Because We Won...

by Ron Rosenberg

It's difficult creating effective marketing's kind of a mix of art and science. As with any major undertaking, it's good to have a process that's based on previous successes so you learn from your experiences and don't make the same mistakes twice.

Whenever we write copy for our own promotions or work with our clients to help them with their marketing, we use our Outrageous Marketing Copy Checklist - a list of the 12 components that need to be considered when crafting any marketing message. You can't (and shouldn't) always use all 12 of them, but you should at least address each one and that way if you decide to eliminate any of them, at least you're doing it deliberately and intentionally.

Number 1 on that list is "Clarity of Purpose" - meaning that every contact, touch, or impression you make with your market should be done with a very specific purpose in mind and a clear outcome you want from the interaction.

But It's About Building Our Brand!

Too many times I see ads in newspapers or magazines or receive direct-mail pieces in the mail that seem to lack any real offer or sense of urgency. I can only assume that the intent of these communications is to somehow increase "brand" awareness for these products or services so that when I actually have a need for one of them, I'll think of the particular one first.

Unveils New LogoTake the article on the left, for example. This was on the front page of an industry newspaper I found outside my hotel room at a major conference I was attending for that industry.

The article was all about a company's new logo; how it had been developed; and what it represented.

Going back to that first item on our checklist - Clarity of Purpose - I can't come up with even a single good purpose for the company running this article - meaning I can't understand how it's going to help them achieve any goals in a tangible, measurable way.  Oh, sure, it's nice to be  on the front page of your industry's publication, but what's missing is a link to take advantage of this exposure - something like, "To celebrate our new logo, we're offering a special package deal..."

Let's Go Back to High School...

Science_Soccer_Facebook_PostSo, naturally, I was very excited to see the image to the left when it appeared on my Facebook news feed. It's from the high school I attended when I grew up in the Bronx.

It proudly announces that our Girl's Soccer team won the New York City championship, and the Girl's Tennis team won the championship in both singles and doubles.

This is great news from a "school pride" perspective; and, as a Facebook post to an interested community, there's certainly nothing else that's required.

But from a pure marketing view, what followed that announcement is absolute perfection! Because the post continues with, "In honor of our athletes, we are offering Bronx Science Alumni a 10% DISCOUNT on ALL ITEMS in the Bronx Science Store!"

They took the "event" of citywide championships and used it as a trigger for an offer. And if that's not enough, the post also included a deadline for scarcity and clear instructions on how to get the discount (requiring a "Like" on the store's Facebook page).

How Do You Leverage Your Communications?

I'll agree that this post isn't going to generate thousands of dollars in revenue, but I promise it will generate more revenue than a similar post without an offer and call to action.

Now I'll agree that every "customer touch" doesn't need to have an offer (our weekly e-mail newsletters, for example), but it's important that you're very clear on the intended purpose and desired outcomes of each and every one of your marketing campaigns.

That's an approach that will help you win every time.