Marketing Works Today

Integrated Digital Marketing & PR Consulting from Brown Ltd.

Art vs. Results

My recent article about “How to Find and Hire a Professional Writer” is directed at copywriting and commercial writing, where the goals are to increase traffic, leads, prospects, brand perception, and sales.  The goal isn’t art.

Although we use similar techniques that artist’s use, the content that copywriters create must focus on driving results. It may in fact be quite artful, but it may not. A couple of examples:

One of my productions, “Everyday Heroes and Leaders” brings tears to the eyes of the audience quite often – especially the police, fire, and military crowd.  It has an “art” feel to it.

I believe the best commercial messaging in all media types has an emotional appeal as the primary tool of persuasion.  Logic kicks in after the emotion driven decision is made, usually to justify the emotional decision… a truism about almost all commerce.

But the goal was not art. The goal was to use the devices that artists use to change the perception of the Motorola brand in the business and government sector from a two-way radio technology company to a full-service communications company – that helps people work together.

You can see the spot on my portfolio here:

http://www.rmichaelbrown.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/everyday-heroes-leaders/

The campaign was so successful that the Business and Government Division was the only profitable Motorola division during the tech wreck before and during 9/11.

An example of less artful content is what is usually offered in direct response/direct mail sales letters. The wording still entices the emotions, but maybe not using techniques that appear to be art.

Again, the goal of the language is to drive results. The language might be artfully used; but, it doesn’t appear that way when you read it. You know they are trying to sell you something.  It’s obvious.

I’ve learned to use fictional techniques, 3-act plays, etc. in non-fiction, news, and marketing.  But I wouldn’t call what I do art.  I’m informing and selling stuff.

Mark Twain, Michael Shaara, and Somerset Maugham – that’s art.

My world is about the goals. The math is more important than the feelings and entertainment.  Clients pay me to bring them more traffic, leads, prospects, better brand perception, and sales.  If I create something that looks and feels like art or entertainment, and doesn’t do what they pay me for, they won’t be clients for long.

I hope that makes what I meant more clear. What do you think?

Filed under: Advertising, Branding, Content Development, Content Marketing, Marketing Measurement, Print, Public & Media Relations, Reputation Management, Video & YouTube, Writing, , , , , , , , , ,

Newsletter Postcards – Direct Mail that Works!

2010 Annual Meeting Newsletter Postcard (Front)

Newsletter postcards are the best way to attract an audience with direct mail.  This piece brought a record crowd to the Annual Meeting.  It doesn’t look like we are “selling” but the Annual Meeting is the biggest event to get memberships to the organization.  The larger the audience, the more members renew or sign up for membership.  

Guess how much it cost to produce, print, and mail?

The cost is much less expensive than printing a folded newsletter that has a tab or comes in an envelope, postage is cheaper, and readership/response is much greater because the receiver doesn’t have to open anything to get to the content.
 
  

You can do them in any size card.   This is 8 1/2″ x 11″.  I also like 5 3/4″ x 11″.     

Like what you see?  Go to my “Box” for shared files on the right and download a PDF to show others.  And if you need help creating a newsletter postcard campaign or content marketing program to increase traffic, leads, or prospects, contact me today! MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com  Print works when you use it the right way!          

  

Newsletter Postcard (Mail Side)

Contact me today to find out how much it cost to produce, print, and mail town-wide!  

 

Filed under: Advertising, Content Development, Content Marketing, Non-Profit Marketing & PR, Print, Public & Media Relations, Traffic, Writing, , , , , , , ,

3 Sources to Help You Take the Guesswork Out of Marketing & Advertising

I’ll bet you want to find out how to get more qualified leads, prospects, clients, and sales?

I’ve received a lot of questions in the last couple of weeks about what are the best sources for practical information on marketing – especially online.

One of my specialties is to look across industries, find best practices, and test to see if what I learned applies to a particular industry.  This method has helped me introduce new marketing methods and systems for many products and brands.

There is NO magic bullet for marketing, especially in this economy, even though there are a lot of marketing pros searching for it, and a lot of hucksters promoting it.

Like many industries, marketing is an evolving science.  I say science because if you are doing it right, you don’t spend a dime on marketing without a strict measurement system in place – that means a well-thought-out-system [including Math] to check the results!

This next statement is going to surprise you. Please let me explain.

Two of the best sources of advertising knowledge today come from an early advertising copywriter, John Caples, that wrote “Tested Advertising Methods” in 1932, and Claude Hopkins, an engineer and inventor that wrote “Scientific Advertising,” also in 1932.

Most of their principles for testing marketing and advertising work today – you just apply their methods to traditional advertising AND online.  I read these books early in my career and have worked to apply what they taught me to direct mail, traditional advertising (print, TV, radio), and online.

I use systems to measure and quantify results to find out if a marketing component or campaign is working.  It’s extra work but it takes most of the guesswork out of advertising and saves huge $$ in the marketing budget.

The more recent book that will help you learn the new marketing and PR paradigm is written by a friend, David Meerman Scott.

There have been thousands of books written about marketing, advertising, and PR from 1932 to today.   I’ve studied a lot of them.

