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Marketing Tactics

8 Tips to Writing Like a Super-Star.

Maximise your marketing and learn to write like a pro.

Ann Druce

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Professional Writer

Malcolm Gladwell suggests that it takes 10 000 hours practise to master a skill.  Fabulous!  Assuming you practise for two hours a day, five days a week, it would take about 20 years to perfect.

Writing is a valuable marketing skill.  If you communicate your ideas clearly, people will want to hear more.  Write great content for your website and you’ll engage your visitors; showcase your expertise in white papers and you’ll grow your professional reputation; put together a well-structured proposal and you’ll improve your success rate.

But since you probably don’t want to wait twenty years before you write your next proposal, here are eight tips to help you improve your writing.

1. Jump right in

Don’t agonise over the first paragraph, editing and re-editing, just get started.  Write down what you want to say, and worry about the language and style later.  You can move paragraphs around and make sure the flow is right once you have your content under control.

2. Keep it clear and concise

Don’t confuse elaborate language with good writing.  Use the same words you’d use when speaking to your audience.   Even formal communication should be as easy to read and understand.

3. Mix up your sentence length

Short sentences are easier to read.  Too many short sentences make your writing abrupt.  Vary the pace with a mixture of long and short sentences, and use conjunctions (joining words like and, but and because) to smooth the flow.

4. Use the active voice

I was taught at school that the passive voice is more appropriate for written communication.  That’s not true.  The active voice is more direct and simpler to read.  “I presented the proposal to the Board” is clearer than “The proposal was presented to the board by me.”

(Or the more common, but incorrect, “The proposal was presented to the board by myself.”)  Interestingly, a style guide published in 1919 agrees with me on this, so it’s not that a more relaxed writing style has evolved over time, it’s simply better.

5. Use a dictionary

Spelling errors and bad grammar make you look unprofessional and unreliable.  Spell-check will make sure you use real words, but can’t tell you if you’re using the right word.  So if you’re not sure whether to use past instead of passed, or lose instead of loose, refer to a good, old-fashioned dictionary.   (Or an online version, if you prefer.)

6. Write for your audience

You don’t use the same tone to your grandmother as you do to your poker group.  Modify your tone to suit your audience.

7. Rewrite

Even Stephen King rewrites his work several times; why would you expect your first draft to be perfect?  Rewrite until you are happy to publish.

8. Proof-read

Always take a break before proof-reading your final article.  Leave it overnight if you have time as fresh eyes will pick up errors far more easily.  Alternatively, get a colleague to proof-read it for you.

[box style=”gray,info” ]How to Become a Content Marketing King[/box]

Ann Druce heads up Octarine, a marketing communications and advertising agency, where she focuses on marketing strategies for clients in the service, professional and industrial sectors. Ann specializes in clear, relevant messages that reach their target markets. Prior to Octarine, Ann spent 15 years in marketing management for major companies including Unilever and Adcock Ingram before joining Draft FCB. Connect with Ann on LinkedIn or Google+ and follow @AnnDruce on Twitter.

Marketing Tactics

4 Young Marketing Influencers You Can Learn From

Whether you’re a CMO or just trying to build your own brand, these influencers can help you reach your goal.

Jonathan Long

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Today, social media is a very crowded and competitive ecosystem – it can be extremely difficult for brands to break through and spread their message to a large number of potential new customers.

Marketing via social media has become a necessity. According to a post by DMA, 45 percent of surveyed marketers are looking to increase brand awareness through social media. The same post stated that spending via social media is expected to increase 18.5 percent in the next five years.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Marketing Tactics

The Fifth P Is The Most Crucial

The reasoning is simple. If you don’t know your market, you will never be able to understand how the 4Ps apply to your potential customers.

Kyle Rolfe

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The four Ps of the Marketing Mix (Product, Price, Promotion, and Place) have defined marketing campaigns, both successful and unsuccessful, for many years since E. Jerome McCarthy came up with the concept in 1960. And while there have been tremendous advances and innovations in marketing, the four Ps (4P) are still first on the list in any marketing course.

In the brand conscious society in which we live today, however, a fifth P has become the cornerstone to all marketing and branding exercises, whether you’re in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer market. The fifth P is People or is also referred to as Personalisation.

The reasoning is simple. If you don’t know your market, you will never be able to understand how the 4Ps apply to your potential customers:

  1. What products do they want?
  2. Where should you make them available?
  3. How to price your products to meet your market’s requirements and budget?
  4. How and where to promote your product?

The first step in defining your marketing strategy should be should be getting to know your customers. When you know who you are targeting and put people at the centre of the mix, you can more easily decide the optimal strategy that will deliver the most favourable results.


Airbnb example

Airbnb has built a valuable brand by making the 5th P a focus of it’s branding activities. They typically target millennials born 1980-2000 and it’s understanding their traits (needs and principles) that has been the key to their success. Let’s look at how this impacts each subsequent P individually.

