Simplified Communications in a Cluttered World
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” Dr. Seuss
When Yahoo Questions asked its readers to define “a person of few words”, the responses were varied. Many thought the descriptive phrase was positive, a compliment, that if you are a man or woman of few words, you think deeply and don’t waste your time on frivolous talk – it’s the “still waters run deep” thing. Then there’s the negative, that you are arrogant and think you are better than those around you so why waste time speaking to them. Or you are shy so you say little.
Most responses were in the “positive” column…phrases like “you say what needs to be said and don’t mince words”, “you get right to the point”, “you are more action than talk”, or our personal favorite, “you don’t speak much but when you do, you say what people need to hear.” And we agree with them. Because succinct messaging is at the core of successful communication, and successful communication is at the core of successful marketing.
At Marketing Matters, we are “Messaging Specialists”. We are sticklers for saying as much as we can in as few words as possible. Not just online – the best tweets are never more than 100 characters (in a report by BuddyMedia tweets of under 100 characters get a 17% bump in engagement) and Facebook posts should cap at 40 characters (Jeff Bullas’ study of retail brands on Facebook shows ultra-short 40-character posts receive 86% higher engagement). It’s communications pieces like annual reports and product brochures, or even “About Us” paragraphs on client websites that require laser focus. We pare down and edit out, revising and revising until we arrive at the very core of the message – and we say it with minimum verbiage/maximum impact.Today who has time to actually read anymore? We all skim. For a message to break through it has to be “skimmable” and say what needs to be said in a flash. Simple – straightforward – sharp – sophisticated. We ply our trade in words, and to be the best, we have to choose them carefully.