Monday, September 25, 2017

Job Search Tips for Job Seekers Over 40 By Susan P. Joyce

Source: https://www.job-hunt.org/onlinejobsearchguide/article_over-40-job-search.shtml

Recently several job seekers over 40 have written to complain that they feel they have lost out on job opportunities because of their age. In many cases, they may be correct. But, probably not always.

Why does age discrimination happen? Younger hiring managers may feel uncomfortable telling someone older what to do (like bossing around their parents).

They may also feel that someone older is not as technically savvy or as physically and mentally "quick" as someone younger. They may even suspect that you'll be out sick more often than someone younger. Frequently, an older worker is viewed as having higher salary expectations and, therefore, being more expensive to hire and retain.

5 Key Elements for 40+ Job Search Success

Take these steps:

1. Keep (or get) up-to-date with your profession and/or industry.

Or, do a lot of research before you launch your job search to get back up to date (the web is great for this!).

This issue often torpedoes people who have been unemployed for several months and women who have taken a few months to a few years out of the job world to care for their children or other family members.

Learn the new software and the latest jargon before you send out your resume or apply for a job. Know who the important "players" are (companies, products or services, and people).

LinkedIn Groups can be very helpful for catching up, becoming visible to employers, and also for identifying those individuals (and companies) currently influencing an industry or profession.

2. Update your resume.

Since you need to get an interview to be considered, Job-Hunt Mid-Life Career Expert, Jan Cannon, recommends that you modify your resume:

  • Focus your resume on your future and the job you are seeking.

    Don't make it a laundry list of everything you've ever done. Most jobs that you had more than 10 years ago shouldn't be included because they aren't relevant.
  • Describe significant and relevant accomplishments vs. a list of duties and "responsible for" items.

    Show the employer how good you are at your job by documenting your accomplishments that are relevant to the job.
  • Change the "Education" section of your resume to "Education and Training" and put your most recent training first.

    Include the year and the source for each training entry. This shows that your skills are up-to-date. List your degrees following the more recent training, and don't include the dates, unless your degrees were earned in the last 10 to 15 years.
  • Be selective if you have had a lot of jobs in the past 20 years.

    Include only those that demonstrate the skills, experience, and/or industry knowledge you have that are directly relevant to the job you are seeking.
  • Limit your resume to no more than 2 pages.

    You only want to include the most relevant jobs, anyway. And, a longer resume is much less likely to be reviewed. For more details on your experience and accomplishments, include a link to your LinkedIn Profile.
  • When a salary range is required, generalize.

    When you must give your salary requirements to be considered, specify a range. Indicate that your salary expectations are appropriate for someone with your experience, and "fair in today's market."

[MORE: Job-Hunt's free Guide to Effective Resumes.]

3. Create/update your LinkedIn Profile.

A LinkedIn Profile is not optional for most professions and industries. The lack of a solid LinkedIn Profile will make you look out-of-date to employers, and that's the last thing you need right now.

Make sure your Proile is "All-Star" which means complete. Complete Profiles are 4,000% more likely to be seen in LinkedIn Search results, so LinkedIn offers a big reward for completeness. LinkedIn's current All-Star Profile criteria:

  • Photo - a nice recent headshot, recognizably you (only you - no friends, pets, or other family members).
  • Your Industry and Location (the Location can be future, if you want to work somewhere else).
  • Up-to-date current position (with a description of what it is that you do).
  • Your education.
  • Your Skills (a minimum of 3).
  • At least 50 connections (more are better for credibility and visibility within LinkedIn).

[MORE: Job-Hunt's free Guide to LinkedIn for Job Search.]

In addition to LinkedIn's requirements, pay attention to what employers and recruiters want:

  • Use the best keywords for you.

    Employers and recruiters relentlessly search through LinkedIn for qualified candidates, which is usually more effective for them than to dig through the resumes and applications after posting a job. Without the "right" keywords for the job you want next, you won't be included in the search results.

    [MORE: How to Identify Exactlly the Right Keywords for Your LinkedIn Profile.]
  • Keep your LinkedIn Profile in agreement with your resume.

    Your resume will be compared to your LinkedIn Profile by most recruiters and employers, so these items should support each other -- same dates, employers, job titles, accomplishments, and more. If they aren't in agreement, the assumption usually made is that the LinkedIn Profile (visible to your family, friends, and network) is more likely to be true than your resume. And, if you aren't truthful in your resume, they aren't interested.

    [MORE: "Social Proof" Linked(in) to Your Resume.]
  • Focus on sharing your accomplishments, not just lists of duties.

    Like your resume, your LinkedIn Profile should provide recruiters and prospective employers with useful insight into what you have done and how well you have performed. Your LinkedIn Summary is a great place to collect your accomplishments that demonstrate how extremely well you can do the job you want next.

    [MORE: Building Your Best Pitch, Resume Summary, and LinkedIn Summary.]
  • Be professionally visible and active in LinkedIn Groups.

    LinkedIn Groups provide excellent networking -- and visibility -- opportunities, but stay professional. No sniping or grumpy/nasty comments or posts. Demonstrate what a great co-worker you would be!

    [MORE: 6 Great Benefits of LinkedIn Groups.]

[MORE: 5 Ways You Look Out-of-Date in Your Job Search.]

4. Be well-prepared for job interviews.

Next, Jan has several recommendations for that critical interview with the younger manager:

  • Describe situations where you worked with younger people on an equal basis or where you followed a younger leader.
  • Focus on your experience and excellent attendance record.
  • Look peppy and energetic. Walk into the room with a brisk step, and sit straight and alert in your chair.
  • Dress for success. Looking competent and confident goes a long way toward convincing others that you are.
  • If you are asked what salary you expect, respond by asking for the salary range. When you hear the range, say that you are sure that you fit within the range, even if you aren't completely sure.

[MORE: Job-Hunt's free Guide to Successful Job Interviews.]

5. Play the salary negotiation smartly.

Finally, Jan offers advice for the job offer and salary negotiation:

  • Try to postpone salary discussions until you have been offered the job.

    When they've offered you the job, you are in a much stronger position to explore options and to negotiate your starting salary.
  • Don't turn down a job because of the salary range until you've explored other ways to "sweeten the deal."

    If the salary isn't high enough, think of how you might negotiate a better "total package" with things of value to you: the amount and timing of your first raise, more vacation time, lower health insurance co-pay, a company car, free parking, spousal travel on business trips, free tuition for your kids, etc.
  • DO turn down a job or a salary that doesn't "feel right" to you.

[MORE: Winning Negotiation Strategies for Your New Job.]

