Entries Tagged 'Advertising' ↓

Creative Thinking – Dare to be Different

Sally Ormond

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+


Have you ever had an original thought?

Something no one else has ever thought of?

Probably not, after all, with the many millions of people in the world (past and present) it’s a tall order to come up with something completely original.

So where does that leave your marketing strategy?

Is it a bit predictable?

Well, now’s the time to do something about it.

Recently, I was lucky enough to hear Dave Trott speak at the Professional Copywriter Network conference in London.

He talked out how important it is to out-think your competitors.

For example, if your business has 8 direct competitors (your products are the same) and your campaigns are very similar, there’s nothing for your consumers to distinguish between you.

The chances are your market share has stagnated or is reducing – neither of which are good.

So what do you do?

You have to out-think your competitors.

During Dave’s hugely entertaining presentation (if you get the chance to hear him speak, grab it with both hands) he illustrated the point with an example of one of his own advertising projects.

A few years ago Dave was tasked with coming up with an advertising campaign to prevent chip pan fires.

Previously, the issue had been tackled by showing how quickly a fire could take hold, each incarnation more gruesome than the one before. But these tactics weren’t working.

It was time for someone to look at things differently.

Rather than taking the traditional view of ‘to prevent fires we must show the audience what will happen if they have a chip pan fire’, Dave opted to look at it from a different angle.

If there were lots of chip pan fires that meant the fire brigade would be called out to lots of fires. So instead of showing housewives the devastating effect of fire, Dave chose to find a way to reduce those call outs.

So Dave produced an advert that showed housewives how to deal with a chip pan fire safely, therefore reducing the number of call outs.

That’s (award winning) creative thinking.

It’s not looking at the obvious need, but instead turning the problem on its head and looking for another, possibly easier, problem to solve.

So next time you create a marketing campaign, apply a different way of thinking. Look at every aspect of what you’re trying to achieve to see if you can come up with something that’s going to make you stand out.

For more about out-thinking your competition, Dave has a ‘must read’ book out called “Predatory Thinking – A Masterclass in Out-Thinking The Competition” (link to Amazon page).


When is a Sale a Bad Sale?

Is there such as thing as a bad sale? Making a good sale

You would have thought the answer to that was ‘no’. After all, any money coming in to your business in the current economic climate’s got to be good – right?

That’s the train of thought that’s led many companies down the coupon or voucher route.

Offering blistering deals to get people through the door appears to be a great idea. But think about that for a moment. Who are you trying to attract?

The science behind sales

Offering a voucher or coupon will, in all likelihood, bring buyers to your door.

But what kind of buyers are they?

Are they the ones that came to you because they love what you do, want to build a relationship with you and will continue to buy from you in the future?


They are the ones that can’t resist a bargain, dash in, buy cheaply and then head for the door, never to be seen again.

Your marketing must build trust if you want lasting results. Yes, that will take time, a huge amount of great content and a lot of patience, but it will retain new customers.

A voucher or coupon will generate a one off visit to your website and/or purchase, but that’s pretty much it.

In other words, they’ll bring in the wrong kind of customer.

Getting your marketing right

If you want to attract customers who will come back again and again, you must produce marketing content that will:

  • Engage
  • Inform
  • Build trust

Long-term customers only come along when they feel valued. By offering them information that will be beneficial to them, they’ll grow to trust you and with that trust comes their custom.

The important thing to remember is that your marketing can’t just be a one off. To get results it must be sustained.

If you’re unsure where to start, chatting with a professional marketer will help. They’ve been where you are now and have avoided the hurdles along the way (or at least learnt from them).


Sally Ormond – copywriter – find her on Twitter and Google+

The Worst Advert Ever?

There are a lot of adverts out there, but there’s one that makes me cringe every time I see it.

Sure, there are plenty of cheesey ads that make you groan, or boring ones that bring on a sudden urge for a cuppa, but this one drives me mad.

All adverts must highlight the benefits of the product or service they’re trying to sell, it’s what makes us buy. But what about when the ‘benefit’ they come up with is so daft it beggars belief that anyone could have come up with it in the first place.

What advert am I talking about?

This one.

