Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Category: Creativity

The Unique Selling Proposition – USP

Development of this “central idea,” or what is often called a unique selling proposition, is one of the copywriter’s most difficult tasks, The USP (as it is often abbreviated) originated at the Ted Bates advertising agency in the early 1940s; as its famous originator, author, and agency vice-president, Rosser Reeves, has indicated, however, it has been picked up by hundreds of agencies and has spread from country to country. Unfortunately, it has also become a very misused concept; frequently, it is applied loosely and without understanding to slogans, clever phrases, unusual pictures or sound combinations-in short, to almost anything deemed “different” in copy, layout, or production. We hope our interpretation of the USP will come close to the one intended by Rosser Reeves, but every student of advertising creativity must ultimately develop his or her own.

A USP, Reeves claims, gives leverage to an advertising cam­paign-that extra tug that pulls consumers over the line of indecision or confusion to specific product preference, and then to brand loyalty. Now consider the three words individually.

 

“Unique”

“Unique” refers either to a unique feature of the brand itself  or to a claim not currently being made by competing brands (even though they could if they so desired!).

It is important to point out that today’s Federal Trade Commission does require substantiation of advertising claims, and may take issue with anything presented as “unique.”

 

“Selling”

“Selling refers to sales value. The claim-whatever it is-must be strong enough, important enough, relevant enough, believable enough to convince consumers that it is in their own best interests to try  the brand in question. Consider vegetable juice again, and suppose that V-8 had been developed by a person named Valdimir Van Vaulkenburg! Unique? Certainly-but the consumer’s reaction will merely be: “So what? Who cares?”

There is no sales value in the name Vladimir Van Vaulkenburg. Even if he represented a well-known company, it is doubtful in this day and age that consumers would buy his juice without some idea of its taste and/or nutritional value. On the other hand,  a number of factors motivate consumers today, such as health, convenience, and the desire to care for loved ones; these are the kinds of qualities copywriters should latch onto and develop in the food and beverage line.

 

“Proposition”

“Proposition” refers to a promise: that if the consumer buys a certain product, with the unique feature or claim attached (selling point), he or she will receive a specific benefit. In other words, the USP matches a selling point with a consumer benefit, and does so in a unique way. 

USPs are often difficult to grasp and apply-but they make or break most advertising campaigns. They are really so crucial to creative (and overall communicative) success that they should pretty well fill their respective advertisements. A maxim for copywriters is: one solid USP per ad-and if “additional” selling points and benefits are included, they had best be few in number and relatively minor in importance. (Otherwise, they overpower the USP.)

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on https://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Manangement/Project Manangement – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103?

 

 

The Eight Ancient Asian Elements of Success

Dr. Brian Monger

Lear the ancient wisdom of success from China

The ancient eight essential elements of success are:

  • Tao: Moral standing, ethics, righteousness. The product and the company culture need to be in line with Tao, righteousness. Without Tao, a short-term profit is attainable, but long-term success is not possible.
  • Tien: Timing of your products and your marketing strategy needs to be in line with the social timing and the universal timing.
  • Di: Utilize your company’s assets and liabilities, as well as, each individual understands their everyday work and quality of life.
  • Jian: Leaders relate to their staff, customers and suppliers according to five qualities: wisdom, trustworthiness, benevolence, courage and discipline.
  • Fa: Effective executive’s actions will result in keeping the revenue coming in rapidly.
  • Xu, Shi: Paradox of the real versus the unreal.
  • Qi, Zheng: Innovation and tradition.
  • Know thyself, Know others:  know yourself, your product, and your customers.

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question

The Great Social Tweet

By Brian Swinden
To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the ‘Net to send out
The slings and arrows for outrageous fortune,
Or to make posts of cats against a sheet of bubbles
And by clawing pop them: to ‘Like’, to tweet
No more; and by a tweet, to say we brave
A heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a communication
Devoutly to be wished. To ‘Like’, to tweet,
To tweet, perchance to stream; Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that tweet of mirth, what trials may come,
When we have shuffled off this wi-fi band,
Should give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes Calamity of paltry life:
For who would share the whips and scorns of time,
The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely,
The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a YouTube vid? Who would followers bear,
To drink and whine of thumb-typed weary posts,
But that the dread of something after login,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather share those ills we have,
And fly to others that we know not of.
Thus dissociation does make experts of us all,
And thus the native hue of communication
Is sicklied o’er, with the vivid lack of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard their intentions turn awry,
And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The fair Tweeter? Not in your mobile be
All my sins remembered.

