Okay, it’s a new year. So once again, you can expect me to judiciously select from among Seth Godin’s posts, and to direct you to the ones I consider to be the most meaningful. Afterall, Seth’s posts are all meaningful, but some, often the simplest ones, just totally grab me. Here’s one of those. If you have a genuinely, profoundly new idea, it is argued in this post, you need to decide if it is simple or complex and pitch it accordingly. There’s a trap here. If you have a complex idea and try to communicate it all at once, you are likely to confuse the heck out of people and fail. Similarly, if you try to dumb down your complicated concept, you are likely to understate its importance. So what do you do? You view the communication of the complicated idea as a “journey,” and invite-only the “right people” to join you on the way. 

Over the course of the last year, I think I may have missed that thought while trying to teach the pharmaceutical industry to take a “Habit Engineering” (HE) approach to marketing their products to physicians. The idea here is a “simple” one. Rather than perseverate on developing one “message” to be used to support a product, HE recognizes that different story elements are required depending upon where a physician is on the Awareness/Interest/Trial/Usage continuum. Simple, right? Not so much.  This cafeteria approach is sufficiently different from what product teams are used to doing that it requires an entire redo of message development and research processes. AND. In the pandemic era, we were typically given a 30-minute Zoom meeting to communicate what turned out to be this complicated concept to potential clients. Little wonder that we often failed to get a mind-meld.

Bottom Line. Yup. We need to know if we are trying to communicate a simple idea or a complicated one, and manage our approach, and our expectations, as to what is going to be required to do so accordingly!!!

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