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Obituary - Reilly

Source: http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/obituaries/bct/elizabeth-b-reilly/article_e629f6e5-6737-5940-bc72-d7bda8e7acbd.html


Elizabeth B. Reilly

Sep 17, 2017

Beth Reilly of Myrtle Beach, S.C., formerly of Marlton, N.J., peacefully passed away at her son's home in Hainesport, N.J. on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.

She was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa. Beth was an honors graduate of St. Hubert's High School (Class of 1962), and Holy Family College (Class of 1967).

She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Richard, and her sons, Brian (Jenn) and Dan (Kate) of Raleigh, N.C. She was a devoted grandmother, 'Nini,' to Shane, Emma, Ellie, and Libby.

Beth was the daughter of the late Raymond and Bridget Loftus of Philadelphia, and was also preceded in death by her brother, Raymond.

Beth was a public school teacher and guidance counselor for well over 30 years. She began her career as a teacher of Biology in Bristol, Pa., followed by time spent teaching Chemistry in Burlington Township, N.J. Later, she served as a guidance counselor in Delran, N.J. Beth finished her public school career as Guidance Director at Collingswood School District. After retirement she served as an academic advisor at Burlington County College for 10 years.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at The Church of St. Joan of Arc, 100 Willow Bend Rd., Marlton. Interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Dr., Suite 300, Marlton, NJ 08053, www.samaritannj.org. Perinchief Chapels,

Mount Holly


www.perinchief.com

Friday, September 15, 2017

An Open Letter to President Elect Trump on Global Warming By Elmer Beauregard

Source: http://www.globalclimatescam.com/opinion/an-open-letter-to-president-elect-trump-on-global-warming/

December 2, 2016

Dear President Elect Trump,

First off let me say congratulations on you outstanding victory. I supported and voted for you and am privileged to be a part of this historic moment. The stock market is up, Carrier and Ford are keeping their plants here, peace is breaking out across the globe and you’re not even sworn in yet. I think ISIS will be a thing of the past now that you’re in office as well. But I fear you biggest challenge still lies ahead of you and that is the threat of “Global Warming”.

Like you I am a global warming skeptic and am so glad to finally have someone as President who thinks the way I do but globally the people have been brainwashed into thinking that Global Warming is the biggest threat to humanity there has ever been. People need something to fear and if you remove all other fears Global Warming will rear its ugly head and be the biggest threat once again. I already see it happening, not in real life of course, I’m talking about in the Mainstream Media, they are really ramping up the Global Warming Propaganda big time.

1. We are funding our own destruction

First off you have to cut off the funding of Global Warming research. The US spends billions annually on study after study telling us how Global Warming is worse than ever and you only get the money if your study supports Global Warming. There is no funding for skeptical studies and it’s ruining science. Good article here.

2. Stop the Data Tampering

As you so accurately pointed out in your New York Times interview, scientists have been caught fudging the data in Climategate and they haven’t stopped its worse than ever. You need to hire Tony Heller AKA Steve Goddard and have him look into the data and he will get rid of the tampering he’s a genius. You might need to fire the people who have been doing the tampering as well I won’t mention names. Watch Tony’s video here.

3. 99% of Scientists DON’T believe in Global Warming

I’m sure you’ve heard it repeated over and over that 97% scientists believe in Global Warming but if there’s one thing we’ve all learned from your election that all the experts and the Mainstream Medial are usually wrong. Here is a list of 31,487 scientist who have signed a petition saying they don’t believe in Global Warming, the closest thing I could find on the other side is where 375 scientists signed this letter telling you not to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Doing the math 31,487 vs 375 means 99% of scientists DON’T believe in Global Warming, again it is the exact opposite of what you hear in the Media.

4. Hire an Actual Scientist for Science Czar

Great job appointing Myron Ebell as EPA Transition Manager, keep picking people like that. I read an article (probably fake) that said you might appoint Ivanka as Climate Czar, I think this would be a bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ivanka but I think she, like most Millennials, believes in Global Warming. This is because that’s all they have heard their whole life and they don’t know any better, plus she is not a scientist. There are so many well qualified actual scientists you could appoint to this or other positions like Science Czar, Judith Curry, or John Cristy for instance would be great and there many more to choose from.

Anyway, I think you’re doing a good job, keep it up.


American Youth Indoctrinated Under Pretense Of Environmental Education

Source: http://www.globalclimatescam.com/science/american-youth-indoctrinated-under-pretense-of-environmental/

February 2, 2017



Millie Weaver interviews Holly Swanson about the undisclosed agenda of the newly implemented environmental movement within our schools. They discuss how the environmental movement is used to politicize curriculum under the pretense of environmental education to advance green party goals and communism on America’s children.

Elmer’s PowerPoint Presentation – Confessions of a Graphic Designer By Elmer Beauregard

Source: http://www.globalclimatescam.com/opinion/elmers-powerpoint-presentation-confessions-of-a-graphic-designer/

February 13, 2017



I decided to put part of my PowerPoint presentation online. As a Graphic designer I have been designing “graphs” for many years and I think bring a different perspective to the Global Warming debate.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Finding Joy: Local artist Robyn King shares her story of growth and gratitude as she closes out her exhibit at the Bucks County Visitor Center By Samantha Bambino

Source: https://langhornetimes.com/finding-joy-a651f35e2373

Sep 13, 2017
Langhorne Times

Too often, the dawn of a new day is met with resistance. Many struggle to find motivation to go to their non-dream job or complain about minor issues and ailments. While most are hitting the snooze button over and over, Robyn King is enjoying the sunrise and simple pleasure of being alive — something the Bensalem-based artist conveys in her work. Through Sept. 15, guests at the Bucks County Visitor Center can experience the beauty of nature and message of hope at King’s vibrant yet serene exhibit.


Providing hope: Half of all proceeds from Robyn King’s piece “Hope” benefit research and awareness for RSD, an internal disorder she was diagnosed with that causes tremors and pain. SAMANTHA BAMBINO / TIMES PHOTO

Throughout her artistic career, King has become a quadruple threat specializing in photography, painting, digital art and in her spare time, poetry. Growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, King discovered her knack for creativity as a child when she preferred coloring and drawing over all other hobbies.

When it came time for college, King knew she wouldn’t be happy unless she was creating art. Though at first hesitant at her decision, her parents supported her passion and after some research, found that the Moore College of Art & Design was one of the best in the area. It was an all-girls school, but that was perfectly OK with King — she was there to become an artist, not date.

Until that point, King was self-taught and lacked the portfolio required for admission. She enrolled in a last-minute summer class to create the best one she could in a limited amount of time, and brought it to her interview. After one glance, it was evident to the dean that King didn’t have any formal training. Still, she loved the aspiring artist’s work.

