Marketing Tips: How to Avoid Spaghetti Communication
Don't Be Long Winded or Convoluted
Okay, first the elephant in the article. What the hell is “spaghetti communication?” Actually, it is a phrase we made up to describe horribly convoluted and complicated messaging. Have you ever listened to or read marketing or sales pitches that require a ton of complicated back story? Well, there you go. Sometimes it is like reading a set of government regulations. You can’t understand paragraph one because some information is not explained until paragraph eighteen with reference to paragraphs eight and forty-two.
If you find yourself with this kind of situation in your sales and marketing efforts, you are quite a ways back from the starting line. Things need to be reworked and simplified.
The Starting Line
What is the “starting line” in marketing communications? Simply a clear, direct message. It starts with a name, which as we covered in another commentary, is not a task that should be brushed off. But interestingly enough, a lot of the information gathered in your naming project can be very useful in honing your basic marketing message.
By this time you have spent some time confronting the essence of what your product or service is or does. You have even identified who you should be talking to.
Now you just have to be as clear and direct as your name should be. But there’s more to this.
In the book Bottom-Up Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout, there is a line, “Every marketing plan needs a heavy dose of reality.” How do you get this? Yes, we’re back to surveying again.
The surveys you did for your naming project were just the start. Now comes the real reality check. What kind of attitudes, likes, dislikes, desires or repulsions do people have toward your product or service? These need to be intelligently done. Yes or no answers are not really what you are looking for here. You want attitudes, opinions and even emotions.
Now you are going to get a better focus on what will help your communication and what to avoid—just as important. This is where you find the buttons you can push to get the reaction you want: buying activity.
How far do you carry this? All the data will be useful. But somewhere in there will be a gem. Something that gives you the item that can help focus attention to your product or service and differentiate it from the competition.
Once you have the idea or concept that helps separate you from the rest of the crowd, now you can work on your pitch and your copy. Without this, you can end up with what looks like a plate of spaghetti tossed at a wall to see how much sticks. (And we’re back to the title.)
In marketing communication the entire mission is directing the attention and message. And design assists this by directing the eye trail to focus the communication. Without your key differentiation item or items, you can end up putting up pages of sales pitch that are so long, you feel like it will be in Chinese at the bottom. (There is an old adage in sales, “The sales person that talks too much loses the sale.” So be short and to the point.
Or you’ll have a page that has a wide variety of messages in the hope that one of them will resonate. They rarely do. The dispersal of attention works against you and people simply leave.
Less Is More
Today, so much information is thrown at consumers and businesses that most of it gets tuned out. So the idea of having long, involved sales pitches or pages that scroll till the end of time is just unworkable and a waste.
Doing the full reality check of your products and services with your publics is critical to avoiding these problems.
This way you can say less and make that a LOT more effective.