IT’S THE MESSAGE, NOT THE MEDIA, THAT SELLS.

To generate leads you first have to get in the door.

If you’re a history buff you probably know all about the Trojan Horse. But for the rest of you here’s a short summary from Wikipedia:

“Trojan Horse is a tale from the Trojan War about the subterfuge that the Greeks used to enter the independent city of Troy and win the war. In the canonical version, after a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse, and hid a select force of men inside. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, ending the war.”

Metaphorically a “Trojan Horse” refers to a marketing strategy that persuades a prospective client to invite a vendor in to demonstrate a product which really takes the potential buyer to a much greater depth of usage than was anticipated. This could result in a very pleasant surprise resulting in the buyer feeling that he is getting more for his money than anticipated…which accelerates closing the sale.

To a degree we are revisiting the “positioning” approach to differentiation where the vendor uses exceptional creativity

to present his product to the market in such a manner that makes it stand out from competitors rendering them irrelevant. It’s not misrepresenting the product but “exaggerating” its features, a practice referred to years ago as “trade puffery” and trades on the practices of salesmen since the beginning of time.  In an effort to sell products they are often presented in a light that exaggerates, not misrepresents, their value.

In the case of marketing communications social media can be used to penetrate a prospect’s interest level which may then lead to a greater examination of the product/service, or an invitation to a sales person to explain all the subtle benefits. The key to this is the quality of the creative, a point which is made in a remarkable new book, Chief Marketing Officers At Work by Josh Steimle recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the “50 Online Marketing Influencers to watch in 2016”. After a chapter by Heather Zynczak, CMO of Domo, heavily focused on today’s requirements for digital and data driven analytics for CMOs she closes with the statement, “finally, I don’t know if you can be taught this in college, but creativity is really important.” As a Creative Strategist I guess I couldn’t agree more and continues my preaching of the power of messaging over media.

Great ideas might come from crowd sourced creative platforms…or from your consumer, who is using social media to give you an easily accessed, always-on suggestion box for your product or brand.”

“The role for the executive creative director—or any other very senior creative’s—has become curation, not just idea generation, and collaboration.” The feedback from social needs to gathered, reviewed, edited and put back into circulation.

And one final thought from Andrew McMains, in AdWeek, “The shift (to hire Chief Content Officers) signals a desire among media shops to evolve beyond media buying to become bonafide players in content creative. The competition is fierce with creative, media and production companies all vying for that work.

Which creates a whole new role for today’s CMO who is rapidly becoming known as a Content Marketing Officer rather than yesterday’s Chief Marketing Officer.

Creative Strategists are embracing a new dimension. More than copywriting they’re about inspiring action! You must activate people…or lose leads.

For more on this topic visit “Creativity” on the menu at www.kbates.com

Inspired by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity are powerful thoughts from the 2016’s The Case for Creativity by James Hurman. A cover quote from Giles Hedger of Leo Burnett states, “The relationship between creativity and effectiveness is the golden thread of advertising.”

This is an incredibly inspiring book. All Creative Directors contend our work is “creative’ but is it “effective”? Sometimes we’re too far from the stage to know, or perhaps to care. Be sure to read about what effectiveness research Peter Field calls “fame” effects. “Fame campaigns work by getting the brand talked about and generally making it more famous, “ says Field—it is about creating perceptions of being the brand that is “making waves”. It’s nice to make a brand stand out from competitors, but even nicer if it impacts society.

And from Charlean Swansea’s book MINDWORKS here’s some tips on Better Creative Thinking and Problem Solving:

                  Attitudes that increase creativity are: Curiosity, Patience, Playfulness, Open-mindedness, Tolerance of complexity.

                  Skills that increase creativity are: Brainstorming, Visualizing, Persistence, Ability to make odd combinations, Ability to recognize the obvious.

Writing skills are great, but they need inspiration and experience to back them up. It’s not enough to sit down and drft clever copy without understanding management’s ambitions full for a creative strategy and exploring images that will suggest concepts that inspire action! Creative Strategists typically embrace these supporting skills in addition to their copywriting skills.

Not standing out in your market? Need a theme/image consultant? Click here to explore my FREE offer. Or visit www.kbates.com .

Or simply need a B2B copywriter with Creative Strategist experience?

Send an email to keithbates@kbates.com. I’d be happy to discuss my services.

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Keith Bates has enjoyed a lifelong, around the world, passion for helping people communicate whether it was school buddy book reports or his former ad agency client’s marketing. Keith is different.

A content writer/strategist’s ability lets them see things others don’t. Keith learned early in life that provocative content and imaging were required to change attitudes and beliefs.

This skill came in handy with Keith’s more than 200 clients over the years, most of them software vendors, who found the requirement of translating developer language to end user language pretty challenging.

And today we have a new challenge, only it’s not inventor vs. end user but messaging vs. media. It’s OK to add digital media complexity for message distribution, but not for messaging requirements. 

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