Famous Last Words: Where Are the Copywriters?
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Alas, the headlines on the booth signage at the DMA2010 exhibition all said the same things—nothing. I jotted some down:
- Media Solutions
- Web Applications
- Database Solutions
- More Relevance
- The Power of Partnership
- Full Service Solutions
- Recharge Your Marketing
These are neither unique nor selling nor propositions. It's pure pap crap. The bland leading the bland.
How do you create a USP? Make a list of all the features of your product or service and then translate them into benefits—the specific thing that each feature will do for you.
Rank the benefits—most important to least important. The most important benefit becomes your USP.
Attending a trade show means spending many thousands of dollars on travel, entertainment, booth rental, set-up and shipping. Presumably you want your exhibit to be a stunner—the equivalent of a Williams-Sonoma or Cabela's store window that is irresistible to passers-by.
I once had a client named Jack Webb (not the Jack Webb of Dragnet), who thought very little of copywriters. "Just create some verbiage," he used to say with a dismissive wave. I was reminded of an old story:
"What do you do?" a guy at a cocktail party was asked.
"I'm a brain surgeon," was the reply. "What do you do?"
"I'm a writer."
"Ah," said the brain surgeon. "I've often thought that when I retire I'd like to try some writing."
"And when I retire," said the writer, "I plan try a little brain surgery."
You want action at your booth during the next trade show? Spend a few bucks extra for a professional writer.
Denny Hatch is a freelance direct marketing consultant and copywriter, and author of the email newsletter, Denny Hatch's Business Common Sense. Visit him at www.businesscommonsense.com or www.dennyhatch.com, or contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org