 

 

Brian Swinden is the Owner of Brian Swinden Productions Winnipeg, Canada

Marketing and Advertising

Top ways to slim down flabby copy

Shorter, punchier copy is more readable and more memorable than obese copy. You can test this in your own life. Why do we like top ten lists, for example? The claim is also supported by experimental data; such as Jakob Nielsen’s research. So how do you put your copy on a diet?

1. Zap filler text. Just get straight to the point and delete the run up. For example, most press releases contain this kind of waffle: “In order to demonstrate our commitment to cutting-edge technology, innovation and customer service…” It’s what the delete key was invented for.

2. Cut paragraphs before you cut sentences. It’s better to change the structure of your piece by deleting low priority content than it is to try to make all your points but with fewer sentences.

3. Don’t lock down the word count before you start. A fixed word count is a guarantee of maximum verbosity (as the old Infocom games used to say). If you commission 500 words from a writer, that’s what you’ll get. Better to say ‘up to 500 words’ or ‘between 350-500’ and make sure that the writer focuses on the message and the quality of the writing. Similarly, ‘lorem ipsum’ copy on websites gives designers way too much influence over the copy length. Better to get a writer involved from day one, perhaps by using wireframes.

4. Delete hype words, clichés, adjectives and adverbs. Accurately chosen perfect words make this sentence the most beautiful one ever written. Or not. All readers have an inner cynic that discounts any hype word they read so using hyped-up words has the opposite result to the one you wanted. D’oh! See Words to avoid for more. They just sit around watching TV and eating your food like unwanted house guests. They don’t even do the washing up.

5. Shorter sentences. Breaking down a long sentence into a series of short ones, sometimes even using the machine gun style to spit out a sequence of very short sentences, can make a paragraph much shorter. In other words, short sentences rule. Use readability tools to provide objective feedback on your sentences.

6. Use ‘you’. It’s fine to address your reader directly. It’s also okay to say ‘I’ or ‘we’ to describe the person or company who’s speaking. This gets you out of a world of pain when struggling to find the subject of a sentence and avoid the passive voice. It also leads to shorter, punchier copy.

7. Give instructions. ‘Don’t run with scissors’ is shorter than ‘surveys by leading analysts suggest that velocity and cutting implements don’t mix.’

8. Write with information. If a sentence doesn’t include a fact or make a strong, clear point, it’s a candidate for deletion.

9. Use a bigger font. Sounds daft, but it’s much harder to write lots of words if your screen fills up quicker.

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

George Orwell’s writing rules Good thoughts for Social Media

George Orwell suggested 5 golden rules for effective writing:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

Does the phrase “Low hanging fruit” mean something to a layman? Can’t it be better written as “non-performing employee”?Now, how many people recognize the words and the sentiments behind them?

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

In the entire world, XYZ is selling like hot cakes and gathering a lot of revenues for the company”… Imagine if we write this as “XYZ is the company’s universal best-seller”. Many writers adopt the beating round the bush approach to increase word count or achieve the desired keyword density. This is a strict no-no as it insults the reader’s sensibilities.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

Well, same as above (yea that’ a shorter one. No need for another example!)

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

“The man who was old was bitten by a cat”. While there’s no rocket science behind the logic, still this is an oft-disregarded adage. You can always replace the longer sentence with a shorter and effective “The cat bit the old man”

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

Keep your content easily accessible to the average Joe. Readers will simply block out the content if they come across a lot of technical jargons that they can’t comprehend

 

How Do You Foster Creativity?

By John Harrington

As a Creative Director for 20+ years, I’ve learned some tricks that help amplify creativity in any department of a company.
1. Create an environment of praise instead of fear. Nothing dries up creativity faster than rampant negativity and fear of making a mistake.
2. Don’t give people a million rules, give them a few absolute ones then let them have
free rein on everything else.
3. Don’t take the credit, give the credit.
4. Praise the behavior you want loudly and often.
5. Be fair, but don’t tolerate non-performers. Keeping around dead weight demoralizes the people who are trying really hard.
6. Don’t compete with your underlings. If you’re always trying to one up your staff, they
will quit trying eventually. If they don’t solve the problem exactly the way you would have,
GREAT!!!
7. Give people a clear, simple, lofty vision of where you want to go. BE VERY CONSISTENT TO SUPPORT THAT VISION.
8. Don’t worry so much about watching the clock on employees. If they accomplish the goals you want, let them figure out creative ways and times to make it happen.
9. Try in inject some aspect of fun into everything you do right down to the office space.
Just look at the offices, benefits and the results that Google has.

Do all that and you’ll have the best and the brightest lining up to work on your team.

 

John Harrington   is President at Blackbox Advertising and Owner, Blackbox Advertising

Kansas City, Missouri

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