What is the message that is being used in your marketing collateral?  Are you telling people what you or your company is or does?  Or are you using generic fluff terms to try to connect with your audience?

cut_the_fluff

Fluff is a term that refers to ambiguous words that are intended to impress your viewers.  Here is a restaurant example:  

“Expect to have an exceptional dinner experience with our dining staff who always strives to astound our customers with an unexpected and unparalleled level of service.”

Wow.  I am impressed.  But wait, the logical thinker in me has questions.  Can I call up your employees in the middle of the night to astound me with their level of service?  Does this mean that I will get a song and a dance when my food is delivered to my table?  Are you calling your employees exceptional because they are or because you are selling me something?  What makes an employee exceptional anyway?

For a long time, the world of marketing (and sales) relied on sentences like these to convince people to buy their products.  However, today’s evolving consumer wants more.  To be specific, they want specifics!

So, how could the sentence above be better?  What can we say that will specifically appeal to the audience?  I have some ideas of my own, but I listen to myself think all day long.  I want to hear from you.  How can we cut the fluff and structure our marketing sentences so that they’re simplified and more direct?

Leave comments regarding how you think fluff can begin its exit strategy from the world of marketing.

P.S. here is a start from The Next Web who wrote an article entitled 5 weak words copywriters and bloggers should avoid (and what to use instead).

– BJ Caldwell
@fortbeeje

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teach·er
/ˈtēCHər/
noun: teacher; plural noun: teachers
a person who teaches, especially in a school.

My friend Linda Barsi made a video last year talking about finding your teachers. In the video she talks about how when you are learning things on your own, “You get to create a syllabus of people who teach you.”

For me, one of my teachers has been Craig Benzine from WheezyWaiter. Craig is a video creator on Youtube and his video blogs are one of my favorite to watch. His videos are incredibly engaging and he always finds a way to make the simplest video amazingly complicated. He’s taught me to look at my videos complexly. To see what else I can add to make my videos to make a simple idea complex and fun.

Finding your teachers are important because, as I’ve said before, there is always more that we can be learning and the more we learn, the most unstoppable we become. I’ve accumulated many teachers over the years, all who have taught me to look at things differently, to get messy, and never stop learning. Who are your teachers? Who are the people who have taught you outside of school?

-Ricky Anderson II
@ricky_ii

listen

Creative Direction, more specifically the design portion of the job, is often seen as this luxurious job, where an intern brings you a cappuccino, while you sketch out comps for a million dollar logo project. I often hear from friends and acquaintances how lucky I am to “just have to design all day”. They’re right. I am lucky, but my job is so much more than sipping coffee and drawing for eight hours a day.

Design is a chance to give back; a way to communicate, for your client, what they need to convey in the marketplace. Design is a chance to connect people together online and off, and before you can visually communicate to the world, you must first listen.

Many people in my profession (and really many professions) miss this all-too-important step! It’s easy to assume that one client is like another you’ve worked with in the past, whether it be because they are in the same industry or they have similar needs. When that assumption is made, it can lead to a sense of familiarity and the chance to get to know, understand, and listen to the client, is lost.

Learn about each and every client. Absorb their story, get a sense of their passion, sensibilities, and needs, because after all, they are the experts of their business. THEN go “design” your little heart out. But only after you Listen.

-Amber Caldwell
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Are you engaging with your customers or potential customers on a personal level? Most business owners don’t have the time (or miles) to visit each client as much as they might like to. Yet, it’s still possible to give them the insight that gives you a leg up on your competitors with video marketing.

Video marketing is an excellent way to show your audience exactly what it is your company does best. It’s a chance to expand on a product or service that you provide that is much more interesting than just the verbiage on your website.

There are a few types of videos that are great for this purpose. Here are a few types:

EXPLAINER
An explainer video is a brief video that simply conveys to your customer exactly what your product or service can do for them or a problem that it solves. It can be used to describe what your company does in a nutshell or it can focus on a single area.

WEBINAR
Webinar videos are a great way to extend training and other important company-wide information. Whether it be a fancy new mobile app or a new protocol for customer service, a webinar video can be a useful way to ensure a concise message.

TESTIMONIAL
A testimonial video is exactly what it sounds like. You get great feedback from your clients and even your employees, so why not get that on video to show potential clients or brag to your competitors? Testimonial videos let your audience see your clients describe your company in their words and that’s pretty powerful!

ANIMATION
An animation can convey your message in a friendly, casual manner. Even the most sleep-inducing subjects become much more palatable and dare we say, fun, to watch!

Spice up your website, blog or next newsletter with a video that truly speaks to your brand!

-Team Anchor

passion


I was recently asked by someone if we have a preference on the industry or type of client we like to work with. I’ve been doing this for long enough to know the answer to this question. We’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different industries throughout the years; oil & gas, entertainment, retail, food & restaurant, events, non-profit, municipalities, legal, healthcare, and even other agencies. In the world of agencies, there are stereotypes built around many of these industries that encourage caution when first getting to know these companies because they tend to be more difficult to work with than others.

So how did I respond when asked if I had a preference? No. The fact of the matter is, we’ve never been an industry-specific agency, but that’s not why the answer was no. It doesn’t make a difference what industry the client is in, what matters to us at Anchor is whether the client has a passion for their company.

When we accept a new client into our work family, we are prepared to jump in with both feet. We have a passion for our own work and we love passing that through to our clients. Through the years, we’ve discovered that if our clients share their passion with us, we will break barriers together. It means they are more willing to take risks to grow the business and it means that they will walk with us down that extra mile to do what’s needed.

At the end of the day, the industry doesn’t matter. We just love seeing the passion in the eyes of the client that helps us fuel the fire of business growth and opportunities. Each member of the Anchor team is here because of the passion we have for providing our own individual talents. If the world didn’t require payment, we’d do it for free because we enjoy it that much. That’s one of the reasons why the rebranding process we launched this year lead us to our tagline: “We love our job, you’ll love our work.”

Can you think of someone that you really like to work with? What characteristics do they have that you enjoy so much?

-BJ Caldwell
@fortbeeje

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