King was allowed to begin classes at Moore on probation, which meant if she faltered in any, her education would be cut short. Determined to succeed, she surpassed all expectations and graduated with top honors on the dean’s list.

“Them taking a chance on me wasn’t wasted,” she said.

During her freshman year, King took basic general education classes before having to select a major her sophomore year. She always envisioned herself as a comic book artist, so she chose illustration. But things took a turn junior year during a basic photography course.

“I fell in love with it,” she said. “I thought, I have to do this.”

Following her instinct, she switched her major to photography and ended up minoring in illustration. With this well-rounded background, King is able to utilize a variety of skills in her work today, whether it be watercolor or typography. Her “old school” education, as she calls it, also allows her to fascinate and teach young artists who grew up in the age of technology and never spent hours developing photographs in a darkroom.

After graduation, the ambitious artist set out to get her career started, but things were put on hold after an accident left her fully disabled. King was diagnosed with RSD, “Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy,” also known as complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS. To look at King, one would never know anything is wrong. RSD is something internal that spreads over time and causes tremors and constant pain.

“It’s an invisible disease,” she said.

Unfortunately it’s not well-known, though it was brought into the spotlight by Paula Abdul, who was previously diagnosed. Several years ago, a friend of King passed away from RSD. For King, who was unaware the disorder could cause death, this was a shattering reality. To raise awareness, she turned to what she knew best — art.

Her piece “Heaven Sent,” a digital creation made from an original painting, was sold to raise money for RSD research and awareness. It ended up being the most popular piece on her website.

The message behind “Heaven Sent” is hope and positivity, something King lives by every day. Despite the severe physical pain, she doesn’t take painkillers. King endures purely through positive thinking.

Last May, King hosted her first solo exhibit entitled “A Peaceful Mind,” and each piece was created with the goal of helping those suffering or in distress ease into a meditative state. While planning the exhibit, she tested the pieces on both herself and her friends. If something didn’t evoke the calming emotions she wanted, it wasn’t included.

“I only used the ones that were the strongest,” she reflected.

King wanted people to connect with her pieces and feel a sense of joy — the same emotions she felt while creating each of them, usually while on a beach. Several of these meditative pieces can be seen at the Bucks County exhibit as well as several photographs from a family cruise. All of them are uplifting, joyful and colorful, with many capturing the serenity of daybreak at sea.

“I got up with the sun,” she said of her time on the cruise. “It’s the birth of a new day. Anything is possible. Your slate is clean.”

Also featured at the exhibit are “Heaven Sent” and “Hope,” the proceeds of which go toward rsds.org to benefit research for RSD. Through her art, King encourages people to see the world as filled with endless possibilities and each day as a new beginning, despite the struggles they may be going through.

“I say what I am,” she said. “I say that I’m happy.” ••

King’s exhibit is open daily until Sept. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Bucks County Visitor Center, 3207 Street Road in Bensalem. Visit 1-robyn-king.pixels.com.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com


Art By Robyn King At FineArtAmerica

Shallowtail Butterfly #2

Fly Like The Wind

Open Pathway Meditative Space

Frozen Delaware River Sunset

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Marketing Mix

Understanding the Marketing Mix Concept – 4Ps By Martin

Source: https://www.cleverism.com/understanding-marketing-mix-concept-4ps/

August 5, 2014
Cleverism Magazine

Marketing is simplistically defined as ‘putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.’ Though this sounds like an easy enough proposition, a lot of hard work and research needs to go into setting this simple definition up. And if even one element is off the mark, a promising product or service can fail completely and end up costing the company substantially.

The use of a marketing mix is an excellent way to help ensure that ‘putting the right product in the right place,…’ will happen. The marketing mix is a crucial tool to help understand what the product or service can offer and how to plan for a successful product offering. The marketing mix is most commonly executed through the 4 P’s of marketing: Price, Product, Promotion, and Place.

These have been extensively added to and expanded through additional P’s and even a 4C concept. But the 4Ps serve as a great place to start planning for the product or even to evaluate an existing product offering.

4Ps marketing mix

© Entrepreneurial Insights

In this article, we will look at 1) the four P’s, 2) history of the marketing mix concept and terminology, 3) purpose of the marketing mix, 4) key features of the marketing mix, 5) developing a marketing mix, 6) key challenges, and 7) marketing mix example – Nivea.

THE FOUR P’S

Product

The product is either a tangible good or an intangible service that is seem to meet a specific customer need or demand. All products follow a logical product life cycle and it is vital for marketers to understand and plan for the various stages and their unique challenges. It is key to understand those problems that the product is attempting to solve. The benefits offered by the product and all its features need to be understood and the unique selling proposition of the product need to be studied. In addition, the potential buyers of the product need to be identified and understood.

Price

Price covers the actual amount the end user is expected to pay for a product. How a product is priced will directly affect how it sells. This is linked to what the perceived value of the product is to the customer rather than an objective costing of the product on offer. If a product is priced higher or lower than its perceived value, then it will not sell. This is why it is imperative to understand how a customer sees what you are selling. If there is a positive customer value, than a product may be successfully priced higher than its objective monetary value. Conversely, if a product has little value in the eyes of the consumer, then it may need to be underpriced to sell. Price may also be affected by distribution plans, value chain costs and markups and how competitors price a rival product.

Promotion

The marketing communication strategies and techniques all fall under the promotion heading. These may include advertising, sales promotions, special offers and public relations. Whatever the channel used, it is necessary for it to be suitable for the product, the price and the end user it is being marketed to. It is important to differentiate between marketing and promotion. Promotion is just the communication aspect of the entire marketing function.

Place

Place or placement has to do with how the product will be provided to the customer. Distribution is a key element of placement. The placement strategy will help assess what channel is the most suited to a product. How a product is accessed by the end user also needs to compliment the rest of the product strategy.

The Marketing Mix

HISTORY OF MARKETING MIX CONCEPT AND TERMINOLOGY

The marketing mix concept gained popularity following an article titled “The Concept of the Marketing Mix” by Neil Borden published in 1964. Borden explained how he started using the term inspired by James Culliton who in the 1940s described the marketing manager as a ‘mixer of ingredients.’ Borden’s article detailed these ingredients as product, planning, price, branding, distribution, display, packaging, advertising, promotions, personal selling among many others. Eventually E. Jerome McCarthy clustered these multiple items into four high level categories that we now know as the 4 P’s of marketing. “Its elements are the basic, tactical components of a marketing plan”. Together, elements in these four categories help develop marketing strategies and tactics.

PURPOSE OF MARKETING MIX

The 4P’s were formalized and developed over the years by experts to ensure the creation and execution of a successful marketing strategy. Through the use of this tool, the attempt is to satisfy both the customer and the seller. When properly understood and utilized, this mix has proven to a key factor in a product’s success.