If you will combine the fundamentals from the earlier books and add New Rules, you’ll go a long way to gaining an in-depth knowledge of practical advertising and marketing that works to increase your qualified leads, prospects, clients, and sales – for the lowest cost / customer.

Let me know what you think!

Filed under: Advertising, Marketing Measurement, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

15 Minutes. That’s Your Response Time-Frame for Web Leads

When I first joined DiVosta Homes in Florida, they had a rudimentary website. They gathered webleads for their 15 new home communities around Florida via email, through the headquarters office, then sent the lead to the sales center, and the VP of Sales had a policy that a person from each sales center had 24 hours to answer each lead.

It sounded reasonable, for last century policy; but, they got poor results in converting those leads to sales.

If the lead happened on a Friday after 5 p.m., the sales person wouldn’t get the lead until Monday morning, and then had until Tuesday to answer.  The prospect was long gone by then.

I came from the Internet world at IBM (wired) and Motorola (wireless). Early on I realized that the web is open 24 hours a day.

When I re-launched the DiVosta brand and website, I made sure leads went right to the sales center 24 hours a day. In addition, a copy came to me. 

I gave the sales center 15 minutes to engage the prospect. Not just answer the weblead, but call (first choice if a number was offered) or email and help the prospect immediately. The sales conversion rate went through the roof.

After hours, I personally responded to each weblead telling them that the sales center was closed but I would have a person contact them from the sales center by 9:15 a.m. when it opened.  I also asked if they needed anything I could help them with immediately.  99% of the time they said they could wait.  I checked at 9:20 to make sure it happened. The reaction we got from customers was amazing.

Imagine how a customer feels when they are still on the Internet and they get a call or email about their request – from a human, anytime day or night. Your brand worth goes way up.

This is important for new home communities AND resales.

I check the sales process for clients now.

You would be shocked that even in this economy, with real estate crashing all around, webleads go unanswered, even though I provide my email, phone number, address, etc..

Recently, I made 30 inquires to web listings, between 2:00 and 3:30 a.m. on a Thursday.  I couldn’t believe that 21 did not respond at all. A total of 8 responded via email 1 to 7 days later. There must be plenty of business out there for all those agents not to answer my weblead.

One, yes I said one (1), responded at 3:30 a.m. that same morning and asked if she could call me that morning and when would be a convenient time.  She was my last inquiry of the night.  Imagine how impressed I was.

No other agent called on the phone at anytime.  What?!!!

When a customer provides that much personal information: name, phone number, email, and address… that’s a hot lead and should be treated like one.  Needless to say, the agent that contacted me within 15 minutes in the middle of the night got a bonus from her broker.  She was both helpful and hungry and it showed.

Technology can help. I wouldn’t suggest an automatic email response. That feels too much like “Customer Care” and humans know when machines answer. It feels fake.

Smart phones and business processes must be in place, and used, so a human can make contact.  After all, we’re talking about selling something that costs 6 figures or more.  Customers want immediate action. 

When you engage fast they feel important. Get those webleads turned into emails or text messages and send them to smart phones! And then get right with the prospect. Your business depends on it.

The sales staff that responds first, many times gets the sale – and even if they don’t, they get a brand reputation that is better than at least 29 others.

Filed under: Lead Generation, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marketing Works Today

This blog is to help you learn how to connect with customers. The goal is to show you how to get the most qualified leads, traffic, relationships, and sales for the lowest cost/customer. I'll write and aggregate content that relates to the goal. You're welcome to subscribe, comment, and post. Send me your news tips!

What’s In A Title?

I've had a lot of titles [Director of Marketing, Communications Director, Advertising Director, Multimedia Producer, Managing Editor, Reporter, Copywriter]; but, I approach every project as a digital producer... what does the audience need and how can I deliver it most effectively and for the lowest cost?

Sometimes I write with pictures or video, sometimes with words. I always keep the goal in mind: sales, leads, traffic, a better brand image or awareness, or just a really good story, etc.

Yeah I create content for money. But you'll see from my background that I'm way better at making money for others than I am for myself.

I wish I had 1%. I'd be surfing with my kids all the time now.

Contact me and I'll make some for you.

Mike Brown
www.BrownLtd.com
MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com

Twitter Updates

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Search Engine Advertising

I have 8 years experience setting up, writing, and managing small business and simple product campaigns ($100/week Google Adwords) and large business campaigns with multiple divisions and product lines (up to $20,000/week in Google Adwords – more than $1.1 billion in annual sales). Contact me to create your campaign! MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com

R. Michael Brown
Marketing Consultant, Public Relations Consultant, Freelance Writer: West Palm Beach, Florida

"I help organizations increase sales, and pump up the value of their brand, using media, for the lowest cost per customer."

Digital Marketing and Public Relations consultant, writer, and producer with over 20 years experience launching brands like DiVosta Homes, IBM Multimedia, Nextel, Motorola business and government sector, and SunFest Jazz Festival.

MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com
561-756-1674

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In the My Shared File Box below you will see files to download from my portfolio. Download and let me know what you think!

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