Recently, I attended a marketing seminar which I found very beneficial and I would like to share with you. Nothing that we discussed was rocket science but sometimes we try to complicate things to our own detriment! Below are 15 simple things to remember when producing any type of marketing material which I hope you will find useful. The following applies to all forms of written marketing; flyers, brochures, adverts, web site, etc:

1. Firstly, there is NO difference between B2B or domestic clients. Their behaviour is the same so the marketing style/layout should be exactly the same.

2. When looking at marketing material 80% of people look at the 2nd quarter of a page first so this is where the headline should be (just like a newspaper – the headline is not at the top of the page). People scan a page in the following order:

3rd
1st
2nd
4th

3. Focus on `What’s in it for the Customer’ rather than list what you do. People are attracted by what your product or service will do for them. They should not be about you or about what you do Statements should state BENEFITS, not FEATURES first. Benefits should be backed up by features. Example: `We have been established for over 15 years, ensuring customer confidence that we will be here in the future should we be needed’.

This should read: `You can be confident that we will be here in the future as we have been established for over 15 years’

4. Choose a maximum of three significant target outcomes (benefits) for the client and list them. Also, concentrate on customer outcomes (benefits to them) rather than trying to sell the product.

5. Do not use words in adverts like: CAN & MAY (they are not definite) or WILL (implies the future rather than the present). We could change the above example again bearing this in mind: `Be confident that we are around in the future as we have been established for over 15 years’.

6. How to test an advert: Imagine it is blown up and at the back of a trade stand. Would it grab your attention?

7. Ensure your message is specific to the people you want. Ensure it is not aimed at the people you do not want. Adjust your add as necessary to ensure this. Do not try to be all things to all people as you could switch off your core clients.

8. Use specific marketing for each type of audience. Use targeted marketing rather than ‘one advert fits all’.

9. When writing out marketing material, write it how you would speak it rather than in another format. i.e. `Greater sound reductions’ should be something like `your rooms will be quieter’.

10. Headlines MUST get you to want to read further. They do not necessarily have to be short. Long headlines work IF it is about the consumer and not about you (up to 10-15 words can be read in 2 seconds). NEVER use capitals as it takes longer to read due to pattern reading and do not use Italics as they are only meant for notes.

11. Use white space around key pieces of information.

12. Pictures & images are needed but words are always required to confirm the outcome. Words are always stronger than images.

13. When advertising in magazines, do market research first – ask 10 core clients what magazines, directories & papers etc. they read.

14. Say what others don’t – stating the obvious can sometimes set you apart.

15. Need to ensure customer desire and your own credibility. Where possible, use case studies, research results & testimonials.

I hope you find the above help when writing your next piece of marketing material. If you need any help then please feel free to contact me.

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So this is now my third blog and my aim is not to bore anyone!

This week at Waller world I’ve been much more confident and independent. I’ve tried to do jobs off my own back instead of Ro reminding me. I’ve also focused more on the glazing division and really tried to understand how it all works.

Rather than list the more repetitive jobs we all encounter in an office environment, I’m just going to list the new tasks I’ve learnt this week which are:

  • Being more confident on the orders, instead of getting them double or triple checked. I’ve had them checked once and they have thankfully all been ok.
  • Being a lot more confident of the telephone and being able to detect and screen sales calls.
  • Ordering stationary.
  • Working out Glazing calculations.
  • Chasing Glass orders and delivery dates.
  • Finding invoices online and printing them off.
  • Designing the Christmas do poster and a document that states when we will be closing and re-opening over Christmas

Also this week I had my second visit from my college tutor. With the first one, we just introduced ourselves and talked about the work I will need to be doing in the coming year but this time we discussed the units, and then went in to more detail picking the ones I will be completing.

My collage tutor’s name is Denise. Denise has set me several targets and assigned homework to help broaden my growing understanding. If you are working or thinking of working within an office environment and are thinking of getting an office apprenticeship follow my blog and I’ll guide you through the good and the bad points from my point of view.

I’m still enjoying the time I spend here – it’s becoming a bit of a second home really. I come here when it’s dark and leave when it’s dark. One week, three days until Waller world closes down for Christmas not that we are counting ha ha! We will be re-opening at 8am 3rd January, 2012 so if you have any enquiries, questions or would like to make a glass order you know when to contact us.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year and I will check in soon.

Sam

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I was recently asked by Connexions to assist them mentor some students at Archbishops School, Canterbury. Connexions is a company that help young adults aged between 13 & 19 by providing them with information, advice and guidance and what they asked me to do, along with other business owners, was to spend a couple of days helping the students develop a business idea and then pitch it to us in a Dragon’s Den style.

The day starts with an introduction of business in general to the students after which, they are put into groups of four. They then play a game called ‘Idealopoly’ which is basically a storyboard where a twenty year old and his granny come across everyday problems. From this they have to come up with a business idea that will help solve one or more of the problems in the story.

These small groups then spend the rest of the day developing their business idea and, with our help as mentors, they have to produce a business pitch to put before the Dragons! Their pitch needed to include such things as:

  • A  company and product name together with a logo
  • A  complete understanding of the product or service they have produced including its features and benefits
  • A  marketing plan including identifying the target market & where is it going to be sold
  • A  financial plan with a breakdown of fixed and variable costs, manufacturing costs per unit & selling price per unit
  • A  theme board which is a visualization of the product and what it does

Once their business idea had been produced and practiced they would then pitch it in a first round knockout with the winners going through to the ‘Dragon’s Den Final’.

Well, I have just spent the last two days at the school and overall, I was extremely impressed with the effort and ability shown by these students. Most of them embraced the day and came up with some excellent concepts:

  • Easylid – a patented new type of can that can be opened by those with arthritis
  • Smart Stove – a cooker that had sensors on it which detected when food was overcooking and automatically turned it down
  • First Help – An emergency bracelet for use in care homes that called specialist carers when the wearer was in trouble
  • Remind Me – A bar code reader that went in your fridge and detected when food was going out of date or running out and sent you a text message to inform you

What I also liked about this concept was the idea of competition with one overall winner. Nowadays, schools seem to be shying away from competitiveness so it was refreshing to let these students know that business is all about beating and staying one step ahead of your competitors.

The students were all aged between 14 & 15 with no business studies under their belt. What they achieved in a short space of time was quite impressive and it was a privilege to work with them.

Steve Waller
Managing Director

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