Great Marketing Comes from a Passion for Clarity

Today, and for every foreseeable day to come, the world of consumers will grow more complex. The media space will become more crowded. Information will come more frequently. Industry will continue to complicate.

Now more than ever, it's the marketer's job to cut through all that with a simple, clear message. Without a passion for clarity, great marketing doesn't exist. Consider some of these iconic ads: Avis, Reagan, Tommy Hillfiger, Apple. The message is always crystal clear.

And while creating a message that speaks simply to the heart of a customer may seem daunting (the company is too complicated, the customer is too distracted), it shouldn't be. It's what makes our work exciting.

The philosopher Robert Wolffe has an exemplary attitude. Of his experiences in psychotherapy he recollects:


One day, however, I started talking about my work. I tried to explain to Dr. Boling that in all of my writing, whether it was on Kant's First Critique or Hume's Treatise or Das Kapital, my goal always was to plumb the depths of the author's central idea and recast it in a form so simple, so clear, so transparent that I could hold it before my students or my readers and show them its beauty. As I said these words, tears started to well up in me, and I finally had to stop talking because I could not finish. It was the only time in twenty years of psychotherapy that I cried openly in a session.


As marketers, we should aspire to the kind of passion that Wolffe has for clarity, for making even the most obfuscated ideas (and trust me, philosophers know how to muddle it up) transparent. Anything less is bound for mediocrity.

Written by Chris Allison on June 18, 2010


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Chris Allison