Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Category: Marketing Communication

Successful Student Recruitment Strategy – Part 2 – Written Promotion

Contents

How to Recruit and Attract Students

The W’s of Effective Marketing Communications Messages

Questions to be answered

General Advice – How to Develop Effective Recruitment Messages

Features

Always start with a great opening

How to make your Communication BELIEVABLE

Stimulate action

Present for easy reading

Things to avoid because they turn readers away

 

How to Recruit and Attract Students

How does one influence the mindset of prospective students to view the university as valuable?

How does one effectively highlight the unique features of a university, going beyond the act of plastering a generic message?

How can you win their trust and translate the marketing campaign into generating actual numbers?

What are the digital marketing must haves?

What is the expected impact of deregulation – what this means for student recruitment and how can you best respond?

Education is a very competitive marketplace, where standing out from the crowd can be hard. Here are some general guidelines, which can significantly improve your campaign to attract students.

 

Keep in mind that not all potential students are alike. To communicate effectively you need to (deeply) understand your target market(s) – see the first article in this series – Marketing and Education – Student Recruitment – Part 1

 

Virtually all candidates are used to on-line technologies, thus you must effectively use digital media (Websites, Social Media, Mobile – smartphones, pads etc) as well as conventional methods and media (TV, Print, Outdoors, Transit, Radio etc). Adapting to the new methods is crucial in any campaign these days.

 

The W’s of Effective Marketing Communications Messages

The key to a successful student recruitment strategy is thinking about “why, what you communicate, to whom, when and how,”

 

“Why” – your strategic and tactical objective(s)

“What are you offering?” If it is not immediately clear what you are offering, expressed as a benefit your marketing message will almost certainly fail

“Why” should they enrol?

“What” the message – based on broad strategic elements like Brand as well a situation specific tactical messages. For example, the content of the message should be dependent on the stage the person is at

“Whom” – the target audience (target segments)

“Where” will you find them?

“Where” are you speaking to them? – Media

“When” – timing of the message(s). This can be long-term messages, as may appear on a website as well as situationally specific messages in the general or social media.

 

Before you write a word or draw a picture…

 

– Compare your offer with your competitions. Are they basically the same?

– Isolate the areas where you win and lose

– Translate features/attributes into benefits

– Look for a unique benefit or combination of benefits.

 

Questions to be answered:

 

1.) To whom are you offering what benefit?

2) Is the offer unique/differentiated in the market?

3.) Why should they grasp it?

4.) How should you speak to them?

 

Basically, effective Marketing Communication is about communicating:

 

The RIGHT information

in the RIGHT way

to the RIGHT people

in the RIGHT place

at the RIGHT time

 

General Advice – How to Develop Effective Recruitment Messages

The key to effective Promotional Communication for Student Recruitment is: Successful messages come in only one language – BENEFITS!

 

Prospects want to know – “What’s in it for me?” (W.I.I.F.M.?)

 

A benefit is an advantage or satisfaction the prospect will gain – or the loss avoided – from the item, proposition or service you sell. Do not leave it to the prospect to discover the benefits he or she will gain from the offer. Spell it out, as simply as possible. Prospects cannot get more out of promotional message than what you put in it

 

Features

Effective Marketing Communication must balance stated benefits with component realities (features). They provide the rational reason why the offer will work and help create conviction.   Benefits must be supportable.

 

Create interest and desire by stressing benefits of using your service or owning the resultant building.

Demonstrate the value of your particular product by detailing benefits and features.

Try to make it sell for you alone

 

Always start with a great opening

(1) Involve the reader. Address him/her directly.

(2) Put direct suggestion or question.

(3) Use words that stimulate

(4) Appeal to pride and self-interest

(5) Appeal to current or local issues.

(6) Beware overly clever language and technical terms.

 

Present your proposition quickly and clearly. Once you have gained the prospect’s attention with your opening, give your selling proposition quickly and clearly.

 

A “sale” is made at the moment the prospect decides he wants the benefits to be gained from your service more than the money they cost.

 

How to make your Communication BELIEVABLE:-

(1) Present the main idea at least three times during your message

(2) Tell of popularity (use testimonials, and quote authorities.)

(3) Convey value. Demonstrate the benefits are worth more than the cost.

(4) Give assurances and proof. Overcome objections. Guarantee satisfaction when you can.

 

Stimulate action:

(1) Give the reader good excuses and reasons for enrolment

(2) Make enrolment – tell how, when and where. Offer help

 

Present for easy reading

Content is more important than how you say it. Observing the basic rules, however, will help make your selling message easier to absorb.

 

(1) Start with enthusiasm and involve the reader.

(2) Use short words, sentences and paragraphs.

(3) Be direct, writing in second person, present tense.

