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Don’t Underpay for Good Writing or Marketing (But, FFS, Don’t OVERpay for S***ty Marketing, Either!), Part 4

Earlier, in Parts 2 & 3, we discussed why ad tracking is efficient and crucial as well as how creativity for creativity’s sake kills marketing. In Part 4 today, we finish up with profits aren’t possible without a USP.

No USP No Dice

Recently, I turned down work from a prospective client because he couldn’t answer the following question:

What’s your company USP?

A USP is your company’s unique selling point or proposition. It’s what differentiates you, your company, your service, your product, etc., from competitors.

However, even that definition is vague.

A USP is the specific benefit that gives you the upper hand. In other words, this one thing is why people choose your product or service over another one.

You want to be known for that one thing.

The problem is that it’s tempting to want to be known for a variety of things.

Don’t Market Yourself As a Jack-of-All-Trades

Let’s say you sell buffalo meat. It’s tempting to many buffalo meat proprietors to want to market that their meat as the juiciest AND organically sourced.

To the untrained eye, that seems reasonable. But it sends conflicting messages.

Is the market that cares about the juicy tenderness the same one who cares about the meat source? While there might be an overlap, the reality is that they are separate markets and what you’re doing is sending mixed signals.

You can’t be an expert in one thing when people think you’re a “jack of all trades”. And you can’t write copy or market that way, either.

Coffee – Grade or Price?

McDonald’s now offers any size coffee for $1.00, and their ads make obvious references to Starbucks. The ads tout McDonald’s coffee as being both less expensive than, yet having comparable quality as, Starbucks.

Whether the coffee is comparable or not is immaterial. That they market like this is a lesson, however, in how not to market.

Let’s break it down:

McDonald’s is known for cheap quality fast food for a low price. Their USP for decades was that they were cheap (however you define it).

Although in recent years they’ve tried to upgrade their cheap image (again, in whatever way you define “cheap”), marketing their coffee as both cheap AND premium sends mixed signals.

How can a company known for cheap ways of cutting corners and selling food suddenly offer premium-grade coffee (or any products, for that matter) at such an inexpensive price?

Good Copy (and Hence Good Marketing) Is Only As Good As a Good USP

Anyway, when I asked the prospective client about his USP, he had the nerve to sound offended. When I explained that knowing his USP would help me write the white paper and sales emails he wanted, he was incredulous.

Turns out he had some marketing knowledge from college textbooks and thought this gave him a practical view of marketing and how to apply it.

When I asked a few other questions that would give me the knowledge necessary to write the kind of copy he was paying for, and he had similar reactions and lack of interest in answering, I turned down the work.

Of course, like any copywriter worth his or her salt, I do my own research into a company and its product or service and its features. I spend hours and hours on this so I can find benefits that I can use to formulate the central theme to the copy.

But the only way to really get the “voice” of the copy correct, to make it sound right, is not from research – it’s from the company itself through the actual words of one of the following:

·      The creator of the product or service

·      The makers of it

·      The sales people

·      The owner of the company

Of course I could have tried to figure out his USP on my own, but there's a variety of issues with that, but that's for a different article. 

A USP has to stand out and you have to believe in it. And you have to make sure that it comes through in your marketing.

I wanted to hear him tell me what it was. It makes it much easier to convey in the copy.

If you’re the expert in something, sell it. Let people know it.

That’s what your market wants. Be sure to tell them you have it.

So the next time you hire a copywriter and they don’t ask you for your USP, are you sure you’re getting your money’s worth?

To Get Your Money’s Worth, Contact Damala Copywriting

So the next time you hire a copywriter and they don’t ask you for your USP, are you sure you’re getting your money’s worth? At Damala Copywriting, if you're not sure what your USP is, we specialize in creating them and then formulating a marketing plan that revolves around it. To learn more, contact us today. Visit us online (http://www.damalacopywriting.com) or call us at 323.438.9939.