Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A little inspiration from Greenpeace - spread that word

Charity and not-for-profit marketers are extremely familiar with the "zero budget" phenomenon. That's why there's some great inspiration to be found in seeing what charities will come up with next.
As a Greenpeace monthly supporter, I just received this clever initiative via email. They're inviting their supporters to get a free, 2 day public speaking course and then "volunteer" in the community to visit schools, community groups, etc and talk about the work of Greenpeace.
Why is this so smart? So many reasons.
1. Talk about a great way to get your supporters involved - especially those more conservative types who wont be volunteering for a trip on one of their ships anytime soon.
2. Get your supporters (or "customers") MORE passionate about your work by teaching them more about it.
3. Get 30-100 (not sure how many they're recuiting) spokespeople for nothing but the cost of a training course, which they may have got pretty cheap to start with.
4. Hit thousands more people with the Greenpeace message than would be possible without this unpaid army of enthusiastic speakers - and in a way that's far more engaging than any other: people talking to people.
5. Tapping into the zeitgeist. Finally green issues are firmly on everyone's agenda and Greenpeace aren't missing the chance to get to people when they're finally paying some attention.
Is there any inspiration in "for profits" in this. Of course. If you are selling a product or service that people are passionate about, why not bestow people the honour of becoming an "evangelist" for you. I'm not suggesting there's a huge public speaking market, but there is a "refer a friend on steriods" opportunity here.
So good on you, Greenpeace. Great cause and very clever marketing.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Great free market research tool

I'm probably way behind the 8-ball on this one, but I've just come across another great free service from Google -

Basically, you can plug in your brand name or industry sector or competitor's name and request an "as it happens" (or daily, or weekly) alert. Google trawls the web, news, blogs, etc.

So instead of wondering if people are talking about you - you'll know.

And it's free -no subscription fee, unlike most media monitoring - so you can afford it on that zero budget!

Business to Business Marketing Inspiration

In running my marketing events, I'm often prompted by people to ensure I don't focus too much on B2C marketing and ensure I give some airplay to B2B marketing. Whilst many of the same rules apply, there are some "tried and true" business marketing rules you can't escape, like the need for more personal selling and relationships. Innovative marketing then becomes more about how good your lead generation and then sales team are.
Anyway, I came across a great blog that listed FIFTY B2B marketing blogs. So if you need some inspiration, follow that yellow brick road.

Are you sick to death of boring copy?

With an estimated quarter of a million words in the English language, why is it that certain words are so overused in marketing copy. I have had a serious bee in my bonnet about the HUGE overuse of the word "solution". And thank goodness I'm not the only one.

When you're on a tight budget, every word written for your marketing should count. So how do you make your copy sound better? A few thoughts...
  • Detective-fiction writer Elmore Leonard says, “If it sounds like writing, re-write it.” So write as you speak in business letters. Really, who says "don't hesitate to contact me" in real life? Apart from the whole double-negative thing, just skip to saying "give me a call".
  • Don't write long, unwieldy sentences. Short and sharp is easier for people to read.
  • Use lots of headings. People are busy, make it simply for them to scan and decide what they want to read.
  • Use emotive words where possible to conjour up images.
  • Don't you find that when you see a question written, you can't help but answer it mentally? Did you just answer that question? Ok, I'll stop now. In summary - start copy with questions to engage people with your writing. It works.

And if you're finding yourself lacking in writing inspiration, visit my friends and