One thing I’ve found in this world is lessons jump in front of our path constantly, all we’ve got to do is be willing to see and make good use of them.
For instance, just this past week my wife and I are at the snack bar talking about what’s for dinner and she says…
“Yeah, we could light up the grill, put on some ka-bobbys and…”
Ka-bobbys? In less than 5-seconds I made the connection from Kabobs to what marketing is not. Hang with me a second, I know it sounds crazy at first.
Kabobs, sometimes called Shish Kabobs, are skewers of meat and veggies or perhaps all meat or all veggies often times grilled to perfection over a hot bed of coals.
But, what they are made of is irrelevant. What I’m looking at is what the name Kabob is, and what it isn’t.
My wife called them Ka-bobbys, and my sometimes screwy mind immediately thought…
“Ka-bobbys? What about KaRoberts?”
I thought, how off is that? KaRobert just takes all the fun out of the name, takes all the summer out of the experience, and is taking something fun and conversational and making it stuffy and formal.
Who cooks up KaRoberts? No one, it sounds almost cannibalistic.
And that is just what your web copy can be, cannibalistic by being too formal, no fun, and the emotional experience in its consumption is like dressing up in a corporate suit, grabbing a heaping bowl of communion wafers and a glass of warm water to sit down for the game, or movie night. I think the boys would be a little shocked and headed to the sports bar, or the girls would be asking, “What is up with you girlfriend?”
For example, if I were to say:
“When you utilize my services, I’ll optimize your content to maximize your potential on the market. The benefits of securing a reader’s actions are the epicenter of your business’s concern, and that is the target in our partnership.”
Peee eeeeew! Can you smell the Ka-Roberts burning here? Someone get some water to cool this thing down and get them off the grill.
What I should have said was:
“Want search engines to put you as high as they can? I know the web optimization secrets to make it happen. Look, I know every business wants to increase sales, and, bottom line? It all comes down to turning people into customers by getting them to find you when they are looking, and click those links and buttons on your web site, e-mails, and other direct response pieces.”
See the difference? Why is it people immediately run to the thesaurus to fill up their mouths with what they are not?
It isn’t fooling or impressing a reader anyway. All it does is glaze their eyes over and put their wallet out of reach.
So when you’re writing any marketing piece, unless it is specific to a field which demands technical speak, get out the coffee pot pen and begin to write just like you chat while waiting your turn to fill your cup. In other words, write more like you talk, not like you swallowed a dictionary.
There are other techniques within marketing such as the “lean in,” transition, and others, but we’ll save them for future posts.
Until next time…
Live like you’ll never get hurt, dream like nobody is watching, and above all… try-try-try until you succeed!