Copy - Content - Marketing Communications Planning

Monday, 11 March 2013

Long time no post - I've been really busy.

It's been a frantic and complicated time at Simply Great Copy.

But thankfully I now have a bit more time - so what's bugging me enough to write and publish something that might be of value?

Well a few clients have started to ask for "content" rather than ideas and words for a specific bit of media. Great I say - why?

"Well we need to compensate for the changes that Google have made and our SEO team have asked for more content." is something I'm hearing more and more.

Should we be bothered - you bet we should.

Brace yourself for a deluge of  white papers, incoherent blogs, promotional fact sheets and new web pages that try to say something new in a new an exciting way about crap products or services that are having a hard time.

The defining issue is not what you write or the media you use, but do you have a product or service that is worth writing about.  In the old days you could polish a turd and make a sale, then you had to take your crap service or product and stick a few SEO and social media flags in it and you still might make a sale - but now you actually have to be very good at what you do or provide.

Brilliant I say - but how about you and what you do, or provide?

If you've spent a lifetime bullshitting your way to an order, then your finished.

My advice to myself and my clients is find out what you are brilliant at and really enjoy and then you will be fine.

Are you really good at what you do? Are you better than the rest? What's your value proposition? Where's the evidence?

If you can't answer all the above then please don't ask me to compensate with some "content". Because it won't work.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Prospects are dying out fast because they know more than you do

Here's a fact  - nearly 60% of prospects have more information about a product or service before they call and ask about making a purchase.

Only a few years ago the power was all with the sales people and the poor prospect was in a game that he or she could do little about.

But not now, and probably never again.

So how do you get attention and how can you manage the sale process?

Making yourself look beautiful used to be enough to get attention

Well  for a start stop selling. The way to get attention is:

  1. Educate at every opportunity anyone who could have an influence of the success of your business. Make sure you can offer insights and ideas that are new and  could offer a real or perceived advantage
  2. Make sure the product or service you offer is genuine - if you can't do something don't do it because you will be found out
  3. Challenge the current status-quo. Offer new ideas and new ways of doing things
  4. Build and promote a list of genuine testimonials

Instead of old fashioned solution based sales that ultimately focus on price:

  1. Create and justify to clients that you have a different view on the way their market will develop
  2. Provide working papers and white papers that challenge their current thinking on how they develop new business
  3. Show them how what you do is part of a better way forward
  4. Earn trusted status
It really doesn't matter what you sell. It use to be that the way forward was to identify problems and provide solutions. Not anymore, prospects and clients can do that for themselves. The way to succeed is to challenge existing wisdom and provide innovative products and solutions for a future that has yet to be fully realised.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

2013 - what will change?

It's always tempting to seek insight into the future. At the end of every year and beginning of the new, pundits are asked on various subjects what they think will happen in the next 12 months.

So why can't we all have a go?

Here's what I think.

  1. The economy will bounce around on the bottom on a national basis but within 100 miles of Salisbury it will grow and remain relatively buoyant.
  2. Companies will continue to keep profits and those trading profitably will maintain positive balances on deposit  - if this carries on they won't need banks for short term lending.
  3. Small private companies whose owners do not add value but just sit back and milk profits will continue to lose key staff, who will turn to freelancing and other forms of self employment.
  4. Companies with any foresight will invest heavily on an integrated approach to managing how they are perceived with an emphasis on internal marketing and effective engagement with all employees.
  5. Retail will continue to decline on the High Street, but those who invest with online stores will survive.
  6. The Euro will get more complicated after the German election.
  7. The USA will begin to produce goods and reduce imports - the same will take place in the UK. Getting into manufacturing will be a wise move.
  8. The coalition government in the UK will begin to fall apart towards the end of the year - but it will make little difference to the economy.
  9. One major natural or man made disaster in the world will be enough to tip the world into a long depression.
  10. The true scale of bad debts will finally be quantified with a recognition that many banks have been hiding corporate loans that have gone bad - it will make the home loan crisis in the States look like a party in comparison.
  11. Interest rates will be artificially kept low as over 1 million people are currently employed in the UK in companies that are barely able to service their debts. A 2% rise would see hundreds of companies fall into administration. 
  12. Starting later this years and running over the next 4 years thousands of interest only mortgages come up for renewal - will the availability of credit being restricted look for an increase in defaults and lower property prices.
Lets see in 12 months how I did.