As marketers we can occasionally be accused of ‘dumbing down’ content or messaging. Dumbing down has a pejorative connotation these days, as though we’re being condescending or patronising to our audience by using words and language they understand. Sort of lowest common denominator stuff.

As craftsmen and craftswomen of words and pictures, our role is not to dumb it down. Our role is to communicate clearly. It’s about simplifying something complex, arcane or esoteric and making it both accessible and memorable. We should strive if at all possible to distil what we want to convey into one key message. Sometimes we only have that one chance to resonate with someone important to us.

This is because we remember some of what we hear, more of what we see, and the most of what we do, hence the need for something direct, engaging and simple. Our less understanding colleagues may feel that we’re ignoring the detail, avoiding industry jargon and acronyms that they can use as crutches, but that doesn’t work with our prospects and customers. They’re invested in something and they want to see some of that detail and erudition come out in the communication, but it’s lost on those we’re seeking to influence who are nowhere near as invested as we are.

Don’t think dumb, think simple. It’s not about ‘how can I oversimplify this’, but ‘how can I simplify it’. Dumb is foolish; simple is smart.

Simple really :-).

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