Here’s a clue: Look under the sofa.

How important is it to be very clear in your marketing communications? Well, ask yourself this: do I want clients, sales and money? Okay, read on.

If you don’t have kids, you may not have seen the Sesame Street classic, ‘Big Bird in China’, but in our house it’s China-mania as we have not one but two Chinese kids (twins Holly & Jasmine, age 7). So the other day we were chatting online with our friend Emile Pandolfi about how important it is to send out clear and simple marketing messages. To illustrate a point he quoted a line from Big Bird in China that was so relevant to the subject of clarity it had me (Mandy) laughing out loud and rushing to find the DVD so I could get the exact quote.

Big Bird is reading out a clue to a treasure hunt to find the Phoenix. “The stone soldiers stand guard over the glass chess board, while those who would find the Phoenix sail silently among them.” Big Bird lets out a disgusted snort and says, “That’s not a clue! ‘Look under the sofa.’ Now THAT’S a clue!”

It’s really, really important not to try to lead people down a road that they can’t even find, let alone follow.  Marketing messaging is not the place to be obscure and mysterious or too clever for your own good.   There is so much ‘marketing noise’ out there that it’s just too darned easy to lose your followers – and as a small business owner you just can’t afford to do that.

The most successful marketing campaigns we have seen are those which continue to ‘pound’ a successful message over an over again, e.g.:

  • Got milk?
  • Drink Coke
  • I (heart) NY
  • The Uncola (7Up)
  • Intel Inside
  • Snap, Crackle, Pop (Rice Crispies)
  • Finger Lickin’ Good! (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
  • We try harder (Avis)
  • Eat mor chickin (Chick-fil-A)

And I’m sure you can think of some more. So while these are all large companies with deep marketing pockets, you can borrow from their brilliance and come up with a simple but descriptive marketing message that’s just as good for your small company. Some that we know of are:

Women Nurturing Change (WNC Woman magazine)

The Friendly Ghostwriter (Laura Sherman)

Reach Your People! (Connect Up Marketing)

We can’t wait to pamper you! (Balsam Spa)

Get a Great Deal. Give Back. (YouGetWeGive Coupons)

Your Organizing Diva! (Debbie Shults)

Monetize Your Vision! (the name of the company also works as a slogan AND a call-to-action.)

The message of this article – in case you were wondering – is CLARIFY your marketing message(s) so that the people at the other end immediately get what you do and what you’re offering!

Get it?