KEY FEATURES OF MARKETING MIX

Interdependent variables

The marketing mix is made up of four unique variables. These four variables are interdependent and need to be planned in conjunction with one another to ensure that the action plans within all four are complimentary and aligned.

Help Achieve Marketing Targets

Through the use of this set of variables, the company can achieve its marketing targets such as sales, profits, and customer retention and satisfaction.

Flexible Concept

The marketing mix is a fluid and flexible concept and the focus on any one variable may be increased or decreased given unique marketing conditions and customer requirements.

Constant Monitoring

It is vital to keep an eye on changing trends and requirements, within the company as well as in the market to ensure that the elements in marketing mix stays relevant and updated.

Role of Marketing Manager

A mature, intelligent and innovative marketing manager needs to be at the helm of the marketing mix. This pivotal role means that this manager is responsible for achieving desired results through the skill manipulation of these variables.

Customer as a focal point

A vital feature of the marketing mix is that the customer is the focal point of the activity. The value of the product is determined by customer perceptions and the goal is to achieve a satisfied and loyal customer.

This video shows how you can create value by using the marketing mix.

 

DEVELOPING A MARKETING MIX

Intuition and creative thinking are essential job requirements for a marketing manager. But relying on just these can lead to inaccurate assumptions that may not end up delivering results. To ensure a marketing mix that is based in research and combines facts with innovation, a manager should go through the following systematic process:

Step 1: Defining Unique Selling Proposition

The first item on the marketing manager’s agenda should be to define what the product has to offer or its unique selling proposition (USP). Through customer surveys or focus groups, there needs to be an identification of how important this USP is to the consumer and whether they are intrigued by the offering. It needs to be clearly understood what the key features and benefits of the product are and whether they will help ensure sales.

Step 2: Understanding the Consumer

The second step is to understand the consumer. The product can be focused by identifying who will purchase it. All other elements of the marketing mix follow from this understanding. Who is the customer? What do they need? What is the value of the product to them? This understanding will ensure that the product offering is relevant and targeted.

Step 3: Understanding the Competition

The next step is to understand the competition. The prices and related benefits such as discounts, warranties and special offers need to be assessed. An understanding of the subjective value of the product and a comparison with its actual manufacturing distribution cost will help set a realistic price point.

Step 4: Evaluating Placement Options

At this point the marketing manager needs to evaluate placement options to understand where the customer is most likely to make a purchase and what are the costs associated with using this channel. Multiple channels may help target a wider customer base and ensure east of access. On the other hand, if the product serves a niche market then it may make good business sense to concentrate distribution to a specific area or channel. The perceived value of the product is closely tied in with how it is made available.

Step 5: Developing Communication / Promotion strategy

Based on the audience identified and the price points established, the marketing communication strategy can now be developed. Whatever promotional methods are finalized need to appeal to the intended customers and ensure that the key features and benefits of the product are clearly understood and highlighted.

Step 6: Cross-check of the Marketing Mix

A step back needs to be taken at this point to see how all the elements identified and planned for relate to each other. All marketing mix variables are interdependent and rely on each other for a strong strategy. Do the proposed selling channels reinforce the perceived value of the product? Is the promotional material in keeping with the distribution channels proposed? The marketing plan can be finalized once it is ensured that all four elements are in harmony and there are no conflicting messages, either implicit or explicit.

Marketing Mix Development

 

KEY CHALLENGES

Over the years, marketing managers have felt that the traditional marketing mix has its limitations in how it is structured. Several important elements have been grouped within four larger categories thereby belittling their true importance amid several factors. Two main criticisms and their solutions:

Lack of Focus on Services

The conventional marketing mix tends to be applicable to tangible goods i.e. the traditional definition of products. Services or intangible goods are also a vital customer offering and can be planned for in much the same way as physical products. To cater to the unique challenges of services, the 4P model has been supplemented with 3 additional categories which are:

  • Physical Evidence is proof and a reassurance that a service was performed
  • People are the employees who deliver the service
  • Processes are the methods through which a service is executed and delivered to the customer

Lack of True Customer Focus

Though a total focus on the customer and what they desire is a vital element of the 4P model, this truth is often in danger of being overlooked by enthusiastic marketing teams. To counter this, Robert F. Lauterborn put forward his customer centric four Cs classification in 1990. This model converts the four P’s into more customer oriented four C’s:

  • Product to Customer Solution
  • Price to Customer Cost
  • Promotion to Customer Communication
  • Place to Customer Convenience

MARKETING MIX EXAMPLE – NIVEA

The Company

NIVEA is a well-known company that is in the high quality skin and beauty care product market. NIVEA is one the brands manufactured and sold by Beiersdorf, which was established in 1882. In UK, the company has always focused on ensuring availability of their products to as many people as possible. In addition, the company has always strived to understand the varied needs of its vast consumer base and bring as many specific products to market as possible.

Marketing mix for new product line

Market research revealed an opportunity in the market for a younger customer base. This led to the launch of Nivea Visage Young in 2005. This product was developed for girls in the 13 to 19 year age range.

For the eventual launch of the product, the company needed to develop a balanced and relevant marketing mix to appeal to its young audience. Through its initial launch in 2005 to a subsequent re launch in 2007, the company focused closely on the marketing mix balance to help ensure that all elements of the product appeal to the target audience to achieve success.

Product

The company put significant importance in ongoing research to understand the constantly evolving market and consumer dynamics. This knowledge has helped the company develop more innovative new products that fulfill consumer needs. Through this research, it became clear that younger consumers wished for a more specific product that addressed the skin needs of their age category. The need was for a product that offered a beautifying regime for daily use rather than a medicated product that targeted specific skin problems. The latter were abundantly being offered by competition. The product was subsequently redesigned to meet these specialized requirements.

From the company’s perspective, some of the changes helped meet its commitment to the environment which included more efficient packaging to reduce waste, the use of more natural products and the use of recyclable plastic.

Price

An effective pricing strategy takes into account the product’s perceived and actual values. The final price should be based on both these in order to make the product attractive to both buyer and seller. After its relaunch, Nivea Visage Young was priced a little higher than before to account for the new formula, better packaging and extended range of products. Since the product as being bought by mothers for their daughters, it remained low enough to remain good value for money. Effective pricing means that sales from this product account for nearly 7 percent of all Nivea Visage sales.

