The marketing industry has fallen into the trap of oversimplifying everything, argues Giles Lury. Oversimplification may add clarity but it doesn't always provide the right answer.

Are you addicted to oversimplification? Psychology Today (2017) defines addiction as: "A condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g. alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g. gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behaviour is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others."

It doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest that marketers' fixation on singlemindedness is an addiction. Marketers have become addicted to oversimplification.

Used responsibly, simplification can be valuable. It makes life easier. It is easy to understand, easy to communicate. Oversimplification may provide clarity but it doesn't always provide the right answer.