The golden marketing rule is keeping it on point – to keep your audience listening

Signbox’s marketing team talk about why it’s so vital to keep your audience’s attention with a simple marketing message that should take you no more than six seconds to articulate.

Six seconds to sum up your business to a six-year-old – could you do it?

The golden rule of marketing – whether you’re talking about selling a service or a product, on a website, social media or face to face – is to keep it simple. Sounds straightforward enough, but have you ever tried?

We believe that if you can’t explain your business in a way that a six-year-old would understand, you probably don’t understand it fully yourself. We’ll also wager that your conversion rate will drop if your message is so complex that it loses its focus.

This is how we approach marketing. Your pitch should be simplified to the extent that even a six-year-old would understand it to maintain both the conversion rate and the value proposition of your core message. We’ve all been deep in conversation with someone we’ve met at a networking event who starts explaining what they do. After 10 minutes you’re still not entirely sure what business issue their business solves or what solution they offer. Imagine how efficient your networking would be if you could convey a powerful message in a simple, well-structured, six-second delivery. Perhaps there may even be time to discuss an actual business deal too…

With information overload from a multitude of channels being bombarded at us every single day causing our attention spans to reduce, it’s critical that we grasp the attention of that individual within a few seconds. Conversion rates of people engaging further will drop after that first few seconds of engagement, so why prolong this parabolic curve in a damaging downwards trajectory?

Straplines and elevator pitches

The answer is to grasp the attention of the individual with a single one-liner that poses the problem they have with the added comfort that we can solve it and a final justification of why they need to respond with a ‘call to action’.

This one-liner is your strapline. It should sum up your brand or company in a single line that reflects the culture, identity, purpose and personality of your brand. Your strapline is there to help you build your brand and it should become a recognisable asset for your company.

Then there’s your marketing ‘elevator pitch’. This sits alongside your strapline and effectively allows you to disclose your whole business offering in the time it takes to move between two floors whilst in an elevator. This, in effect, creates the same outcome as the simplification of your pitch that would allow a six-year-old to understand your offer.

A great elevator pitch will always identify a problem that your customer is experiencing and proposes a solution to it. It should be precise, direct and to the point. It’s important not to overload the client with too much information and, in doing so, cloud the message and create confusion.

You’ll also need to articulate your brand’s values. To do this with speed, do it through photographs, fonts, text, colours, presentation and with every single communication with your client remaining consistent and on point. When marketing your company, images and video are far more engaging than text and will grab your consumers’ attention more instantly and effectively.

Again, it’s vital to avoid overcomplicating the message – a handful of hero images will portray everything about your brand proposition, your price point and your overall business offering.

The message of simplicity might well pervade every aspect of your business. For example, when you buy a new iPhone from Apple there’s no text, no instructions, it’s just beautifully simple, clean and intuitive to take the phone out of the box and get started. You trust the brand and that’s all you need to know. Building brand confidence and credibility is the ultimate goal, so consumers will be willing to trust your product from just a few simple images and limited text. Truly creative people have an amazing talent for conveying powerful messages in simple ways. Seek them out and they’ll prove invaluable when it comes to expressing on-point messaging.

Set clear goals and know when it’s time to move on

It’s important to set clear, straightforward goals for your company and understand what you’re looking to achieve from your marketing strategy. We’re great fans of entrepreneurial spirit, pivoting business goals and being creative with innovation and new products. However, this shouldn’t be at the expense of your core business and the clear focus to your outside audience. Ensure you’re not just going through the motions. Step back and evaluate what you’re doing and whether you’re sure this will help you achieve your ultimate goal.

Put your company’s time, effort, and money into promoting the products that actually sell and make money rather than concentrating on the products you wish you could sell. Know when it’s time to move on and when an idea is dead – don’t keep pushing something if you know it’s not working out of pride as it won’t benefit you or the company.

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”

William James

Understanding your audience

Pricing a product is about finding the appropriate financial value and setting it against the quality and service offering for that product. For every price, quality and service offering there is always a correct value for that package, yet it can always be deemed over- or under-priced in the eyes of the customer. A customer will only ever criticise an over-charged product price; it’s the business objective to maximise the package price.

It’s also imperative to understand your demographic and what it needs and expects and what your price point should be to suit it. Price will always be important to at least 98% of your client base, so it’s imperative to know where to pitch yourself; if you’re overpricing, it can damage your business reputation and once that damage is done, it can be irreversible.

Your most successful marketing campaign is the campaign that’s most targeted. Understand who you’re trying to reach and what is important to them – their wants, their needs and problems. People don’t have the time to read through lots of text, they need something punchy, direct and reassuringly simple enough to grab their attention and articulate exactly what you’re selling and what the benefits are to them.

If you need a hand keeping your messaging simple and in front of the audiences that count, we can help. Get in touch with us at

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