The Everything Syndrome

That Swiss army knife is great, it has everything in it, and it can do just about anything — if you don’t happen to have any real tools around. The multi-tool sacrifices the ability to do any one thing great, by trying to do everything. Unfortunately, the same is true of a lot of marketing pieces. Anxiety about not missing anything leads to cramming in every last little thing a company can do, so we overload the copy. We think we’re communicating (and therefore selling) the value of the company, but we’re often just causing confusion. In the end this makes messaging less memorable. Each piece of marketing collateral should be serving a purpose, a particular function within your selling process. Don’t try to make every piece do everything. Instead, try to make each piece effective in its given role, and don’t be afraid to hang your hat on the one thing that your company does best. Otherwise, you may end up with a stack of Swiss army knives and still not be able to hammer in any sales.

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