Simplicity during an advertising summer


hiring.jpgADOTAS — As I think about my online advertising clients and their work in educating their various target audiences regarding their new offerings, I am reminded of the story of how I solved my lawn mowing conundrum.

We have a small lawn and no place to store a lawn mower and therefore contract out gardening / lawn mowing to a local gardener. Where we live, we need to mow the lawn about 6 or 7 times a year, so I didn’t want to commit to a monthly contract with a gardener when I don’t need that much gardening / mowing.

 For a while, the gardener I used would come within 2-3 weeks of my call. But in the last year I worked with him, it would take 2+ months for him to come. And there was also a problem that he sometimes would blow my leaves onto my neighbor’s lawn, and then my neighbor would have to chase him to clean her lawn.

This February, lightening finally struck.

I simply asked my neighbor’s gardener if he could come on contract, but every other month. He was happy, and now comes by the 3rd of the month, every other month.

I spent months thinking of how I could solve my gardening conundrum, but didn’t even consider an every other month arrangement until I saw my neighbor’s gardener that day in February (in fact, my neighbor’s gardener was our original gardener, but when he wouldn’t come (without a regular commitment), we dropped him.

So how does all this relate to online advertising? Well, sometimes we spend days coming up with elaborate and rock solid rationales to convince prospective clients to try our new technology, when a simple answer might help us accomplish the task.

Online advertising has brought about so many changes on marketers and their agencies in the last 15 years. And change is hard. So as it is August, and we’re all operating in summer mode, maybe it’s time to shelve our complicated graphs and charts, and instead speak in simpler terms.

Enjoy August.


  1. Hi Karin,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment — it’s appreciated.

    To answer your question: So many times I see press release or product pages full of marketing speak where simple terminology would have worked better. I don’t want ‘out’ anyone, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a product page and not understood what they product did. I once worked for an enterprise software company and refused to use the word ‘scalable’ in a headline, and instead used ‘flexible’. I think we can all benefit from a simplification of words and concepts. At the end of the day, that will also enable selling more products with less sales effort.

    Thanks again for commenting,


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