• AMi Direct

AMiable Solution #344: Too Much Detail


We tend to think that “more” is always better. But in marketing, that’s not always the case. Sometimes less is best!

There’s a family in Mount Airy, Maryland, with a farm. For many years, they’ve operated an equine boarding business by word of mouth. Now that they’re getting ready to venture into the beef production business, they want to do some more serious marketing and need a logo.


The first draft of their logo featured all of the elements the owners wanted— a horse to represent their existing boarding business, two cows to represent their new beef production business, and three pigs to represent their future pork production business. The logo also included three rolling hills, a barn, and a haystack. It was beautifully done and looked great when it filled the computer screen.


The problem came when they reduced the image to business-card suitable size. The thinner lines of the barn disappeared. The horse—with his white patch and thin black outline—appeared less bold and horse like. And the two little piggies next to their momma looked like ink blots instead of animals.


Too much detail weakened the image.


How many times do we, as marketers, do that on promotions? We think, “we have the space and we’re paying for it, so let’s make the most of it.” We overwhelm small spaces with features and benefits and copy that ultimately detract from our main purpose and goal: to get prospects to respond.


We’re looking at you, postcards and rack cards and emails so jam-packed with copy that nothing stands out and the reader doesn’t know where to begin or what to do.


Unless you’re selling an ice cream sundae or a ticket to next month’s game, your audience will need more information to make a decision than the space on most small collateral can provide.


And that’s okay.


The purpose of those postcards and inserts and small brochures is to create interest. The goal is to intrigue the reader enough to want to know more. To call and schedule a meeting. To visit the company website and learn more. To return the coupon for a free sample.


The more marketing real estate you have—on a long-form letter, a large brochure, or a web page, for instance—the more you can say about your product or service. But less real estate means less detail needed.


Focus on getting attention. Concentrate on the call-to-action. Get prospects to take the next step. Give all of your “piggies” a clear purpose.

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