(4) Be concrete, specific, honest – in the reader’s vernacular.

(5) Use visual words, lively words. Be informal, friendly, caring.

(6) Be complete, but concise. Give a message, not your life story.

(7) Ask for the desired action.

 

Things to avoid because they turn readers away:

(1) Puns, play on words, clichés, and foreign phrases

(2) Over-statement (that kills credibility)

(3) Long words (use short words)

(4) Formalism

(5) Banalities and platitudes

(6) Looking like everyone else. (Be distinctive.)

 

If you are interested in this subject, you may be interested in this forthcoming event in Sydney in early December

Marketing and Communicating for
Student Recruitment and the
Australian Higher Education Sector

One-day connected forum with two half day workshops
3-4 December 2014, Rydges Sydney Central

http://www.arkgroupaustralia.com.au/events.htm

Listen, network and learn from your peers:
Macquarie University
Australian National University
Charles Sturt University
University of Technology, Sydney
University of Southern Queensland
University of Melbourne
International College of Management Sydney
University of New England

 

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

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

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?

 

 

Why They Don’t Get the Message

Dr Brian Monger

People use a sophisticated psychological defence mechanism to filter out unwanted information. This mechanism consists of four “rings of defence”:

Selective Exposure.

People tend to seek out only that information which agrees with their existing attitudes or beliefs.

Selective Attention.

People tune out communication that goes against their attitudes or beliefs, or they pay attention only to parts that reinforce their positions, forgetting the dissonant parts. This is why two people with differing points of view can come to different conclusions about the same message. Each of them is tuning out the parts with which they disagree.

Selective Perception

People seek to interpret information so that it agrees with their attitudes and beliefs. This accounts for a lot of misinterpretation of messages. Some people don’t block out dissonant information; they simply reinterpret it so that it matches their preconceptions.

Selective Retention.

People tend to let psychological factors influence their recall of information. In other words, we forget the unpleasant or block out the unwanted. This also means that people tend to be more receptive to messages presented in pleasant environments

 

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)

Guerrilla, Viral and Ambush Marketing

Dr Bian Monger
Guerrilla marketing is unconventional marketing activities intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. It is more about matching creative idea and wits than matching budgets. Rather than marching their marketing dollars, guerrilla marketers snipe away with their marketing resources for maximum impact.
Undercover marketing is a subset of guerrilla marketing where the buyer doesn’t realise they’re being marketed to. For example, a marketing company might pay an actor or socially adept person to use a certain product visibly and convincingly in locations where target segments congregate. The actor will talk up the product to people they befriend in that location, even handing out samples if it is economically feasible.

Undercover marketing is also know as buzz marketing or stealth marketing.

The goal of any undercover campaign is to generate buzz. Spontaneous word of mouth, or buzz, is free, can reach consumers isolated from all other media, and unlike conventional media, consumers tend to trust it. Marketers find it very hard to predict buzz let alone generate it on demand. However when it works, undercover marketing does exactly that: an ideal consumer from the example above will not only begin using that product themselves, but will also tell their friends about it, inciting a planned viral marketing campaign that looks spontaneous.

Viral marketing refers to marketing techniques that seek to exploit pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness, through viral processes similar to the spread of an epidemic. The term “viral advertising” refers to the idea that people will pass on and share cool and entertaining content; this is often sponsored by a brand, which is looking to build awareness of a product or service. These viral commercials often take the form of funny video clips, or interactive Flash games, images, and even text.

Ambush Marketing refers to the strategic placement of marketing material and promotions at events that will attract consumer and media attention. It has been defined as “the practice whereby another firm, seeks association with the sponsored activity without payment to the activity owner”. This company attempts to deflect some of the audience attention away from the sponsor to itself.

 

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-Brians-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856

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

Come on over and share more great information and ideas.

Who Are You Targeting? Really?

To achieve true segment focus, manangers must be able to identify and define the markets they plan to market to/with.  To hone in on the segments to identify the ones that best fit their business/marketing strategy.

To do that, you must be able to answer a series of key questions, including:

  • Who are the current customers that make up your market?
  • Who are the future customers in that market that align with your product offering?
  • Do you want more customers like them and are those customers profitable?
  • What are the distinct segments in the market and how big is each segment (i.e., number of prospects, market value, and revenue expectation)?
  • What is the growth rate of each segment and how much will it cost you to target each one?
  • What are the major trends in each segment that make it attractive?
  • Which characteristics (company size, revenue size, IT budget size, geographic location, business model, current needs or pain points) define the buyers in each segment and how do those characteristics align with your product offering and value proposition?
  • Why (based on the criteria above) is a particular segment a good fit for your business?

Answering those questions should help you boil down your target market to the customer segments that make the most sense for you to target.