Related: How To Make (A Lot Of) Money On Airbnb


1. Product

Spending with a conscience is core to most millennials and they tend to opt for products that allow for transparent traceability throughout the supply chain. Airbnb is not seen as a large corporate ripping off the little guy, but creates a community where everyone contributes and benefits from something seen as open, transparent and disruptive to the status quo. The company has no real assets, but its brand has the visibility of a Coca Cola or Starbucks in the millennial market.

2. Price

While its market is cost conscious, Airbnb knows they place a higher value on products and services that have been designed and developed in a manner that is good for people and the planet. Hence, by consuming the brand they become“part of the solution”.

Airbnb is, more than anything else, including its multi-billion dollar valuation, a community organisation that includes everyone from anywhere. Add to that the lower costs and almost limitless offerings, in general, and you have something their market can’t say no to. Airbnb is a real part of their culture and value system, not some fake corporation pretending to be ‘cool’.

3. Promotion

In terms of promotions, understanding their market is apprehensive of contracts and long-term commitments. Airbnb has none, you make a deal with an owner or someone looking to rent for a while and that’s it, no fuss. In an interview with Fast Company, Airbnb’s head of brand, Nancy King said one of the key reasons for Airbnb’s success “is all about emotional connection, and that is really the root of it”. She continues that,

“Iconic brands have a disproportionate share of cultural voice, and they hold the internal culture of companies.” And it’s clear that Airbnb has developed that cultural integration with millennial values.

Related: How To Drive Customer Referrals (When You Aren’t Airbnb, Dropbox or Uber)

4. Place

Convenience and accessibility is important to most markets, but millennials place an even higher priority on it. They want information right away, especially for online sales, and once bought they want to know where their product is in the supply chain until it arrives at the door.

In the case of Airbnb, your booking information is available everywhere and anywhere, on any device. And as part of the community culture it drives, its biggest brand builders are the word-of-mouth promotions its customers created in the natural flow of conversation, online and offline

“Airbnb is an amazing example of how a brand is the value of a company, in this case valued in the billions of dollars ($38 billion at the time of writing, according to Forbes),”  adds Rolfe. “This value is based on the value of its community, its culture and the way its partners (buyers and sellers) value what the brand can do for them, not the value of sales pipelines or fixed assets.

“This is a $38 billion valuation based on brand alone, based on the company’s ability to identify its market and create the community (not the business strategy) that appeals to them. In other words, the other four Ps are determined and led by a clear and intense understanding of the 5th P, the people who give Airbnb its value.”

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Marketing Tactics

How To Localise Your Marketing Campaign

Here are some of the best tips to help you understand how to localise your marketing campaign without a lot of effort.

Pauline Farris

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No matter which market you are trying to reach, localising the content you use for your marketing campaign will help you achieve a much smoother outcome. Localising your marketing campaign as a whole can have a number of benefits on the way your audience views your company to how effective the strategy actually is.

If you’re interested in starting to localise your marketing campaign as well, keep reading.

Make sure your products are compatible with the new markets

You might have noticed that there are certain big companies which have spread all around the world and offer their products and services to many different markets.

One of the things that all of these companies are very careful about is making sure the products they provide each geographic area with are compatible with the tastes and traditions of the people.

For example, many big fast-food chains such as Burger King, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s have stores in Asia where they offer dishes which contain seaweed or tofu, which are local to this certain market.

If you want your marketing campaign to become a success, you will need to make sure that you promote these new, special for each location products, so that your customers will know they were made especially for them and their needs and they can then look for them either online through your website or in their areas.

Related: Free Sample Marketing Plan Template

Work with the right professionals

In order to localise your marketing campaign, you will need to work with professionals who will be able to provide you with all the right information and tools you need in order to make it successful.

The most important person to look out for is a professional and preferably native translator. Machine translations can never produce the same outcome as a professional translator who is a native of a certain language.

Many online professional platforms for translators such as TheWordPoint note that “There will always be certain words and phrases which are native and can’t be translated unless a language is your mother tongue”. This is why a human translator will always be far superior to a machine,

Along with that, you will want to invest in a professional who will be able to help you localise your keywords and make sure that you are targeting your marketing campaign to the right audience around the world.

Get feedback from your new audience

Last but not least, it is important to remember that you should always work hard to improve the content of your marketing campaigns. When trying to create certain products and services available for other parts of the world, it is normal for you to make mistakes and have to correct things as you go.

If one of your customers has some feedback to give you, kindly accept it and work hard in order to correct any mistake. You can even have a short poll on your social media accounts or website and ask your customers whether you could improve your localised services in any way.

Not only will this help you show your professionalism, but your customers will also appreciate how much effort you put into pleasing them with your services. This tactic will help you attract more potential customers and turn your marketing campaign into a success.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

Adjusting your marketing campaign the right way

Localising your marketing campaign will be a little difficult at first, but the good news is that you will only keep improving your tactics if you decide to put enough effort into it. Working with local, native professionals and adjusting your products to your customer’s needs, will help you succeed and stand out in your field.

What do you think is the most important thing when localising a marketing campaign?

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