We’ve all heard this phrase but not too many of us think it through, especially the ‘stupid’ part. I’m going to address this specifically on the subject of web site messaging but it really applies to any communication.
These days it is really easy to build complex web sites without programming. This makes it very tempting to keep adding bells and whistles in an attempt to address every possible question a visitor might want answered. This would be fine if you are creating a Wikipedia-type site that provides the final word on your products and services. But for marketing purposes putting everything and the kitchen sink in there is a terrible idea. And the reason is very simple: the purpose of a B-B marketing site is to generate leads. In other words, to get people to contact you. That is really the only purpose as far as I’m concerned.
If lead generation is your goal, why would you try to answer every question a prospect can think of on your site? You want them to get just enough useful info to decide to contact you. Period. The internal dialog you are seeking is “this looks like it might work for me. Time to act upon it.” Anything beyond that muddies the waters.
So why don’t people keep it simple? Some want to sound sophisticated. Some want a great image. Some simply like complexity. The commonality is that they are thinking from their POV, not the customer’s POV. The customer is seeking an effective solution to a problem that they are facing. That’s really all they are seeking and that is what you should address. Nothing more. KISS!