Throughout the year Tim will be posting more of his top 25 pieces of marketing advice.

Hard to believe it’s been 25 years. I’ve probably forgotten more than I’ve learned, but I do remember the important stuff. Like these two pieces of advice about creating your marketing message.

Talk Like a Customer
We can all get caught up in the business jargon we’re comfortable with, and acronyms that can challenge even a seasoned veteran. This is often helpful, providing a sort of verbal shorthand for those in the know. But remember— nothing turns off an audience more than when they feel outside the conversation. When the customer is present, or in any communications directed to them, use their terms to tell your story. If it’s about them then they’ll make decisions PDQ and sometimes by EOD.

A design principle adopted by the U.S. Navy in 1960, “Keep it simple, stupid” was probably practiced long before the acronym was christened. If you’ve ever been on a boat, whether dinghy or aircraft carrier, they are a model of KISS. A place for everything and everything in its place. Same goes for marketing communications. Over-engineering can complicate the message. Layout blunders can scramble our sonar. Be mindful of simplicity and bon voyage!