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…and everyone else.

Nowadays we are all a sophisticated audience. We all have an eye for creativity. We all recognise the difference between good and bad…in everything. So why do so many companies have awful marketing material?

Are you good at what you do? (You are probably thinking “yes”) Do you think that your company communications are important (website, advertising, direct mail, telesales etc) – again, yes?

So why aren’t they as good as they should be?

I’m not suggesting that good marketing is the same as good company, but whenever I speak to audiences I ask them if they throw away job applications with a typo – everyone says yes. This is because you have as much time to read and re-read the application as you like before sending it so there’s no excuse for it not to be right. Furthermore people think that if you can’t even get a single letter perfect how can you manage a complicated job!

Before a prospective customer experiences just how good your company is they will see your marketing and if – there’s a typo or a low-res/grainy logo, or your card is printed on poor quality paper, or you’re not courteous on the phone… they will jump to conclusions, in exactly the same way you do.

So why would you possibly want to fall at the first hurdle. For just a few hundred pounds you could have a great logo, website and business cards. You may not get the business, but you’ll be a lot closer.

Then there’s the message.

How well are you telling your customers what you do…or even more important who you are. Are you saying too much. Let’s be honest when you receive a thick brochure or full page of typing through your door, do you read it? Perhaps you should focus on basics – what you do and why.

It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about direct mail, websites, advertising or social media, if you don’t understand (and communicate) who you are how can you expect your customers to? And then, if they want to know more about you, they’ll ask!

Steve Jobs once said about Apple and how it should be marketed. “This is a very complicated world, a very noisy world and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us…no company is, so we need to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.” this was when he had just come back to a bankrupt company…in 14 years it had transformed in to the world’s most valuable business (worth $337bn).

So take a leaf from his book. Be clear, be succinct and make it look nice…you can’t go far wrong.