Place

As mentioned, Nivea aims to have a wide reach for its products to ensure that it is easily available wherever needed by the extensive target market. The primary channels used are retail stores. High Street stores such as Boots and Superdrug account for nearly 65 percent of all sales. Another portion comes from grocery chain stores such as ASDA or Tesco. This covers young people making their own purchases (mostly high street), as well as their mothers buying for them (mostly grocery stores). These stores ensure a cost effective distribution channel that has a wide reach. The company manages its own cost by selling to wholesalers rather than directly to smaller stores. It also does not sell online directly, but the product is sold through stockists.

Promotion

Nivea’s has always tried to base its promotions on the actual lifestyle of its target market. The company does not find above the line promotions to be very effective as these are one way communications through TV for example. Instead, the promotion is more consumer led through different below the line solutions. Sample sales are a key activity that allows consumers to try out the actual product. There is also an interactive online magazine FYI (fun, young, independent) to increase product visibility and association. The company has also maintained a strong social media presence on popular social media networks. This used of new media has ensured a better brand awareness and association among target audience.

Conclusion

Through its successful use of a balanced marketing mix, Nivea Visage Young has managed to create a clear position in the market. It addresses a need felt by a specific niche segment. Traditional distribution methods are balanced by a unique product and updated promotional strategies. This ensures that the brand message reaches the right people at the right time in the right way.

As we see from the Nivea example, it is vital for any company to focus equally on all elements of the marketing mix while planning for a product. Eventually, there may be a need to divert more resources towards one variable such as strong distribution channels over promotional activities. But this needs to come after a clear plan and strategy has been decided upon. An effective marketing mix can mean the difference between a flash in the pan product or one that is bound to become a well-loved classic.


Move Over 4Ps – Revealing the Better Marketing Mix! By Elaine Fogel


Source: http://www.business2community.com/marketing/move-4ps-revealing-better-marketing-mix-01470829

March 1, 2016

How long have we been using the 4Ps of marketing? Marketer E. Jerome McCarthy proposed a 4Ps classification in 1960 – 56 years ago! Maybe it’s time for an overhaul?

First, let’s understand the 4Ps so we can improve upon them. In my book, Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success, I describe them this way:

PRODUCT

“What your business sells to its target audiences (includes name, brand identity, appearance, packaging, functions, features, benefits).”

PRICE

“How you price your goods and services (value, discounts, seasonal, sale pricing).”

PLACE

“Where you sell your company’s goods and services (distribution, locations, inventory, shipping).”

PROMOTION

“How you promote your goods and services to target market segments (advertising, sales, public relations, marketing communications).”

I suppose it’s OK and can still work, but for smaller businesses (or nonprofit organizations), simpler is better. So, I developed a better marketing mix. (I know, you’ll be the judge.)

Here’s my explanation:

“Because marketing is no longer about ‘pushing’ messages out to buyers by interrupting them to hear you, marketers can now directly engage with their target audiences, drawing them in through the different stages of the new sales cycle. First, prospective customers become aware of your business’ brand or its products and services. This may be the result of content marketing, word-of-mouth referrals, search engines, webinars, and other channels that attract their interest.

After prospective customers see the same messages in multiple channels, they may be more keenly interested in your business’ products or services. If they decide to explore more about your business, they can research review sites, browse your website, or ask others if they have heard of your company.

They can also contact your business to seek further information. That’s the perfect time for you (or sales people) to engage with prospects further, solving their problems and fulfilling their needs. If prospects are not interested at that moment, they may (or may not) bookmark your site or file your company information for future reference.

After prospective customers have completed their research, they then make a decision whether or not to make a purchase. If they do, they convert into customers and the relationship continues.

You want to thank these new customers, engage them, and give them reasons to stay loyal to your business. The ultimate goal is to earn their trust so they become one of your company’s brand ambassadors, tooting your horn for you.” (Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success ©2015, Elaine Fogel)

Since many smaller businesses can’t afford to hire marketing consultants or agencies, and many business owners have limited marketing knowledge, I will now reveal “the better marketing mix!”

My Marketing Mix Based on the 5Ws of Journalism:

  • WHO: To whom are you marketing? Identify your target audiences.
  • WHAT: What products or services are you promoting to each audience?
  • WHERE: Where are you marketing to each audience? Where are your products and services available? Which marketing communication channels are you using to reach out to each target audience?
  • WHEN: When are you marketing to each audience? What is the time frame for each tactic?
  • WHY: Why are you marketing to each audience? What is the associated strategy?

Here’s a matrix of this model with an example for a B2C cosmetics company. Please note that this represents the beginning of writing the mix and is by no means a complete matrix.

If you find that your marketing mix is heavier in one channel than in another, you may decide to drill down even further.

Example:

If you rely a lot on content or social media marketing, you can develop a separate, auxiliary plan for these channels. Of course, this will depend on having the time availability, inclination, and desire to go into more detail. However, it will be a valuable asset for evaluation purposes.

Once you complete the final marketing mix, you can add details to create your action plan. The action plan will guide you through the steps required to complete each marketing and/or branding tactic.

Whether you decide to adapt my 5Ws or not, the most important advice comes from author, Lewis Carroll:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

(Excerpts from Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success ©2015, Elaine Fogel, All rights reserved.)

Image licensed from CanStockPhoto

Author: Elaine Fogel

As an author, speaker, marketer, brand and customer experience evangelist, educator, and consultant, Elaine Fogel engages, entertains, and motivates audiences and readers with stories and lessons gleaned from her diverse career as a singer, educator, television show host, and marketing executive. In addition to contributing to Business2Community, she writes… View full profile ›


The Marketing Mix and the 4Ps of Marketing

Understanding How to Position Your Market Offering
 

Source: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_94.htm

What are the 4Ps of Marketing?

The 4Ps of marketing is a model for enhancing the components of your ‘marketing mix’ – the way in which you take a new product or service to market. It helps you to define your marketing options in terms of price, product, promotion, and place so that your offering meets a specific customer need or demand.

What is marketing? The definition that many marketers learn as they start out in the industry is: Putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.

It's simple! You just need to create a product that a particular group of people want, put it on sale some place that those same people visit regularly, and price it at a level which matches the value they feel they get out of it; and do all that at a time they want to buy. Then you've got it made!

There's a lot of truth in this idea. However, a lot of hard work needs to go into finding out what customers want, and identifying where they do their shopping. Then you need to figure out how to produce the item at a price that represents value to them, and get it all to come together at the critical time.

But if you get just one element wrong, it can spell disaster. You could be left promoting a car with amazing fuel economy in a country where fuel is very cheap, or publishing a textbook after the start of the new school year, or selling an item at a price that's too high – or too low – to attract the people you're targeting.

The marketing mix is a good place to start when you are thinking through your plans for a product or service, and it helps you to avoid these kinds of mistakes. In this article and in the video, below, we'll discover more about the marketing mix and the 4Ps, and how you can use them to develop a successful marketing strategy.

