Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Difference Between Corporate Style and Marketing Style

...and I could substitute several other styles for "Corporate".  For instance, legal, academic, social services, scientific, police styles...

The thing all those styles have in common with each other but NOT with marketing style is this:  Someone HAS to read those.  It's part of their job, and it does not matter how obtuse, convoluted or full of jargon and big words it ends up.  They still MUST read it to stay employed.

Human nature being what it is, all humans are driven by wanting to feel better about themselves.  When they write for their particular audience, there is a tendency to use language that show cases their greatness.  They often do that by showing how many big words they know--big words and lots of them.  It gives the writer a little boost of self importance.  Add to that a style of education that taught us all that more words are ususally better.  With more words, SOME might hit the mark and get you a better grade.  Want an example?

Here's one. 

"Insofar as manifestations of functional deficiencies are agreed by any and all concerned parties to be
imperceptible and are so stipulated, it is incumbent upon said heretofore mentioned parties to exercise
the deferment of otherwise pertinent maintenance procedures."

Now if the CEO of the company wrote that in a report, you as the worker would read it, perhaps scratching your head as you struggle to figure out what it really means. But you have to read it because it's part of your job.

What that really says in plain English is  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Here are a couple more examples.  These are extremes, of course, to make my point.

"It is the opinion of the group assembled for the purpose of determining a probability of the likelihood of the meteorological-related results and outcome for the period encompassing the next working day that the odds of precipitation in the near-term are positive and reasonably expected."
Translation: Rain tomorrow.
"Do not kill, murder, or deprive of life, except on conditions wherein it is a requirement of self-defense, appropriate to the service of a military (army, navy, air force, but not paramilitary) organization; see Appendix L for a full listing."
The sixth commandment: Thou shalt not kill.

Your potential customers are in a totally different situation.  NOTE!!!  Important point coming up!!!
In fact they probably don't even want to read your ad.  So, if you make it hard to read--or boring--THEY WON'T READ IT!!!
OK, enough shouting.  But it's extremely important in marketing--the ads you write--that you make it as interesting and easy to read as is possible.  No one will struggle to figure out what you mean, or why it should matter to them.  You have to make it easy, entertaining and important to them!  Making it important to them is about the first marketing principle, something I write about endlessly because it's so hard for my readers to remember.  It's covered in the customer responses below:
You have an animal for sale?  They say, Big deal!
You offer agisting?  They say, What the heck is agisting?
Your animal has quality characteristics?  They say, What the heck does 'quality' mean anyway?
You say you're taking reservations?  And they say, And I should care why????

I'll continue to talk about more of the details of making your writing easy and fun to read.  But for today, I want you to uderstand this RULE of ad-writing.

Make it easy to read, because they don't have to.

Clarity is a good marketing tool. Actually, it's a mandatory marketing tool!  How to do that?  Here are some rules of thumb:

     1.  Use the simplest possible word

     2.  Make short sentences

     3.  Avoid modifying phrases.  Instead, make a new short sentence.  (Not "Avoid modifying phrases by turning them into new short sentences.")

     4.  Take out all the extra words and the redundant words.  (Not, "We offer a wide variety of the finest quality ________," but, "Find many varieties to choose from."

     5.  Get to the point--be direct!  The first example I gave you above wandered all over the place.

And the final rule (actually the first rule and we will talk about it more)

     6.  Marketing is not about you.  Marketing is about the customer.  Making it about the customer is what makes it intersting to him so he will read it...more on this to come!

If you are new to this blog, read some back issues.  Practice the principles.  It makes your marketing sizzle and zing and makes you money!

1 comment:

Berta Hargrove said...
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