Don’t let creativity kill

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Frequently, people tell me that they just aren’t creative
and that is what holds them back from producing effective
marketing materials.

Creativity has very little to do with effectiveness when it
comes to marketing. The fact of the matter is creativity and
its first cousin cleverness kill more marketing campaigns then
they help.

When it comes to effective marketing materials, and this can
mean brochures, letters, websites and ads, adhering to a simple
formula is more important than finding a catchy slogan.

Pick up any magazine that you currently have lying around and
you will quickly come to an ad featuring a clever headline and
creative use of a domestic animal in a photo. What won’t be
immediately apparent is the purpose of the ad.

Your marketing materials are not meant to entertain. Your
marketing materials are there to create a very specific result
a sale, a lead, or maybe an introduction.

Now before the creative types get too touchy I might add that
in some cases the result you are trying to create with your
marketing materials is that the reader think your company or
products are creative and edgy… it doesn’t matter, you still
must follow a formula.

Here is the system that you should incorporate as you analyze
your marketing materials no matter what the result you are
attempting to create.

1. Make sure that it is painfully obvious what you have to

2. Immediately tell the reader how you can solve their pain
or offer them some gain

3. Take them by the hand and show them what you want them to
do next. (order, call, write, wet their pants?…guide them)

Now I know that including each of these elements in all of
your marketing material might not be as much fun as
putting a spinning baby on your website but, nothing
kills results faster than too much creativity.


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