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Getting Your Marketing Message Right: Marketing Copy Barnet

There is a step before you start writing any business communication, a step that's often skipped. Before you can write about the benefits you offer to clients you must have a very clear picture of your typical client.

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Getting Your Marketing Message Right: Marketing Copy

(First appeared in Second Opinion Marketing e-bulletin February 2010 - Subscribe to the e-bulletin here )

Get your business message across with ease

I bump into lots of people, when I’m out networking, who hand out a leaflet and say apologetically that they are about to review it because they’re not happy with the content or the message. Now maybe that’s bashfulness because of who I am and a fear I’ll judge them, but more often than not it’s actually because when you get down to it they rushed into producing a brochure before they had really found a way to articulate what it is they can do for the people likely to receive it.

The missing link

There is a step before you start writing any business communication, a step that’s often skipped. Before you can write about the benefits you offer to clients you must have a very clear picture of your typical client. Have you got this definition really buttoned down? It’s something we all find difficult. I think there are a number of reasons:

  •  Fear – of being too specific and therefore missing opportunities. A coach will say I can’t say I only work with health professionals, I’ll miss too many opportunities to sell my services to everyone else.
  •  Knowledge – actually they don’t know or haven’t been challenged to think about it. Many think their services or product are for ‘everyone’. This is rarely, if ever, true.
  •  Disagreement – the people in the organisation have different views on who the audience is – and again this hasn’t been properly explored and debated.

You need to break through these barriers and get some clarity. For some people it helps to visualise the prospective client – if it helps, get a whole load of magazines and go through tearing out images that represent what your typical client looks like, where they live, what car they drive, what they eat, what they do in their spare time and so on. Whether you’re selling to consumers or businesses at the end of the day you are still selling to a person. Every individual has fears, emotions, needs, wants, things that make them happy or contented. Creating a visual picture can make this so much more real.

Now I know not everyone will respond to that ‘touchy-feely’ approach. Others find the answers in statistics and analysis – the number of people the target business employs, turnover, business structure, geographic location and buying motivations.
Until you have a clear picture of who you’re writing for it’s all too easy to produce a brochure, website or even a business letter that’s wide of the mark.

If you can firstly define who you’re writing for and then focus what you say on them rather than you – avoiding what I call ‘we, we copy’, you’ll get much better results.

A word on ‘we, we copy’
This is copy,...

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