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Create! A Market
Michele Pariza, Creative Concepts and Copywriting, Publisher
March 2, 2004; Vol. 2, Issue 3

Published around the first of every month

THIS ISSUE: Advertising on a budget -- Part 2: Thinking small

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1) Editor's Note
2) READY -- Advertising on a budget -- Part 2: Thinking small
3) SET -- Recommended resource
4) CREATE! -- Creativity exercises
5) About Creative Concepts and Copywriting




Dear Readers,

Whew! I finished my whirlwind of speaking engagements in February (including a stint in Phoenix at the American Society of Women Accountants). But I still have a couple coming up in March, including my "Marketing Basics" (with a ** date change **) and "Marketing in the Future" seminars for Prescott's Women In Networking. There's still time to sign up if you hurry.

"Marketing Basics"
March 12, Noon - 2 pm

Learn the basics of marketing your business. You'll get an overview of marketing principles and a detailed description of the pros and cons of each medium (advertising, public relations, community relations) and what you can do to increase your success. This is a repeat presentation of my earlier and very popular workshop,

"Marketing in the Future"
March 4, 12:30 - 2:30 pm

A paradigm shift is going on in the fields of marketing and communications. The old ways are crumbling and a new regime is forming. Will you know what to do? This seminar will explain what's changing, why it's changing and what you need to do to successfully market your business in the future.

Cost is $5 for WIN members and $10 for non-WIN members. E-mail me for more information or to register.

Best Wishes,

Michele Pariza
Creative Concepts and Copywriting


2) **READY**


Advertising on a budget -- Part 2

This is the second article of a three-part series. I'm illustrating the marketing challenges of a small business, PrescottWeddings.com. If you want to read "Part 1: Using print to drive traffic online" go here --


Our goal was to both build the PWC brand and drive traffic to the Web site. Advertising regularly was essential. Yet it was also essential to keep our costs down. So we leveraged our monthly newspaper advertising to stretch our marketing dollar as far as we could.

How did we do that? We "thought small."

We bought one inch by two column inch ads (a column inch in this particular publication is approx. 1.88 inches). The ads were one inch high and almost 4 inches long.

To reflect the small ad, the copy also had to be short and sweet. Like so:

www.PrescottWeddings.com. Everything you need to say "I do."

Just the name of the business and the slogan.

We put the name in large type and made the tagline much smaller.

Did it work?

The first day this ad ran, we garnered 350 hits on the Web site and several phone calls from business owners who wanted more information.

And that was just the beginning. Hits steadily grew during the campaign, and every time it ran we always noticed a jump.

Not bad for a little ad.

Conventional wisdom says bigger is better. And while it is true that big ads stand out (after all, they do take a big chunk of real estate on the page) it doesn't mean big is the only way to go. Small ads can pack a punch too.

Why did the PWC ad work? First of all, it got noticed because it stuck out (yes, small ads can stick out). It had an odd shape -- long and thin, not a square like so many other ads. The name was big -- bigger than many other fonts surrounding it. (But not so big that the ad lacked sufficient white space.)

But probably the biggest reason it worked was because the message was simple. This is clearly a Web site about having a wedding in the Prescott area. Therefore if you're involved with weddings, whether as a business or on a more personal level, and you're also associated with Prescott, then this is a Web site clearly worth taking a peek at.

People instantly got the message. And they got it even if they only scanned the paper. It was quick and painless for them -- something all ads should strive to be.

What's also interesting is how this ad hit its target market. I've spoken to people (mostly men) who have no interest in getting married and have never seen the ad even though they read the paper. Conversely, businesses in the wedding industry and brides have said they see the ad all the time.

Now, you may have a business name that doesn't capture your business' products or services as well as PrescottWeddings.com (my business name for example). In this case, why not think of a catchy tag line you can use in those small ads to drive people to your Web site?

Web sites can be huge, wordy, information-stuffed selling tools. So use short, sweet one-message statement to get people to go look and learn more about your business rather than try to shove everything in an ad. Don't forget to include your business name and logo for branding purposes.

Okay, so small ads with one simple message work. For the final key in PWC's marketing program, tune in next month for Part 3: Frequency, frequency, frequency.


3) **SET**


Recommended resource -- Communication Arts Magazine

If you're looking for some of the most creative print ads around, then check out Communication Arts Magazine.

Ad agencies, graphic designers, photographers, illustrators and others from all over send in their best work to be included. If their work is chosen, it's considered to be quite a coup.

Whether or not these ultra creative ads actually sell products or services is beside the point. They're not judged on results, only on execution and creativity. However, if you're looking to get your creative juices flowing, this is definitely a resource to flip through.

A subscription is somewhat expensive -- $50 for a year (8 issues). But you can probably find it at the library, especially college libraries that teach graphic design. There's also a Web site -- http://www.commarts.com


4) **CREATE!**


Creativity Exercise -- Simplify your message

Now it's time to write your own short, simple message for your business.

1. Start by writing everything down about your business. Include everything you can think of. Products, services, why people should buy your products, why people should do business with you, what makes you unique, why people should use you and not your competitor, etc. Everything you can think of.

If you want, take several days or even a week to do this. Many times if you give your subconscious some room to ponder, it will come up with all sorts of amazing possibilities. (I do some of my most creative thinking while in the shower.)

2. Look over your list. Do you see some patterns? Get some different colored markers or highlighters and start circling those patterns.

3. Now condense those patterns into no more than THREE statements. Yes, I know this is difficult. Yes, I know you have lots to say. But do it anyway. Again, try coming back to it over the space of a few days.

4. Got those three statements? Good. Now turn those three statements into one sentence. AND that sentence should have no more than ten words.

Don't worry -- nobody ever needs to see what you came up with. No, you never have to put it in a print ad or say it to anyone. However, just by going through this exercise, you will have taken your first step toward learning to market your business using short, simple messages.

And if you're interested in a more personalized approach to creativity, consider hiring me for some creativity coaching. Special offers to all my e-newsletter subscribers. E-mail me for more information. mailto:<michele@writingusa.com>




Creative Concepts and Copywriting specializes in providing creative marketing and copywriting solutions for businesses of all kinds and all sizes. I can help you:

* Find your target market.
* Create the kind of creative marketing that moves your target market to act.
* Craft messages that stand out from crowd, so your customers not only read them but act upon them.

For more information about my services, including testimonials and samples of my work, please visit my Web site at http://www.writingusa.com.


Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated! Write us at mailto:<newsletters@writingusa.com.


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(c) 2004 Michele Pariza, Creative Concepts and Copywriting

PO Box 10430
Prescott, AZ 86304


Have you checked out my other e-newsletter Create!? It helps you combine your creativity with copywriting tips.

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