May 20, 2013
Simplicity and clarity lead to good design .. which means that Less is More
This is very true in marketing. Often we just try too hard and keep adding to our adverts, posters, leaflets, websites etc …. when really we should be spending time simplifying them.
It was poet Robert Browning, when he wrote Andrea del Sarto in 1855, that originally penned the famous phrase, Less is More. Today this adage is truer than ever. Take for example what is probably the most well known webpage in the world.
The Google homepage.
It is so simple to the extent it is to all intents and purposes a white page with a search box in the middle. This is simplicity in the extreme. But it didn’t happen by accident. It is the result of thousands of hours of testing that has determined what works best for Google’s customers and, by extrapolation, for Google.
The same principle applies to posters and adverts. Posters require a maximum of 25 words in most cases … and will probably work better with fewer than ten words. Likewise adverts. I’ve just run a series of newspaper ads (yes, they still work) but I’ve limited them to six words per advert.
Of course Less is More often takes more effort than writing a lot. You have to decide on your message; craft the words to be concise and very effective; spend more time on the call to action. Making things simple is actually quite time consuming.
The payback is that the simplicity of Less is More leaves the prospect in no illusion as to your message or what they need to do. The result is an improved response rate and improved ROI.
What elements of your marketing can you simplify?