Memorable marketing solutions exclusively for small businesses in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire    Sep 2007




Saying what you mean

Copy writing is often seen as one of the most difficult areas of marketing communication.  "I know what I want to say, but just can't seem to get the words right."  In reality copy writing can be dead easy, but only once you've done your homework.  Here are a few tips.

Know WHAT you want to say, and to WHOM

Before you can start writing copy, you need to be very clear on what it is you want to say and to whom.  Don't get caught up in your natural enthusiasm for your product or service.  You need to be clinical in defining what really needs to be said and who would genuinely be interested in hearing it.

Prioritise the key elements of your offer in the order that they bring value to your potential customers.  If groups of your customer targets appear to value different elements in different orders, then treat them separately and plan to write different copy for each group.  It might seem like extra effort, but the better targeted your copy is the greater effect it will have on the reader.

Now you know what to say to each customer group, you need to determine HOW best to say it.

Picking a style

It is important for any piece of text to maintain a single style otherwise its gets very hard to read.  So before you start writing, try to work out what style(s) would appeal best to your target audience(s).

There are two guiding criteria.  The nature of your offer and the nature of the customer.  If your offer is a fun leisure product then a jokey and casual style would be appropriate, whereas if you are a funeral director ... then perhaps not.  By the same token, if your target customers are under 16s then a style using language constructs for children would be good. But if your copy was to attract solicitors, then a more formal use of language might be better to convey the right level of gravitas.

Once you've picked your style ... stick to it.  Go back and reread it to make sure that you haven't slipped out of style by accident.  Be harsh in your judgement; your readers will.

Benefits first

A tip that I always give people looking to write their own marketing copy is to write it backwards!  Not literally of course.  Let me show you what I mean.

A typical sentence that someone might write could be ...

"Our product is designed using the latest technology which saves you úthousands in maintenance costs every year."

Not bad ... but could read better. Let's try it backwards.

"You can save úthousands in maintenance costs every year because our product is designed using the latest technology."

Much better. By placing the benefit statement at the beginning of the sentence it carries more emphasis and catches the eye more readily.

Always go through your copy after you've produced the first draft and look for sentences that you can write backwards.  It really makes a difference.

Memorable marketing

Thinking and working pragmatically like this will help you to make your marketing work better for you in a more memorable way. This means that your target customers will be able to differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors and clearly see the value in buying from you.

If you would like some advice on memorable marketing techniques for your own business, or you know someone at another business who might need help, then please contact us. The sooner you start, the sooner you will benefit.


Writing an Advertisement

Download this handy guide which explains how to get the best from creating your own advertising in order to improve business effectiveness.

Written by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of their Directors' Briefing series, this document makes easy reading for business people of all experience levels.


Marketing Effectiveness Assessment

A free service to small businesses in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire area, the Marketing Effectiveness Assessment delivers a professional audit of how a business is using the tools of marketing to communicate to existing and potential customers. It also includes a series of simple and cost-effective marketing activities that the business can implement immediately and at low cost.

Download the factsheet now.


Useful Links ...

Adduce Marketing

Chartered Institute of Marketing

Marketing UK (information portal)