Basic Strategy And Psychology For Handling Objections

Dr Brian Monger

During an average sales interview you may have to handle from two to five objections.  Your first problem is to determine whether they are real objections or mere excuses or stalls.  Your second problem is to decide on the strategy and tactics of handling them in order to retain control of the interview.

Your standard reaction to all objections should involve these principles:

Welcome the Objection.  Do not resent it or attempt to argue.  The prospect may be offering you a point around which the sale can be rapidly closed.

Listen Carefully to It.  Keep quiet, smile, and concentrate on what your prospect is saying.  You may think the matter is trivial, but to him or her it may be very important.  Allow the prospect adequate time for full expression – to finish speaking.  Do not make the mistake of cutting him or her off in mid-thought even if you do recognise the objection and are eager to acknowledge it.

Rephrase and Repeat the Objection.  By taking the time to rephrase and repeat the objection, you accomplish three major goals:

1.         You demonstrate that you have understood and respect the objection and thus please him or her with your interest.

2.         You gain time to think for a moment how best to handle it.

3.         You can soften the objection by rephrasing it into a question, which is easier to handle than an objection, and you put yourself in the position of helping answer it.

For example, if the complaint is that your product is too expensive, he or she may really be wondering if a cheaper one would not be just as practical.  You can test this objection by rephrasing it into a question, such as, “Mr. King, aren’t you really wondering whether the expense for this item can be justified?”

Do not guess at the reasons behind objections.  Your aim is to try rapidly to pin down the real issue.  Sometimes the problem bothering the prospect is not clear even in his or her own mind.  You have to find the right question if you expect to handle the objection.  You then have to give facts that will influence him or her to answer the question favourably rather than unfavourably.  Rephrasing and repeating the objection help clarify the issue for both of you.

Agree at Least in Part.  By agreeing with the prospect’s right to object and by agreeing that he or she has raised an important point, you avoid contradiction and take him or her off the defensive.  You lose nothing by agreeing that the complaint is reasonable, logical, and worth thinking about.  You can then supply additional facts that may help to show the situation differently and may turn the objection to your own advantage by making it a positive sales point.

Uncover Hidden Objections  The Process of rephrasing and restating objections into questions helps determine whether the objections are valid ones or mere excuses or stalls.  If your prospect offers more than five objections during the interview, you can assume that he or she is probably stalling.  Most likely he or she is hiding the real objection, and your problem is to bring it out into the open.

How can you uncover hidden doubts or objections?  The best technique is to ask questions that bring them into the open.  You have to watch as well as listen for clues, since some prospects mask their real emotions or feelings.  Keep searching for the real reason.

 

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)

Better Personal Presentations to Groups

Introduction

The surprise of being asked to say a few words can shock anyone into speechless fright for a moment.  You could be asked to speak at any business meeting, to give your point of view or describe a new product.  Practise a few short openings, learn a few details (such as statistics) to give your points emphasis, and a strong conclusion.  G. B. Shaw’s advice to “stand up, speak up and shut up” contains the key; keep it brief.

Personal Presentation

Do not underestimate the importance of suitable clothing and a well-groomed appearance.  It shows you respect your audience, your company and yourself.  The audience will be distracted by anything unusual.  The best rule is to select good quality business clothes.  Suits should be made of dark materials without strong patterns, and shirts or blouses should be formal.

Avoid anything flashy or brightly coloured, and ensure that shoes shine and hair is well cut.

Many people pay more attention to the quality of another person’s shoes and accessories than anything else.  Practice your final rehearsal in the clothes you will wear on the day.  If you are confident about your appearance, that will be projected to the audience making the presentation easier.

Overcoming Nervousness

Having carefully prepared your presentation and rehearsed thoroughly, the following points will go a long way to helping you over the worst stages of nervousness.  The increased energy you feel as your confidence grows will make all the preparation worthwhile.

•           Believe in yourself.

•           Believe in the audience’s goodwill towards you.

•           Believe in what you are saying.

•           Don’t take yourself too seriously.

•           Know the opening by heart.

•           Don’t be too ambitious.

•           Practice deep breathing.

•           Practice the ‘as if’ theory.

Believe in yourself

Even if you don’t feel confident, do everything to project the authority that you really have (particularly after all that work!).  You are the one in charge and you probably know more than your audience about your subject.  Never take a negative viewpoint or apologise.  Such thoughts show in body language without you realising how clear they are to others.

Believe in the audience’s goodwill towards you

The audience wants you to succeed.  Show your interest in them with eye contact and a smile.  Such simple gestures will work well in the delicate first stages of your relationship with an audience.  At a medium-sized presentation, facial expression can be read almost as clearly as a face on television.  The more friendly your expression, the better.

