What is the one marketing mistake I see companies making time and time again?

It’s all over their website, brochures, leaflets, email marketing – in fact every piece of marketing spiel they produce.

Give up?

They talk about themselves.

Who’s doing the buying?

I know you think the world of your company and its products and services, bit to be honest, your customers only care about what you’re going to do for them.

A few days ago a sales flyer appeared on my mat along with my post. Normally I don’t bother reading things like that, but this one was particularly colourful and had some good images on it which were quite eye-catching, so I thought ‘why not’.

After reading the first paragraph I realised ‘why not’ – the only thing I learned was that this particular window company had been in business a fair while, they had a great sales team (apparently), and that they’d won an award.

They had made one fatal mistake – they had forgotten who the flyer was going to.

It wasn’t long before I was fed up hearing about them. They were in all probability very good at what they did, but not once did they tell me how their product would benefit me. Why was their glass so much better than anyone else’s? What benefit would that bring to me?

Rather than getting a:

“Wow, what an amazing product, I must phone the company right away” reaction, they got a “so what?” reaction and their flyer was filed in the rubbish bin.

All they had to do was produce a flyer that concentrated on the customer. I want to know the benefits – will their product help save me money on my heating bills? Will it help block out noise? Does it have a lifetime guarantee? These are the things I want to know. These are the things that are important to me – the customer!

Why am I telling you this?

The moral of this short story is that no matter what form your marketing takes, your writing must be centred on the reader.

Make sure you lead with the important stuff. Information about your company can come later. Always, always think of what your customers want to know – and I can guarantee how long you’ve been in business won’t be top of their list.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter