • Differentiations
      • Channels and media overload
    • Have a plan: Drive your marketing with a strategy, but remember that the message may need to change by medium.
    • Less is more: Don’t be afraid to cut excess information that you can supplement later if needed. Don’t pile on the features and adjectives, and focus your message into one single, strong, best-case selling effort.

Don’t forget, be relevant, be authentic, be transparent, and K.I.S.S – or in other words, keep it simple, stupid!