We live in an age of oversharing. Social media is an endless stream of information and opinion – much of it utterly disposable. With more ways than ever of communicating, we can all feel the pressure to take part.
When Mies van der Rohe coined the phrase less is more back in the 1940s, he was thinking about elegant simplicity in architecture. But ‘keeping it simple’ makes good sense in marketing too.
The single most essential task in marketing yourself to potential business partners is identifying the things they want to hear about you – and saying them in the most effective and persuasive way.
But not saying things that don’t need to be said is almost equally important. Most of us can remember an occasion when – in hindsight – we said more than we might have wished.
Most people most of the time are happy to see what they want to see. Why make them wonder by saying too much! Don’t squander the benefit of the doubt by filling in blanks best left empty.
And bear in mind that anything you state publicly raises potential questions. If you’ve thought those questions through and you’re happy to answer them, that’s great. But it pays to think before you speak.
If you’re the first on the block to secure a particular accreditation, then why not shout about it. But if you’re some way behind the curve, maybe just add that logo quietly to your website and your next print run.
If you’ve won a genuinely impressive piece of business – signed a contract your peers will envy – then certainly make a fuss about it. But trumpeting something minor risks making you look small.
So, how do you know what to put out there – and what to hold back? The starting point is your brand narrative. It’s a question of getting your story straight, and keeping it consistent and coherent.
What are you all about? What is the point of you? What makes you different (in a good way)? What, to return to where we started, is there to say about you that your target audience wants to hear?
Having a strong clear brand narrative makes it easier to see what does and doesn’t support it. We help businesses hone their stories every day. With an outsider’s perspective, we often find positives our clients overlook.
But we also encourage them not to dilute their story’s strength with details that add nothing – or even take away. No one has time for your corporate life history. Resist any instinct to throw it all in.
The things that excite you about your business may not be what others find compelling. With us, you can share as much you like. We’ll sift wheat from chaff – and package the good bits for public consumption.
And if you think for one moment that means you’ll have nothing to talk about on social media or in blogs, far from it! You can talk about the things your target audience are talking about.
You can talk about the challenges and opportunities in their markets, the latest thinking or technology, about current issues they might need to be aware of, about solutions you can offer to issues they might face.
Better still, we could do it all for you!
By Stephen Tacey
Head of Insurance and Financial Services Practice