Perhaps you’re a small or large business getting ready to launch an advertising or marketing campaign. Or maybe, you’re an ad agency or design firm with an overflow of work you can’t handle without extra assistance. You don’t have the creative talent in-house, so you know you’ll have to call upon an independent writer and/or designer to assist you.
However, last time you did that you were not prepared. There were vital questions that the writer asked you and you didn’t know the answers. It’s no surprise that the end result was a lot of running around, a weak first draft of copy and endless rewrites. This cost your company lots of time and money.
This time the word has come down from your boss: “I want great results!”
You thought that was what you were going to get last time. You hired a talented writer and thought you had enough background information to supply her with. What will it take to get a great final product this time around — one that pleases you and, more importantly, your boss?
Working on any promotional literature, be it a simple brochure or an extensive direct mail package, is a team effort — a partnership created to develop the best tools for promoting your product/service. Each person in the partnership has certain responsibilities.
The purpose of this article is to help you be aware of your role — obtaining and organizing the valuable information a copywriter needs from you.
Being organized and prepared before you meet with the writer for an input meeting will save you time and money in the long run. And, it increases your chances of getting the results you’re looking for — record-breaking ones.
Whether you’re on the client side, a graphic designer, direct mail or ad agency executive, these steps will help you gather the appropriate information you need to pass along to your writer.
1. Define your goals — convey them clearly.
What is it that you want to achieve with the project you’re going to assign? Do you want to sell more product, gain name recognition, create an image or generate new leads?
Remember, if your objectives are too complex then you risk confusing your copywriter. Simply state your goals. It sets your copywriter off in the right direction — to create an effective, results-oriented promotion for you.
2. Don’t be shy — tell the copywriter everything.
You know your product/service best. A copywriter knows how to write to sell that product. If your copywriter asks you a lot of questions, be grateful. The more you can tell her, the better your chances are of getting what you want — as soon as the first draft.
What is the single strongest benefit of your product/service? List all of the additional benefits. Why should someone buy your product over the competition’s? What makes yours special?
Your writer’s goal is to create a piece that results in profits for your business. If you have printed materials (marketing plan, brochures, testimonials, etc.), the copywriter will ask to see them.
3. Know your audience — introduce the copywriter to it.
It is important for you to know who you’re speaking to. Direct your campaign to a target market and tell your copywriter who it is. If you are renting outside mailing lists, provide her with the companies’ names on those lists.
Imagine you’re introducing her to one person in your audience. Then, tell her what you know about that individual. Start with demographics. But, also be sure to fill her in on lifestyle information. What kind of car does he drive? Does he dine out or eat at home? Is your product/service familiar to him? Does it fill his needs or desires?