FoM18: 5 things you need to know
‘If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter’.
Our industry has an obsession with sounding clever. It’s very easy to hide by behind big words, long sentences, and hell, throw in a couple of acronyms whilst you’re at it, because why not?
We’re not the only ones guilty of this. This dawned on me recently as I helped my brother with his dissertation. The title made no sense whatsoever, so I simplified it. He used 30 words when he could have used 10.
Guess what the feedback was? The title is too simplistic.
And herein lies the problem. From an early age we’re told to make things complicated, because it sounds clever. We’re taught to inflate our thinking into a set word count because if we have to take a long time explaining our thinking, it must be complicated and therefore better. Because of this we make our words and our sentences much longer than needed.
As marketeers it is our job to show that brands have the answer to the audiences’ wants, needs and values. We can’t do that if we use big, complicated words. No-one will identify with a brand if they can’t understand the jargon.
Buzzwords and acronyms create an impenetrable barrier between the brand and the audience. Any audience’s disinterest with a brand deepens the more corporate-speak you use.
With all the latest shiny technology surrounding us, this is an easy lesson to forget. We fall back into thinking that big words means clever thinking. In reality the opposite is true: the cleverest thinking takes a complicated idea and expresses it in ways anyone can understand.
Remember in all our writing, speaking, thinking and doing, that we’re interacting with people, not robots.
Keep it simple.
It’s not easy, but persevere and your audience will reward you for it.