From simple advertisements to thoughtful consumer packaging to curated Instagram feeds, minimalism — the idea that “less is more” — can be seen everywhere. While the minimalist mindset is nothing new, its role in marketing is becoming increasingly important.
Think about it: The number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day is expected to reach 306 billion this year, according to recent research by The Radicati Group. What’s more, 75% of consumers surveyed by Blue Fountain Media say ads have taken over their social feeds.
In short, consumers are met with a seemingly endless amount of marketing and advertising communications. And in a world inundated with information, sometimes less truly can be more.
If you’re looking to take a more minimalistic approach to your marketing strategy, start by familiarizing yourself with the 10 commandments of minimalist marketing:
1. Thou shalt put quality over quantity.
“Quality over quantity,” while a bit cliché, is the foundation of minimalist marketing. In today’s digital landscape where social media posts, ads, and other forms of content last all of three seconds before they’re replaced, it can be tempting to produce more content in order to get (and stay) in front of consumers.
However, producing more content isn’t necessarily the answer. Rather, we should look to create content that is impactful and, therefore, truly memorable.
2. Thou shalt define a target audience.
To create content that genuinely impacts consumers, you need to define your target audience. Trying to appeal to the masses is the opposite of thinking minimally. Instead, determine who your ideal customers are and create individual buyer personas for each. In addition to demographics, these personas should also be based on customer pain points, goals, etc.
Well-defined buyer personas can help guide the next commandment: your marketing strategy.
3. Thou shalt strategize.
Having a solid marketing strategy is essential to minimalist marketing, as it forces you to plan ahead and stick to certain tactics. This way, not only do you keep from exceeding your budget, but you also ensure that you’re only pursuing the tactics that work best for your team, company, customers/clients, etc.
4. Thou shalt create with intention.
Creating for the sake of creating might work well for certain careers, but not marketing. Everything you create should have a purpose, whether it’s to attract new customers, improve customer retention, or develop your thought leadership content.
By creating with intention, you avoid spending valuable time and resources on marketing items that don’t provide much in the way of ROI (return on investment).
5. Thou shalt not follow trends.
While some trends stick around, others come and go. Rather than becoming an early adopter of marketing trends, give trends an opportunity to really stick. This way, you don’t invest in initiatives that won’t have a lasting impact.
6. Thou shalt provide value.
Successful marketing puts customers and clients first. To do that, ask yourself whether a particular product, strategy, piece of content, etc. will provide value to your target audience. If there’s more value for you and your company, identify ways to better appeal to your customers and clients.
For instance, a blog post on the benefits of content marketing provides little value for the reader. On the other hand, a blog post on how to improve the customer experience through successful content marketing provides readers value in the form of actionable advice.
7. Thou shalt not spam subscribers.
At its core, “minimal” simply means “less.” And if there’s one area of marketing where we can benefit from doing less, it’s email marketing. As previously mentioned, more than 300 billion emails are estimated to be sent and received each day. If you want to keep your emails out of the trash, don’t spam subscribers. Every email should seek to provide value, not sell something.
8. Thou shalt act on data.
If you want to know where to spend your time and resources, do your research. Invest in tools and processes that can help you analyze your work (e.g., where your leads are coming from, where visitors spend the most time on your site, etc.). This can help inform the next commandment.
9. Thou shalt eliminate what doesn’t work.
After determining which tech tools, processes, strategies, etc. have the most impact, get rid of the rest. Don’t hold on to things “just in case.” This goes back to the main principle of minimalism: less is more.
10. Thou shalt keep it simple.
Last, but certainly not least, keep it simple. From your branding to your pricing model to your content, aim to be as transparent and straightforward as possible. Simplicity is highly underrated, especially in the world of marketing. But it’s fast becoming a necessity in today’s oversaturated digital landscape.