Simple Is Smart. Complicated Is Stupid.

16 September 2019

Posted in: BSEO

The advertising industry has a problem with marketing that impresses marketers but doesn’t actually sell anything, and the SEO industry needs to observe it closely. In his superb keynote, Dave Trott ran through the remarkably-simple basics of getting noticed.


Speaker: Dave Trott
Position: Creative Director

What was the talk about?

We all know the fundamentals of the sales process, no matter our jobs, qualifications, or backgrounds — yet education often serves to make us worse at it. Billions of pounds around the globe are essentially being wasted because people get so lost in creativity that they forget the simple point of advertising: to be noticed.

Serving as a cautionary tale (or even a call to arms), Trott explained that your messages need to be “stone-dead simple” with the goal of going viral. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t even need to be liked — in marketing, for the most part, being noticed for something people dislike is better than not being noticed at all.

He detailed how our brains work when it comes to processing media, and showed just how much value there is in being different above all else. Marketers and SEOs alike can get so wrapped up in proving how much they know that they produce ideas that are both complicated and similar, preventing anything from standing out.


“The more you clutter it, the less chance you’ve got of them stopping on it. The more you strip it back, the more chance you’ve got.” Internet users are bombarded with media, from pop-up ads to social media updates. If you want to have a hope of getting some attention, you need to break your message down to the absolute minimum.”

Potential impact on the industry

When dealing with clients, SEOs need to understand that most people mainly want to avoid looking stupid, which means doing whatever their peers are doing. They need to patiently explain that taking risks and being showy isn’t just empty theatrics — it’s absolutely essential for getting attention. The better SEOs can get at convincing their clients to take risks, the more they can achieve for them.

Key takeaways

  • 4% of ad spend yields positive perception, 7% yields negative perception, and 89% achieves nothing because it produces ads and campaigns that aren’t remembered.
  • There’s a simple formula to making a sale: impact, communication, persuasion.
  • Our brains group similar things together, so if your ad goes up against numerous similar ads that are similar to one another, you’ll get 50% of the attention.
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