Kelly Johnson, one of the lead engineers at Lockheed Skunkworks in the 1960’s made the principle of ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ (KISS) the foundation of all of his work. KISS encourages its followers not to unnecessarily overcomplicate their work. The principle remains valid today.

Performance marketers have often been guilty of ignoring KISS when what they really need to be doing is making it the premise of their offers, vouchers and deals compelling through their simplicity. If an offer’s proposition (or the journey required to redeem it) is complex for customers visiting a site, then often a campaign is doomed to mediocrity.

A common cause for complaint in the cashback arena is from customers having their cashback declined when they have appeared to meet the conditions of the sale. It is not unreasonable for the retailer to have terms and conditions to the offer, but these have to be communicated in a way that follows a KISS principle. This requires networks, agencies, retailers and publishers to work closely; ensuring the premise of the offer they make to the user is a simple one – shop here, for these reasons and be rewarded. Ultimately, if something is easy to do and has a positive effect (i.e. a reward) for the end user then we can leave the customer with a more positive feeling about the shopping journey, increasing that brand’s customer loyalty.

Simplicity is also the foundation of personalisation. Consumers do not want to be targeted with irrelevant campaigns that have nothing to do with their needs and desires. Personalised offers and rewards are much easier to digest and react to as the relevancy to the consumer increases interest, engagement and purchase probability. 

 The KISS approach also influenced us when we implemented our targeted campaigns for our clients. We wanted to make it simple for them to reach specific audience segments with relevant offers, which we did. By harnessing the data we hold on to our 4 million members, we are able to personalise our retailers’ offers in accordance to our members’ interests and have seen our best results when we kept the targeting simple.

Some campaigns may include; raising awareness of brands customers may not be familiar with, returning to a brand they no longer shop with, retargeting members who appear to have dropped out of the funnel, identifying look-alike customers, gaining category market share and stretching the basket. Targeting and applying the KISS principle enables us to offer more incremental value for retailers than ever done before.

Targeted and personalised offers and rewards are definitely here to stay, but stakeholders need to plan together to create a simple strategy that will influence consumer behaviour. It is time to KISS first.