Believe in what you are saying

The more committed you are to the subject, the less time you will spend thinking about your personal involvement.  When you have prepared thoroughly and rehearsed to a well co-ordinated level, the confidence of knowing that will be enough to conquer your nervousness.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Some of the most successful presenters aim for a degree of informality and quick pace.  This can mean the odd mistake on the way, but the lively delivery keeps the audience alert.  As long as the information is interesting, nobody minds the occasional slip.  Don’t expect to give a flawless performance.  It’s not a matter of life and death.  Relax and enjoy the experience!

Know the opening by heart

This will be the hardest part, so make things as easy as possible for yourself by knowing those opening words off by heart.  Take your time, move slowly, and remember the eye contact and smile before you speak.  Those first few seconds can gain you an extra helping of goodwill and attention.

Don’t be too ambitious

Keep your plans simple for the first few presentations.  Focus on the most important points and resist the temptation to lengthen the delivery, even if it is going well.  A good presentation can be ruined by an inconclusive fade-out at the end.  Stick to your plan and conclude powerfully!  Your last words will linger in their minds.

Practice deep breathing

Nervous tension is part of the body’s alert system, warning us, and at the same time supplying extra resources.  It is as though the body knows and reacts before we do, pushing us to move quickly to deal with an urgent crisis.  Do not view this negatively as it can help to achieve the goal of a first-rate presentation.  Deep breathing and deliberately slowing down, putting first things first, is a way to control this heightened alertness.  Manage the flow of adrenaline correctly and you will have the right balance for a lively but authoritative presentation.

Practice the ‘as if’ theory

Thoughts and emotions produce action.  If you are afraid, you will probably run away.  The interesting part, is that the reverse is also true.  If you smile, you will feel happier.  Look fearless, and you will feel fearless.  Behave ‘as if’ you are confident and you will feel more confident.  It really works.

 

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)

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)

Consulting – How To Write A Proposal

Dr Brian Monger

For any reasonable consulting job, the prospective client will likely expect a written proposal.

A written proposal accomplishes five tasks that are important for you in getting on con tract and beginning work as a consultant.

1.  The proposal is the basis for the agreement.  The proposal, then, is a sales document that ties together all the loose ends and closes the deal.

2.  The proposal documents what you are going to do.  The services you are going to perform in this consulting engagement should be clearly understood by both you and your client.  A proposal does exactly that; it spells out in black and white exactly what you are going to do, so there is a documented basis for understanding.

3.  The proposal documents the time frame of your performance.  Sometimes the client will want to know partial information before the full project is complete.

4.  The proposal documents what you are going to receive for your services.  You aren’t in business as a consultant just for fun, even though you may enjoy it immensely.  The proposal specifies the compensation that you are going to receive for the services you propose to provide.

5.  The proposal forms the basis for a contract.

How To Write A Good Proposal

There are four points to remember in writing a good proposal.

1.  Keep the structure clear and logical

2.  Use a professional but friendly style.  When you are submitting a proposal, just as in a face-to-face meeting, be professional but be friendly.

3.  Don’t spring surprises in your proposal.  After you return from your initial meeting, you will frequently get new ideas that are different from what you and your client originally visualised.  These ideas may be so good that you find it very tempting to include them in the proposal.  Resist this temptation, unless you can check with your client first.  He may need time to sell this idea to other employees, even superiors in his company.

4.  Check before you send.  If at all possible, you should double-check the main points of the proposal with your client.  Don’t assume that changes can be made after your client receives it.

The Structure For A Letter Proposal

Opening

Simply state that you are writing to submit your ideas for the project discussed earlier.

Background

Begin by restating the background of the consulting situation.  That is, restate your client’s assumptions and other general facts in the case.  This reassures the client that he has made an astute analysis of the situation.

Objectives

You should state the objectives of the engagement precisely.  Describe exactly what your client will learn or receive as a result of your work.

Methods

In this section you should describe alternative methodologies for accomplishing the objectives.  Discuss the advantages of each alternative, and then indicate which method you propose to use, and why.

Potential Problems

Any project has inherent in it, potential problems that could limit or detract from achievement.  Don’t omit or gloss over these potential problems; document them clearly, but also state how you will handle them if they occur.

The Finished Product

Your client will want to know what he can expect by way of a finished product.  Will you be furnishing a report?  A staff study? Photographs? And how many copies will you provide?

Cost and Payment Information

For most small contracts, it is not important to break down cost information unless the client requests it.  However, the timing of payment is important.  The client will want to know not only how much you want but when you want it.

 

Any additions? Comments? Examples?

Like these ideas?  Please comment

And visit our other blogs/articles http://smartamarkeketing.wordpress

And the MAANZ website (home of the worlds largest marketing/business glossary http://www.marketing.org.au

Also the MAANZ Slideshare site – http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger

%d bloggers like this: