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Is cluttered marketing communication causing confusion and overwhelm for your customers?

November 15, 2019 | Posted in: Articles & News, Branding, Flex Marketing news, Marketing pow wow
Marketing communications

I was recently asked to provide a client some guidance on structuring their flyers, EDMs and other marketing communications in a way that makes them easy to understand and professional-looking. They already knew that their previous attempts had fallen into the “cluttered and confusing” trap…so how does one get out of it?

First of all, let me just say that ‘cluttered’ can be a deliberate tactic to help firmly convey a price positioning – i.e. budget price. Think about the experience of walking into a $2 shop or receiving a letterbox flyer full of a retailer’s Sale promotion. However, for the purposes of this article, we are assuming for that you are not wishing to compete on price, but rather other value aspects such as service, quality, breadth of range etc.

Here is a list of some considerations that will help you keep your communications clutter free:

  • White space – if you are wanting to give the feeling of quality and sophistication, use white space. The more of it you use, the stronger the impression of quality
  • Hierachy of message – is it obvious where your eye needs to go to first? Do you read the piece in the intended order of most important things down to least important things? For example, the first thing you notice will hopefully be what has been used to grab your attention – an interesting graphic, a heading that is relevant to your interest or needs and sparks your interest in continuing to look at it. The contact details, whilst important, aren’t necessarily going to be the thing that gets you interested, so that’s why they are there in the background for people to refer to when they have made a decision to take action
  • Give some assistance with guiding the eye selectively use subheadings and bold text so it helps lead the eye in the direction you want to. You can also use images in this way – balance to the layout is important (this is why you will often see an image top left and then balanced with a logo bottom right…if it was aligned left, it would look left-heavy)
  • Follow good design principles – these things are famous for causing chaos in design…mixture of cases, particularly over-use of capitalisation (harder to read), too many different sizes of font, too much colour or accents on text (e.g. bolding some, underlining others, putting certain words in colour), lack of harmonious colour-ways, too blocky (i.e. many sectioned off areas of text with coloured backgrounds), poor use of spacing (e.g. headings and sub headings need to have the text that follows underneath it to have a small(ish) gap so that they look like they belong together – too much space can make it look like the body copy belongs to another section) and so much more!
  • A picture paints a thousand words – if you can use a good image to communicate, then this is a great option. Not only does it help cut down on number of words required, it also conveys mood and supports your brand (that’s why it is important to choose images wisely…what are they saying about your business?)

That’s probably just scratching the surface of what you need to consider with your communications, however it is a good start!

If you would like some independent advice on your marketing communications, get in touch.

Flex Marketing