What marketers of complex products can learn from rocket science

Just because your product is complicated and hard to understand doesn’t mean your advertising has to resemble something written by Nietzsche. In fact, it’s hurting your business if it does.

My brother understands this. He is a rocket scientist. It would be the understatement of the year to say that his work can be complicated to communicate. And yet, he finds a way to talk about and present very complex concepts in simple terms, to a wide variety of audiences. Hell, even an ad guy can understand them.

That’s an approach marketers of complicated products or services can take a lesson from. Sure, your product is multifaceted. Yes, it requires thinking before a purchase is made. Throw in a sales channel with more twists than a Philadelphia pretzel. Doesn’t matter. You still have to communicate a single benefit. And no matter how smart your audience, or how steeped in product lingo they are, if they don’t take away the message, you’ve just wasted your company’s money.

So simplify. Or demand that your agency help you simplify.

Is there a way to judge if your communication is simple enough? You bet.
It’s an old trick of creative directors when judging work. They distance themselves from the assignment and look at an ad or video like they’re seeing it for the first time. So take off your marketing hat. Unfetter yourself from your corporate responsibilities for a moment. Does the work grab attention? Do you take away one simple benefit? Does it stand out in its environment? If not, throw it back for more cooking.


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