Let’s start this way.  No one gets it.  At least not how we think it.

Now, does that opening sentence get you to want to read on?

If you want what you say or write to be heard or read, if you want who you’re talking to, to want to hear more, to open their window to you, you have maybe 30 or 60 seconds or a sentence or two to compel them to pay attention to you.

We call this “Short-Form Marketing.”

What is it?

It’s making a great first and then lasting impression.  It’s getting your message right. Making sure you are saying what your customers need to hear.  If done right, many more conversations and opportunities will find you.

What others think it is

It seems as if “short-form” marketing is thought more of as it relates to content marketing:

•  From ScribbleLive, “short-form content is a great tool to capture and engage an audience. (It) is short and sweet, no longer than 1,000 words.”

•  From Volume Nine, “short form content is typically 400-600 words, can be read in as little as two minutes, and doesn’t require much critical thinking.

•  From Scripted, Inc., “There’s nothing wrong with the average 400-word blog post, especially if it’s on an exciting topic that doesn’t require much in-depth writing. That being said, nobody will take your content seriously if that’s all you’re offering.”

Our debate is not with these interpretations and the lessons they promote. In fact, they each have great content. Rather, as David Ogilvy famously said, “on the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

That’s our point. Quickly read, single-minded compelling headlines, :30 or :60 verbal messages that are focused and conveyed in words in a way that your audience needs to hear it. That’s our definition for “short-form marketing.”


Too many other priorities, too many other distractions.  An HBR article referenced, “…little wonder in a world where the average professional has 150 tasks to be done at any given time…” And, if you’re a boss somewhere, you’re probably grumbling with the amount of non-productive distractions that occur every day. (Check out this CNBC article, if you have a moment to be distracted.)

When we only have 140 characters (or even 280) or when we scroll through Facebook, Instagram, etc., or with the limited time that we spend surfing a website or look at an email, if something doesn’t catch our eye we move on.

So, when it comes to you being in front of your prospect, your boss, or your peers and you’ve get to wow them with your product or service or just wow them with who you are with what you say or what you write, it’s got to be short, sweet and compelling.

If you get that right, the conversations and opportunities will happen. Your materials, e-media, videos, etc., will get heard, read and seen.  Your 400 short-form or 2,000 long-form blogs will get read.  Ogilvy’s 20¢ will become that much more valuable.

We so believe in our version of “short-form marketing” that we host a workshop on this very subject.