Thursday, December 18, 2014

Words of the Week: Christmas edition

What a bumper year it's been for Colourful Words. Thank you to all of the fabulous, audacious, salubrious people I have had the chance to work with in 2014. For mine, there is no greater joy than doing what you truly love for a living - I am one lucky muggins. Thanks for all the generous feedback - for those who enjoy these occasional scratchings from me and want to get in touch or want to work with me in 2015, I would love to hear from you.

Regardless of your colour, creed, favourite colour or preference for storing tomato sauce - I wish you peace and your version of joy.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Customers aren't coming to you, you know

Nobody is just coming to your website. Contrary to popular rhetoric, websites aren't 'digital shopfronts'. Well, they are but not on a high street. Websites are shopfronts in obscurely located shopping centres.

Websites are important because when customers get there, if you play your cards right, they are are going to frickin' love you. But how are you going to get them there?

Back in the day, when the majority of people wanted a good or a service, they'd lug out the Yellow Pages and start the search process. Or, they would head down to bricks and mortar stores and go kicking some proverbial tyres to suss out the best widget or service to outlay their cash on. In those days Muhammud went to the mountain.

According to research paper by Google and CEB, The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing, customers are almost 60 percent through the sales process before engaging a sales rep.

These days, buyers have been looking around quite a bit before you even know they're there. Sure, if your website is listed on an industry directory or you have come up trumps in their web search courtesy of good SEO, they may have checked you out. But, they've also probably looked into peer reviews, studied relevant media articles and reviewed social media.

This means you have to go to them. You need to be "out there" providing thought leadership on their challenges or at least presence. In short, you need to show your potential customer you understand the problem before they get to you.

You can communicate your competence via your own social media accounts; e-newsletters; contributing commentaries in popular publications and blogs read by your target audience. The most important thing is to remember it's not about you.

To impress, I stress, your content should address:

  • News about your business (not!)
  • A problem you can solve
  • Valuable or interesting industry data
  • Tips
  • In a reader friendly tone and style and length. You don't have to be Hemmingway - just yourself (it also helps if you're a bit funny or friendly).
  • How you can be contacted for more insight

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The best brief ever

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mad Magazines: Paper

Not sure I'm a big fan of the actual image, but I like the bolshy style of this issue of Paper magazine.

I've worked with printing industry clients for over 20 years so I understand the pain disruptive digital technologies is inflicting upon the paper based industries. I love the mag's in your face campaign and no BS cover line. 

To truly understand what's causing all the fuss, check this out. (Warning: not safe for work)

If you like this style of post:

Bedazzle your business this Christmas*

* Believe me, no one is more fed up with early mention of Christmas than me 
  (it’s just not that fun getting all grinchy and grouchy to children in shopping centres “NoitsnotChristmasyetI’llletyouknowhenitsChristmas”). 
 But I promise this early mention is for your own good. 

The bad news is Christmas has become totally commercialised.
The good news is see above.

'Tis the season to make some money and turn some heads.

To get you in the mood, here are some juicy Aussie Chrissy facts from McCrindle Research

  • 70% prefer to do their Christmas shopping online
  • 13% prefer e-cards to those in the post
  • 51% of Gen Y want handwritten cards
  • 32% plan to spend more on Christmas this year than last
  • 28% think it’s a good idea to give to charity rather than buy gifts

Spending is predicted to be up this Christmas after the ABS has reported that spending continues to increase month to month in Australia. Meanwhile, the low Aussie dollar is predicted to encourage a lot of domestic spending - great news for local businesses competing against imported goods!

WTF! (Well That's Fantastic), but if you want to get in on the tinsel covered goodness, folks - you’re going to need a Christmas campaign, baby. And here’s how to do it:

1. Figure out what you want to achieve
Online sales?
Lots of traffic to your website?
Data capture?
More subscribers?
Brand elevation?

2. Decide where you’re going to reach people:
Mail out?
Your website?

3. Decide how you’re going to bring attention to yourself:
Price promotion?
Christmas gift guide?
Holiday trading hours?
Sharable content?
Philanthropic activity?
Hosting a special event?
Christmas card or gift?

4. Make your marketing collateral totally schmick
Update the copy and design of your marketing materials and show them your value.

Get in touch if you want a hand.

If you liked this post:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Talk it out

Image source

Don’t write out your marketing brief. Well, do but don’t only inform your marketing team or suppliers with a written brief. Talk it out with them as well. 

Do it informally, sit back in your chair, don’t read from notes, and as inarticulately as you like, tell them your vision behind the brief. What is it you want to promote? Why is this a good product or message or campaign? What’s the target audience going to love about it?

Encourage questions and discussion about the brief. Make it a conversation.

If your marketing stars are worth their salt that’s where the magic will happen.

When I am working with a new client in particular, say I’m going to revamp the copy on their webpage ... I ask a few standard questions and go on to engage in a free form conversation with them. I just let the conversation and my curiosity take us where we need to go.
In this process, invariably - almost without fail - my client will come out with a sentence or a phrase that will encapsulate all they are doing. It will be a sentence or phrase that is obvious to them but as soon as I hear it I know that is The One. BAM. That is the message that is going to resonate with the audience. Powerful and insightful. You better believe it will be used.

And it all started with a conversation. And an objective third party. 

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