Keep It Simple? Maybe Not! Four examples when oversimplification might just lead to misinformation

As marketers, we get told all the time: “KISS – Keep It Short and Simple.” “People don’t read anymore.” “More than one message is too many.”

And that is true, in part. We live in a world that bombards us with information, and it is difficult for managers to sort through that information. The average adult attention span is shorter than it used to be.

However, there is such a thing as too simple. Let’s face it – we live in a complicated world. As marketers, we should strive to make sense of that world for our brands and our products, but it is naïve to think that we can always make it simple. Perhaps, at times, complexity must necessarily be part of the message.

Here are four examples when oversimplification might just lead to misinformation for marketers and executives:

  1. Applying the same set of metrics to all brands and categories. A “one-size-fits-all” metrics approach can mask important category distinctions. To understand what’s going on in your business, focus on the drivers for your brands and products. (Hint: they will probably be different!)
  2. One number scores that (supposedly) measures success. Can a single metric ever tell you how your business is doing? NPS measures the likelihood that your customers will recommend you to others. But what about prospects and non-customers? Your NPS could be stable or even improving while your market share shrinks. If you adopt a single metric approach, understand thoroughly what it is – and is not – measuring, and make sure it aligns with strategic business objectives.
  3. Digital landscape-focus while ignoring more traditional media. Digital advertising, social media, and mobile apps have become marketing darlings. And they are an increasingly important part of the customer journey for any smart marketer. But marketers must allocate resources holistically, so it is important to take a big-picture approach that looks at both digital and traditional communications.
  4. Using only a roll-up score with no diagnostic underpinningsTo deeply understand the health of your brand, you need more than a rolled-up score. You need to understand the “whys” that underlie and drive that score. You need rich diagnostic data that tell you what you need to change or tweak to improve your rolled-up score.

It is very tempting to oversimplify metrics, but it can lead to marketing disasters.  Make sure that your metrics are giving you enough information to manage and achieve your brand and product strategy.

Learn more! Download our new eBook: Why Oversimplified Metrics Might Not Keep You on the Right Marketing Path 

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