Watch this video to discover more about the Marketing Mix and the 4Ps of Marketing.

Understanding the Tool

The marketing mix and the 4Ps of marketing are often used as synonyms for one another. In fact, they are not necessarily the same thing.

"Marketing mix" is a general phrase used to describe the different kinds of choices organizations have to make in the whole process of bringing a product or service to market. The 4Ps is one way – probably the best-known way – of defining the marketing mix, and was first expressed in 1960 by E. J. McCarthy.

The 4Ps are:

  • Product (or Service).
  • Place.
  • Price.
  • Promotion.

A good way to understand the 4Ps is by the questions that you need to ask to define your marketing mix. Here are some questions that will help you understand and define each of the four elements:

Product/Service

  • What does the customer want from the product/service? What needs does it satisfy?
  • What features does it have to meet these needs?
    • Are there any features you've missed out?
    • Are you including costly features that the customer won't actually use?
  • How and where will the customer use it?
  • What does it look like? How will customers experience it?
  • What size(s), color(s), and so on, should it be?
  • What is it to be called?
  • How is it branded?
  • How is it differentiated versus your competitors?
  • What is the most it can cost to provide and still be sold sufficiently profitably? (See also Price, below.)

Place

  • Where do buyers look for your product or service?
  • If they look in a store, what kind? A specialist boutique or in a supermarket, or both? Or online? Or direct, via a catalogue?
  • How can you access the right distribution channels?
  • Do you need to use a sales force? Or attend trade fairs? Or make online submissions? Or send samples to catalogue companies?
  • What do your competitors do, and how can you learn from that and/or differentiate?

Price

  • What is the value of the product or service to the buyer?
  • Are there established price points for products or services in this area?
  • Is the customer price sensitive? Will a small decrease in price gain you extra market share? Or will a small increase be indiscernible, and so gain you extra profit margin?
  • What discounts should be offered to trade customers, or to other specific segments of your market?
  • How will your price compare with your competitors?

Promotion

  • Where and when can you get your marketing messages across to your target market?
  • Will you reach your audience by advertising online, in the press, on TV, on radio, or on billboards? By using direct marketing mailshots? Through PR? On the Internet?
  • When is the best time to promote? Is there seasonality in the market? Are there any wider environmental issues that suggest or dictate the timing of your market launch or subsequent promotions?
  • How do your competitors do their promotions? And how does that influence your choice of promotional activity?

Note

As the four Ps all need to be considered in relation to one another, it doesn't really matter in what order you define them. This is why you may find them quoted in a different order from the one used above. In particular, they're often referred to in the order "place, price, product, promotion."

The 4Ps of marketing is just one of many lists that have been developed over the years. And, whilst the questions we have listed above are key, they are just a subset of the detailed probing that may be required to optimize your marketing mix.

Amongst the other models that have been developed over the years is Boom and Bitner's 7Ps, sometimes called the extended marketing mix, which include the first 4Ps, plus people, processes and physical layout decisions.

Another approach is Lauterborn's 4Cs, which presents the elements of the marketing mix from the buyer's, rather than the seller's, perspective. It is made up of Customer needs and wants (the equivalent of product), Cost (price), Convenience (place), and Communication (promotion). In this article, we focus on the 4Ps model as it is the most well-recognized, and contains the core elements of a good marketing mix.

Using the 4Ps of Marketing

The model can be used to help you decide how to take a new offer to market. It can also be used to test your existing marketing strategy. Whether you are considering a new or existing offer, follow the steps below to help you to define and improve your marketing mix.

  1. Start by identifying the product or service that you want to analyze.
  2. Now go through and answer the 4Ps questions – as defined in detail above.
  3. Try asking "why" and "what if" questions too, to challenge your offer. For example, ask why your target audience needs a particular feature. What if you drop your price by 5 percent? What if you offer more colors? Why sell through wholesalers rather than direct channels? What if you improve PR rather than rely on online advertising?

    Tip:

    Check through your answers to make sure they are based on sound knowledge and facts. If there are doubts about your assumptions, identify any market research, or facts and figures that you may need to gather.

  4. Once you have a well-defined marketing mix, try "testing" the overall offer from the customer's perspective, by asking customer focused questions:
    1. Does it meet their needs? (product)
    2. Will they find it where they shop? (place)
    3. Will they consider that it's priced favorably? (price)
    4. And will the marketing communications reach them? (promotion)
  5. Keep on asking questions and making changes to your mix until you are satisfied that you have optimized your marketing mix, given the information and facts and figures you have available.
  6. Review your marketing mix regularly, as some elements will need to change as the product or service and its market grow, mature and adapt in an ever-changing competitive environment.

Key Points

The marketing mix helps you define the marketing elements for successfully positioning your market offer.

One of the best known models is the 4Ps of Marketing, which helps you define your marketing options in terms of product, place, price, and promotion. Use the model when you are planning a new venture, or evaluating an existing offer, to optimize the impact with your target market.

Further Resources

Learn more about marketing with these resources in the Mind Tools Club:

Friday, September 08, 2017

There is no such thing as a “deserving DREAMer” By Michelle Malkin

Source: http://michellemalkin.com/2017/09/06/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-deserving-dreamer/

September 6, 2017

Over and over again, from the mouths of politicians in both parties, identity politics purveyors and cheap labor lobbyists, we hear the same refrains about President Obama’s 800,000 amnestied illegal alien youths:

“They don’t deserve to be punished.”

“They deserve protection.”

“They deserve the American dream.”

Deserve, deserve, deserve.

Over and over again, in countless cookie-cutter op-ed pieces published over the past month, so-called DREAMers have vociferously lamented President Donald Trump’s push to eventually undo their unconstitutional five-year reprieves from deportation plus coveted work permits:

“DREAMers like me have flourished under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Trump might take it all away.”

“If Trump ends DACA, DREAMers like me will return to a life of anxiety and doubt.”

I feel exhausted, I feel frustrated, I feel angry, and in the worst moments, I feel helpless. I feel terrified that at any moment this program is going to be taken away and once again I won’t be able to work — how will I pay my bills? … What is going to happen to me if I get stopped on the street and I no longer have DACA? What’s going to happen to me if I get put into deportation proceedings and I don’t have thousands of dollars to hire an attorney to stay in this country?”

I will lose my job, my ability to finish college, my driver’s license, and will be subject to deportation. I am not alone either. Almost one million young immigrants like myself will be affected in the same way and possibly even worse.”

I, I, I. Me, me, me. My bills. My ego. My education. My job. My anxiety.

Since when did DACA become the Depression and Anxiety Cure for Amnesty-seekers?

