We all speak English. I just happen to do it for a living.

Inside Sales

Posted: May 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: copywriting tips, management, posted via iPhone | No Comments »

I had a writer editing a whitepaper today, and he was really carving into it. I suggested he take it to the author — a product manager — and start selling the edits early on.

He didn’t like the idea. Said there’s no better way than to just give back the text all marked up.

I approached it differently:

“You’re gonna scare the crap out of them with so many edits. Show them a few examples of your edits before you finish. Get them comfortable with those. Then they won’t fight as much when you hand it back mostly rewritten.”

He said he’d try.

When you have time to do so, sharing work early makes life easier. People get bought in. You can incorporate good ideas. You make them a participant. You spread the accolades.

The risk you run is that you share an idea too early, and the critical feedback you hear nips a good idea before it can bloom. This often happens when you’re still exploring a concept, and the unfinished nature of it freaks people out.

It’s more important with original work than edits. But if you deliver a piece back that’s bleeding with red ink, you’re best served prepping the soon-to-be-bruised ego. It’s not heartbreak if they agree with you.

So here’s my test about when to start you inside sales job. If you can answer yes, then go start selling:

Can you explain it to your significant other?

Does it have a catchy headline or tagline?

Do you have a specific concept or idea you want feedback on?

With those, you will represent the concept well. You will give your audience a fully-formed thought. And you will likely get some decent feedback as you put on your inside sales hat.

Ad Testing: Use Facebook CPC Instead of Polling

Posted: July 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: facebook, interactive marketing, management, posted via iPhone, social media | 1 Comment »

How do you test an awareness campaign with traditional and online display media? What if you ran a Facebook cost-per-click campaign that tested all your messages and offers across your demographics?

By doing minimal targeting — regions, for example. Or another variable not expected to influence results — then you could compare the percentage of impressions to the percentage of clicks to tell how varying demographics respond to your messages and offers.

In other words, instead of paying an ad testing company to poll customers, you can use Facebook to extend your campaigns for similar actionable data and yet more impressions. Ad testing can extend your campaign, rather than merely being an added cost.

Read the rest of this entry »

Weekends and Creative Problem Solving

Posted: April 28th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: copywriting tips, posted via iPhone | No Comments »

Research, create, ignore, perfect. When I am learning and practicing new skills, I have to push myself to remember the “ignore” phase of creativity. Letting a problem rest so your unconscious mind can tackle it has long been known as the mark of a diciplined creative.

Telling your own internal task-master “let me sleep on it” will yield better creative time after time.

I have a tendency like most ambitious creatives to just stay head down on a problem until I can’t see the forest for the trees.

Three-day weekends can cure problem myopia better than most tricks for big new skills. It’s long enough to bring you back refreshed and eager to perfect something. It’s also long enough to let your subconscious mind make connections that your conscious mind wouldn’t.

Freightliner’s Frontal Attack

Posted: January 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: creative, Freightliner, interactive advertising, interactive marketing, online copywriting, portfolio, posted via iPhone | 1 Comment »
The Cascadia gave us an opportunity to revisit the Run Smart manifesto.

The Cascadia gave us an opportunity to revisit the Run Smart manifesto.

Breathing New Life into “Run Smart”

Freightliner Trucks is the left brain of the trucking world. They make durable heavy duty trucks that run until the wheels fall off. They pride themselves on total cost of ownership, uptime, and ROI.

They are, however, almost apologetic about it. When they launched the new Cascadia truck — their first new truck in nearly a decade — we tried to change that. Read the rest of this entry »