It’s certainly no secret that marketing and advertising a product, a brand or a company is a risky business. Making the right decisions can do wonders, but taking a wrong turn can set anyone up for disaster. Since in 2010 the trend shows that most marketing decision makers seek out “the most bang for their buck”, it is very common to see them cutting corners when it comes to advertising. The following tips will hopefully provide a reality check and help you get back on the right track to success.
DIY writing, a bad marketing decision or a killer advertsing idea?
In advertising and marketing, each word that appears in every piece of communication can make or break your chances to succeed. That’s the reason to acknowledge that copywriting, the term used to describe the activity of creating a text for communication purposes, is much more than putting one word after another. Thinking that since you know how to write, you can do it yourself and save some money is a huge gamble.
Copywriting requires skills, talent and experience. Using words to successfully promote something of value i.e. a person, a business, an opinion or an idea is not an easy task. More importantly, experienced copywriters know how to convince or dissuade the reader, listener or viewer to take a stand, do or stop doing something specific.
When you write your own ads, your company’s brochure, your contest and sweeptakes rules or that direct mail piece you risk failing to connect, engage and persuade your audience.
If you mean serious business leave the writing to experienced dedicated professionals. If you insist of going cheap at least try thevirtualcopywriter.com before you set yourself to go out of business.
The marketing value of creative advertising awards
Being creative is a great way to get attention and entertain but is not synonymous of being effective. In order to increase sales, marketing and advertising decisions must be made with the consumers’ purchase decision criteria in mind.
Next time you have to choose between two or more ideas and, the award winning potential is highlighted to favor any of them, ask yourself: “Would consumers buy more products if my TV commercial won a Cannes Lion?”
Keep in mind that winning a Lion at Cannes and any other award for that matter, is never a bad thing. But it only means that the creative community found the ad or campaign worthy of recognition among peers. As we have seen in the film industry, history shows that industry accolades doesn’t always translate into higher sales.
The ideal scenario is that your communication execution (i.e. print ad, TV commercial, radio spot, promotion’s guidelines, online sweepstakes, etc.) shows a good balance between products attributes versus specific problem solving potential while still being unique. It is important to keep a clear focus on your competitive advantage. Be concise. Remember that when you say too much you lose your audience’s attention.
When marketing underestimates consumers’ intelligence, advertising fails (and vice versa)
Consumers know how to distinguish true editorial content from news generated by public relations efforts. They are aware that there is a big chance there’s a marketing executive behind every Facebook Company Fan Page and every great product review.
If you want to build trust for your brand, keep it real and believable. Try to stay true to consumers unaided testimonials and avoid the use of “too good to be true” stories. Also, keep your logo, slogans, and other marketing indicators to the minimum.
Those inclined to use celebrities to endorse a product, should try to stay away of the classic, well rehearsed, “speech to the camera” approach. Instead, have them use your product in public, in a spontaneous moment. Nowadays, consumers are more inclined to trust actions rather than words.
On the other hand, if you want people to believe that the communication of your brand is truly generated by real consumers, consider taking a Blair Witch Project approach. Get a camera and hit the streets. Also, you can read the mail you receive and reproduce clients’ feedback with absolute integrity (typos and all). If you think that “getting real” in your communication will never work, check the ratings for reality TV shows over the last decade. You will find plenty of data supporting the fact that when people believe it’s the real deal, success follows.