AB Thinks  →  25th September 2018

Why IC needs to get single-minded

In advertising they call it the Single Minded Proposition (SMP). It’s the killer idea that triggers the entire campaign. It’s the spark of genius that galvanises the creative team to do their thing.

The SMP never comes easy.

It is the last step in a long, arduous journey through the features, benefits, target customers and competitive marketplace of a product or service. It is not a distillation or summary of these elements. Rather, it is the one idea that resonates above all others – the singular, compelling, inspiring idea that demands the most attention.

We rarely talk about SMPs in internal communication. But perhaps we should. How many messages underpin your latest change programme? Are you trying to explain the five ways the change programme will help four customer segments in an industry shaped by three global forces? In our defence, often it’s our senior stakeholders who like to buy their messages in bulk.

As practitioners we need to advise them – it’s quality not quantity that counts. Less is more. Great communication relies on knowing what not to say.

In a noisy and demanding workplace, we must do better than serve up alphabet spaghetti and hope employees will make sense of it.

Next time you are writing a communications plan, take the journey, do the analysis, then discard.

Cut everything that’s bland, balderdash and boring.

Focus on the SMP – your creative team will love you for it and your audience will inherently, intuitively, effortlessly get it.