It’s this insatiable appetite for collective entitlement that demonstrates the perils of blanket amnesty. Give a privileged political class an inch and they’ll take, take, take until feckless public servants give away their country.

The proper response to illegal alien activists demanding that Washington act “NOW!” to preserve their comfort, allay their anxieties and extend their unconstitutional protections indefinitely is this:

Why?

Americans in uniform who’ve dedicated their lives to defending our nation are struggling to gain access to quality health care they’ve earned by action, not by accident or circumstance. Imagine their stress.

Five million American young people between 16-34 were unemployed last year and 50 million more are not even in the labor force. Imagine their anxiety.

Hundreds of thousands of law-abiding people from around the world are waiting patiently for their backlogged visa and green card applications to be reviewed. Imagine their frustration.

Why don’t their dreams come first?

Nancy Pelosi called on House Republicans to help her “safeguard our young DREAMers from the senseless cruelty of deportation and shield families from separation and heartbreak.”

Never has this Bay Area elitist called on House Republicans to join her in shielding native-born and law-abiding immigrant families from the senseless and preventable violence committed by criminals in this country illegally who’ve caused immeasurable heartbreak for decades in her overrun California sanctuary.

Jamiel Shaw Sr., whose son was mercilessly shot to death by a sanctuary-protected gang member living in outlaw-coddling Los Angeles illegally, administered a bracing reality check:

“You want to talk about families being separated? Try spending your holidays talking to a grave!”

The left-wing DREAM racket is a self-perpetuating political marketing machine. Its primary contribution to American society? Lashing out at how cruel, racist, ignorant and ungrateful the rest of us are for not bowing down before the hallowed angel children of the Obama administration’s amnesty program. It’s no coincidence that the publicity-hungry leaders of the DREAMer movement are full-time fulminators in government-funded academia, community organizing outfits, immigration law foundations and the grievance-nursing media.

A deserving DREAMer would respect the sovereign right of an independent nation to determine who stays and who goes based on its national interest and constitutional obligations to put its citizenry first.

The deserving DREAMer, in other words, would admit he or she is owed nothing and deserves nothing.

There is no such thing as a “deserving DREAMer.”

Thursday, September 07, 2017

What Makes Good Copywriting? 6 Characteristics of Top-Notch Copy By Meghan Keaney Anderson

Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/good-copywriting-practices-list

August 30 2017

Mad Men fans everywhere remember the pivotal first scene where we learn just how talented Don Draper is at his job.

Faced with an almost-impossible copywriting task, he rose to the occasion to solve a huge problem for his client, Lucky Strike. In spite of research warning customers of the dangers of cigarettes, Draper delivered the iconic slogan -- "It's toasted" -- to differentiate the brand from its competitors.

Now, we definitely aren't advocating for smoking cigarettes (or many of Draper's health choices). But fictional or not, you can't deny the memorability and catchiness of that tagline.Click here to sharpen your copywriting skills with the help of our content  marketing workbook.

It's easy to recognize good copywriting when you see it, but there are actually several characteristics that really separate outstanding writing from the rest of the pack. Want to know them? Read on below to find out.

6 Good Copywriting Examples From Real Brands

1) It tilts your perspective.

Sometimes, all a message needs to break through is a slight shift in angle. We've grown so accustomed to blocking out marketing messages, we don't even see them anymore. One of the most powerful things a copywriter can do is break down a reader's guard with an unexpected approach. Every story has a myriad of angles -- your job as a copywriter is to find the one that resonates.

594ab5f61700002000102212.png
 

The above ad from Sage Therapeutics pressing the importance of talking about postpartum depression works because instead of asking readers to care about something they don't know, it puts them in the position of experiencing the struggle that mothers suffering do. Did they miss some readers who quickly passed by the ad thinking it was for adult pacifiers? Most definitely. But the ad resonated that much more thoroughly with those who read it.

The next time you sit down to write, try out this approach. Don't take the topic head on. Instead, ask yourself why it matters. Each time you write down an answer, challenge yourself to push it further. Find the larger story happening behind your message.

2) It finds connections.

In 1996, Steve Jobs let the cat out of the bag. He was speaking with a journalist from Wired on the topic of creativity and explained:

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after awhile."

Let's say you have to write an ad for a new pair of sneakers. You could take the assignment head on. You could write about the elasticity of the shoe's sole or the lightweight design. Indeed, many have. Or you could put all of that aside and instead draw the connection between the product and the experience it evokes.

Run_ad

Source: Pinterest

Two things are happening in this ad. First, the copy recognizes that for many, running isn't about running at all -- it's about solitude, peace, and restoring sanity to an otherwise hectic life. Second, not only does Nike connect the ad to the experience of running, it actually connects to the sound that those shoes make as they hit the pavement.

This ad is about the complexity of one's life fading away and being replaced by simplicity and clarity. As the copy progresses, the sentences simplify and the copy's complexity is slowly replaced by the simple and rhythmic pounding of words: run, run, run, run. The same rhythm one hears when all but their footsteps have faded away. That's connection.

3) It has a stunning lead.

The following are all headlines or leading sentences from Urban Daddy, an email-based magazine drawing attention to new products, experiences, and eateries.

  • "Six days. That’s how long you have until 65% of your body is turkey."
  • "There are 8,760 hours in a year. And just one hour in which a stand will be dispensing gratis latkes with homemade applesauce and sour cream in Harvard Square. Yeah, it’s not fair. But 60 minutes is 60 minutes."
  • "Ewoks. Talk about living."

What's common among each of these leads? They make us want to read the next line. I mean, seriously, how much do you want to know where that Ewok thing is headed?

There's an adage in copywriting that's loosely credited to copywriter and business owner Joe Sugarman, which roughly states that the purpose of the headline is to get you to read the first line. The purpose of the first line is to get you to read the second line, and so on. In short, if your first line doesn't enthrall your readers, all is lost.

4) It is born out of listening.

Seeing its plans to launch yet another gym in the greater Boston region, an outsider might have called the Harrington family a wee bit crazy. The market was already flush with gyms, including a new breed of luxury ones that seemed to be in an arms war for the flashiest perks. Gyms across the region were offering massage services, smoothie bars, and fleets of personal trainers. And GymIt wouldn't have any of that.

What did GymIt have? An understanding of its core audience. Before launching its new gym, the brand did a ton of listening to its primary market of gym-goers. For many in GymIt's target market, the added benefits associated with luxury gyms were nice to have, but came with a lot of baggage -- namely expensive rates and overly complex contracts.

GymIt decided to simplify the gym-going experience for people who predominately cared about getting in and working out. The copy in its launch campaign and across its marketing materials reflects that understanding.