Apparently, according to the advertisers, eating any other yoghurt will make you dreary and dull (with a tendency to wear your hair all over your face in a ‘just got out of bed and can’t be bothered’ look).

But one pot of their elixir will make you into a vibrant person who feels great about themselves, is able to find a hair brush in the morning and who giggles inanely at the slightest thing.


Has it made me want to rush out and try the product?



Over to you

Which adverts really got your goat?

Leave a comment below and let’s compile a list of the worst adverts.

How To Go Viral With Your Marketing

“OK, this is it lads. We’re going to create a viral video for our latest project. Any ideas?”

Well, if that’s how you think the process starts to create viral marketing for your business, you couldn’t be more wrong.

For a start, you can’t make something go viral – that’s the public’s job.

What is viral marketing?

Well it’s a way of using social networks to promote brand awareness (or boost sales) through a self-replicating viral process. Which means that you create something others love and feel compelled to share with their friends…who then share it with their friends…who then share it with their friends…who then share it with their friends….you get the idea.

And that is precisely why you can’t ‘make’ a viral video, image, eBook etc.

Qualities of viral marketing

The only way you’re going to make your piece of marketing go ‘viral’ is by creating an emotional connection with your view/reader.

Someone isn’t going to share your collateral just because you ask him/her to; it has to resonate with them and compel them to click the share button or talk about it to their friends.

There are no rules to say it has to be funny, gimmicky or super clever – it just has to evoke an emotional response.

OK, that kind of leaves the door wide open, but quite often the simplest ideas are the best.

Whether it’s a demonstration that captures the imagination like Blendtec’s ‘Will it blend an iPhone, the clever Honda ‘The Cog’ sequence, or the wonderful Cadbury’s Gorilla advert, your idea just has to capture the imagination of your audience.

That means studying your audience, studying your product (and the relationship between the two) and then working out which emotional connections your brand needs to make to kick-start the immediate ‘need to share’ reflex.

With the country gripped by Olympic fever, this has to be my favourite video on YouTube at the moment. OK, it’s not a product or a sales pitch, but it captures the excitement of a nation:

Reaction of the BBC commentary team as Mo Farah wins with 10,000 metres in London 2012.

What’s your favourite?

We’d love to compile an ‘all time favourites’ list of viral marketing, so leave a comment below with details of the one that captured imagination – and tell us why.


What’s the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?

If you think marketing and advertising are one and the same, there’s a pretty good chance your marketing efforts are being less than successful.  Marketing not advertising

If you cast your mind back to the bad old days, companies would advertise to you left right and centre. You would be bombarded by less than subtle sales messages wherever you went.

Our TVs, magazines, newspapers and mailboxes were full of ‘buy from us now’ messages desperate to grab your hard earned cash.

But the landscape looks very different these days, with businesses moving away from advertising and towards marketing.

Nope, still don’t get it

In that case, you’re probably a business that has dabbled in social media, blogging, article and video marketing only to decide that it doesn’t work for you.

Well, the reason it’s not working is probably because you’re still advertising rather than marketing.

Let me explain.

If you’re advertising, you’re effectively shouting at your customers ‘buy now’ with little regard for what they actually want.

Perhaps that approach used to work for you, but today’s consumers want more than that, they want to be appreciated, wooed and persuaded.

The subtle art of marketing

Today’s marketing channels are social media, video and article marketing and blogging. Each of these disciplines offers the consumer engagement, information, and advice – effectively something for nothing. Or at least that is how it appears.

You see, people now want to feel as though you, as a company, value them and their business. They don’t just want you to come along, take their money and then head off into the night.

Today, you must engage with them, talk to them, offer them great information, be responsive to their questions and generally take in interested in what they want. And that’s why you must market and not advertise to them.

You see, marketing is all about getting to know your customer and being interested in what they really want, their likes and dislikes and being prepared to chat with them to build relationships.

Think carefully about them and how your product or service will benefit them and then show them.

The days of the blatant advertising are numbered; today your consumers want more. Talk to them, engagement with them and give them something for nothing. As you do so something magical happens, they begin to trust you and that trust will be manifested in the form of their credit card.

Market to your customers and they’ll be customers for life.