Sunday, 27 February 2011

The fine line between fact and fiction

Last night I was browsing through the trends on the Marketing Week website when I came across this article.  Research shows companies are failing to live up to their brands image.

The automotive industry fared especially badly.  Once buyers realised that most UK roads weren’t deserted and that they couldn’t actually drive up and down buildings they felt that owning a vehicle didn’t quite live up to their expectations.  Desirable imagery just isn’t cutting it – unless it’s backed up by content that really builds up trust.

A post recession (well you’ve gotta be optimistic right?!) Britain wants honest marketing.  Consumers want to know they’re buying from a reliable company.  How do they decide who’s trustworthy?  Clear facts.

Companies looking to market their products need to start thinking about putting their small print in bold.

Take for example Ryanair.  They don’t promise anything.  Literally.  According to Marketing Week, Ryanair purposefully avoid promising anything other than low prices.  So if they, by some miracle, manage to deliver any ‘service’, the customer is pleasantly surprised.

Now I am not suggesting that you all go out and destroy your business reputation just to surprise your customers.  But there is a lot to be said for the power of words. 

Copywriting Agency vs Freelance Copywriter

A round of coffee later and the office was filled with conversation.  We were discussing whether we are ‘Freelance Copywriters’ or a ‘Copywriting Agency’.  The connotations of the words were so different, yet we couldn’t easily say which bracket we fell into.

The connotations
  • A Freelance Copywriter is usually cheaper and, for a one off, you can probably get something back quicker. 
  • An Agency might be fully booked for the next three weeks but their results are often better.  And once you’re ‘in’ they have the capacity for regular projects.

The research
Google is jam packed with results for freelance copywriters.  Look more closely though and you’ll find many have limited writing skills.  A business professional could be forgiven for overlooking freelancers.

But would they be right?  Spend some time scrolling through their websites and you’ll find Freelancers who can write – and well too! 

It wasn’t just freelancers that were hit and miss.  A quick look at websites for Copywriting Agencies also showed varying degrees of quality.  Additionally, there were a number of ‘Agencies’ that seemed to be single writers operating under the guise of an agency – so no different to a freelancer at all then. 

At The Copywriting People, we’re freelancers with an agency twist.  Deciding where we should market ourselves was never going to be easy.  We chose to just stick with ‘Copywriters’ and I think that is how we’ll keep it.   After all what does it really matter as long as we get the job done… well.