10 Principles of Cutting Through the Clutter

When creating Communication Material for your business, it is vital to to consider how you will best speak directly to your audience. Following are 10 Principles for Cutting through the clutter and communicating effectively.

1 Identity your Audience

Marketing is a generic work used to describe any grouping of people or organisations who are or might become your customers. However, not everyone is a customer for your products and/or services. They may be perfect for some kinds of people, completely inappropriate for other kinds and average for another kind. Hence, it’s of paramount importance to identify your Target Audience, the group of people or organisations who are most likely to buy from your company.

2 Define your Uniqueness

Look at your business (eg products, services, staff, location, pricing) and list the things that your clients love about your products and/or services. If unsure, just ask them! This can be done with the aid of a list of simple questions. Group the results to identify any patterns. Using this list, ensure the final selection is indeed unique (ie no one else spruiks the same message) and is beneficial to your Target Audience!

3 Proclaim your Benefits

Now that you have identified the things that make your company unique, ensure to always include this in your communication material. This list becomes the basis for writing all your communication material. Remember, clients buy benefits, not products or services. So, sell them as benefits that your Target Audience will appreciate!

4 Tailor your Material

Although you may aim for your communication material to speak to everyone and see this as the best option, it is most often not. By trying to be everything to everybody, the material inadvertently becomes not much to most people. In a world were there is an abundance of companies vying for attention, a weak, non‐direct message will most surely be missed. So, ensure you gain an understanding of your Target Audience and tailor your communication material to speak their language (eg Interests, Style, Words, Attention Span)

5 Keep it Clean!

The message will need to include the above aspects, however ensure it remains simple. The message in itself should only include pertinent information. Remove any onerous detail that is not essential to the core communication. What you should be left with is a clean message that speaks clearly!

6 Know your Competitors

By gaining an understanding of how your competitors are communicating, then you may be able to contrast your material to theirs. If you are placing an ad in a magazine, then take a look through the magazine and identify the graphic elements, the language and messages that are used by your competitors. With this knowledge, create an ad that contrasts with their ads, whilst remaining within the afore mentioned parameters and true to your Brand Personality.

7 Captivate your Audience

The heading may be the first thing the client chooses to read in your ad. So make it interesting. Again speak the language of your Target Audience. Ensure you appeal to them. This will draw them further into your material quickly and allow you to hold their attention for longer.

8 Make it Colourful

Most marketing material makes use of colour now. Colour in itself is not the key to standing out. Careful use of colour to differentiate your material from that of your competitors will assist with this matter. Also use colour to build long standing identity. Consistent use of a particular colour or set of colours will assist your potential clients with identifying your material quickly (eg Yellow – Shell, Green – Safeway). If colour is used in abundance in your market, then consider standing out by using black & white.

9 Big is Beautiful

With the wealth of material that is thrust upon clients, it can be difficult to make your material easily distinguishable from others. Don’t make the mistake of trying to include all your benefits or too many messages in the one piece. This can be too confusing and create a confusing advert full of small type that does not stand out. It most likely will be overlooked. Allow space in your material to include elements of contrasting scale to differentiate the material. A large graphic, or headline can quickly grab the attention of your Target Audience.

10 Keep the Character

Constantly changing the look and feel of your material will only result in confusing your Target Audience. Whilst combining all these important steps, remember to maintain your Brand Personality. Do not sacrifice your established look and feel of your Brand for the need to stand out. This may only diminish your reputation at the expense of being noticed. Only make minor adaptations where deemed necessary. Carefully develop materials that stand out and stay with in the parameters of your Brand Personality. This longer term consistency will help clients recognise both the material and the company it represents quicker and more easily.