Promoting your book (or other product): what marketing REALLY means

I agonised for a long time when a very bitchy and pompous (and dishonest, as it turned out) editor I was working with sneered at me for only writing a few chapters on ‘marketing‘ in my forthcoming book, How To Write A Brilliant Nonfiction Book. article on the four Ps of marketingSurely he knew that marketing is something you do in parallel with creating the book’s concept, right from the start, even – to an extent – with fiction? With his two redbrick university degrees and the conviction that he knew everything?

Nope, he didn’t. What his scathing barbs did achieve, however, was to make me conscious of the fact that I needed to emphasise the real meaning – and importance – of marketing in my book, so I have done just that. The number of times I’ve had to bite my tongue when someone talks about ‘marketing’ when they mean ‘marketing communications‘ or ‘promotion’ adds up to many hundreds. [Read more…]

Think you’re doing marketing, SME? Sorry. Chances are, you’re not.

When you talk about marketing your small/SME business, do you really know what you’re talking about?

I’ve listened to people running new business startups saying, “oh, we haven’t got much money, so we’ll get a smart student or recent graduate to come in and do our marketing.”

do you know what marketing means

This misinterpretation of marketing and how it contributes to businesses is a BIG problem for them

Just how stupid is that?

Let’s take a good look: this may be something you find surprising but then – enlightening.

Marketing is NOT about writing ads, blogs, press releases, etc.

[Read more…]

How to write but get it horribly wrong

I must share the following correspondence (identity concealed) I received last night from an organisation I respect … and which had been very badly let down by some crude, thoughtless writing on the part of their marketing communication suppliers.

This is how a mere few words of incompetent writing can create a car crash of bad feeling and potentially significant harm to the organisation concerned. I have edited out the extraneous bits so you get the picture faster.

When marketing communication projects go wrong - how can clients cope with the fallout from the car crash? A classic example of this awful problem for businesses

Is this yet another example of a car crash in marketing communications?

The lessons we can learn from this are very, very valid…

A classic example of ill-informed writing by a supplier who should know better

Here is the email that kicked it all off … and the first few sentences make me feel slightly nauseated. Is it just me, or do they affect you in the same way? [Read more…]

How to write a copywriting brief that gets you the results you need

There are two kinds of copywriters out there. One type will interview you and get you really thinking about your product or service offering, your target customers, and what they really want as opposed to what you think they should buy from you.

How to brief a copywriter

Make sure the briefs you give to a copywriter result in the right content.

This leads to a marketing communications brief that is bang on target and will produce an excellent result across all media. This type of copywriter tends to be experienced, skilled, very, very good at the job, but expensive.

Many SME businesses can’t or won’t pay for this level of professionalism. To quote a very-swiftly-dumped-ex-client of mine, “HOW MUCH? Just for a little bit of wording?” [Read more…]

How the SO WHAT? test can boost a lot of your writing

Updated January 27th, 2020. Although I devised the SO WHAT? test originally to test the content effectiveness of elevator pitches, actually you can use it to test almost any promotional statement.

Here’s how it works…The basic idea behind the SO WHAT? test

[Read more…]

Write about solutions, not problems. People don’t buy problems.

Your readers’ problems are very important, of course. But writing about those at any length isn’t going to endear you to them.
They know they have problems. Yes, part of your remit when you’re writing marketing material is to understand those problems very well. But …
write about solutions not problems on HWTB…then, shut up about them.
People don’t buy problems. They buy solutions. 
How do you resolve that conundrum? Read on. [Read more…]

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