GymIt__gyms_in_Boston_ma__health_clubs

In an older blog post, Copyblogger's Robert Bruce put this nicely. "Humble yourself and truly serve your audience, listen to their needs and desires, listen to the language they use," he said. "If you listen carefully, your audience can eventually give you everything you need, including much of your copy. Get out of their way."

5) It avoids jargon and hyperbole.

Groundbreaking. Revolutionary. Business Solutions. Targetable Scale. Ideation. Evidence-based approaches. Industry wide best practices.

Have I lost you yet?

When writers struggle to convey what is truly special about their company, product, or service, they sometimes fall back on jargon or hyperbole to underscore their point. The truth is, good copywriting doesn't need dressing up. Good copywriting should speak to the reader in human terms.

This isn't to say you should never celebrate awards or achievements. Just be direct in the way you explain that achievement. This homepage from Basecamp does a nice job of highlighting its popularity in concrete terms.

basecamp-copywriting-example.png

6) It cuts out excess.

Good writing gets to the point -- and that means cutting out excessive phrases, and rewording your sentences to be more direct. In an ad celebrating its "academic" readership, The Economist playfully demonstrates this below.

economist-1

How do you rid excess words from your writing? It's half practice, half knowing where to cut. This article from Daily Writing Tips is one of the most effective summaries I've found on precise writing. Included in its tips:

  • Reduce verb phrases: For instance, turn "The results are suggestive of the fact that" to "The results suggest."
  • Reduce wordy phrases to single words: You can change "in order to" into "to." Another example: Turn "Due to the fact that" into "because."
  • Avoid vague nouns: Phrases formed around general nouns like "in the area of" or "on the topic of" clutter sentences.
  • Read the full list of brevity tips here.

In general, if you can afford to cut without losing the meaning of a sentence, do so. Push yourself to strip down your word count. Turn 50-word homepage copy into 25, then push yourself again to make that 25-word sentence into 15 words. It's not about brevity so much as it is about making sure every word counts in your writing.

Since my last point was about getting to the point, I'll keep this brief: Words matter. Every time you sit down to write an ad, web page, video script, or other content for your company, you have the opportunity to break through to people. Find those opportunities in your marketing and make sure that you've made the most of them.


The Best Damn Copywriting Advice I’ve Found By Robert Bruce

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20130126212249/http://www.copyblogger.com/listen-carefully/

Copywriting is not writing, copywriting is assembling.

Great copywriters collect the varied parts of their research and assemble those parts into a true story that resonates with the particular worldview of an audience. Then that story is tested, tweaked, and deployed again. A story that enters the conversation an audience is already having, can be a story that wins.

The assembly of these parts is key.

Though you’ll never know if a headline, or a collection of bullets, or a call to action will resonate with your audience — not until you let it out into the real world and test it — there is one commonly overlooked practice that’s turned out to be some of the best copywriting advice I’ve ever put to use …

Shut up and listen.

  • Listen to the creator of the product. Let her talk (for hours if necessary) about what makes it work, why she built it, what she hopes it will do for her customers. This practice alone might give you the bulk of the copy you’ll end up using.
  • Listen to your audience. What are they telling you — directly or indirectly — about what they really want and need? If social media has given us anything, it’s an unprecedented ability to hear the demands and desires of real people, in real time.
  • Listen to your competitors. It’s wise to have a view of the entire battlefield. What’s working in your market, what’s not? What can you learn from other’s success and failure (and the language that got them there)?

If you’ve built a useful and amazing product, service, or idea, you don’t need to sweat or agonize or dream up stupid campaigns. Real people will tell you precisely how to assemble the various parts of your copy, many times they’ll even give you bullets and headlines … word-for-word.

This is not laziness, it’s wisdom in practice. Talk less, listen more.

Humble yourself and truly serve your audience, listen to their needs and desires, listen to the language they use. If you listen carefully, your audience can eventually give you everything you need, including much of your copy. Get out of their way …

Shut up and listen.

About the Author: Robert Bruce is VP of Marketing for Copyblogger Media, as well as its Resident Recluse. Grab an unusually short story from him every day via Twitter or Google+.


10 Techniques for More Precise Writing By Mark Nichol

Source: https://www.dailywritingtips.com/10-techniques-for-more-precise-writing/

Here are ten ways to produce more vivid, direct, concise prose by replacing wordy phrases with fewer words and reorganizing sentences. It is not advisable to employ these strategies indiscriminately, but prose will usually be improved by following the recommendations below.

1. Use Active Voice

When a sentence includes be or any other copulative verb, such as is or are, recast the sentence to omit the verb.
Before: “The meeting was seen by us as a ploy to delay the project.”
After: “We saw the meeting as a ploy to delay the project.”

2. Avoid Vague Nouns

Phrases formed around general nouns such as aspect, degree, and situation clutter sentences.
Before: “She is an expert in the area of international relations.”
After: “She is an expert in international relations.”

3. Use Words, Not Their Definitions

Replace explanatory phrases with a single word that encapsulates that explanation.
Before: “The crops also needed to be marketable so that families would be able to sell any yields that exceeded what they personally required.”
After: “The crops also needed to be marketable so that families would be able to sell any surplus.”

4. Avoid Noun Strings

Reorganize sentences to eliminate series of nouns used as adjectives.
Before: “The lack of a secure transfer may hamper computer security incident response efforts.”
After: “The lack of a secure transfer may hamper responses to computer-security incidents.”

5. Convert Nouns to Verbs

When a sentence includes a noun ending in -tion, change the noun to a verb to simplify the sentence.
Before: “They will collaborate in the creation of new guidelines.”
After: “They will collaborate to create new guidelines.”

6. Reduce Verb Phrases to Simple Verbs

Identify the verb buried in a verb phrase and omit the rest of the phrase.
Before: “The results are suggestive of the fact that tampering has occurred.”
After: “The results suggest that tampering has occurred.”

7. Replace Complex Words with Simple Ones

Choose simpler synonyms for multisyllabic words.
Before: “The department will disseminate the forms soon.”
After: “The department will pass out the forms soon.”

8. Avoid Expletives

Don’t start sentences with “There is,” “There are,” or “It is.”
Before: “There are many factors in the product’s failure.”
After: “Many factors contributed to the product’s failure.”

9. Eliminate Prepositional Phrases

Replace “(noun1) of the (noun2)” phrasing with “(noun2)’s (noun1)” phrasing.
Before: “The decision of the committee is final.”
After: “The committee’s decision is final.”

10. Reduce Wordy Phrases to Single Words

Replace phrases that signal a transition with simple conjunctions, verbs, or other linking words.
Before: Due to the fact that the project is behind schedule, today’s meeting has been postponed.
After: Because the project is behind schedule, today’s meeting has been postponed.