Month: December 2017

A copywriting week for marketers

A copywriting week for marketers

Nonfiction book review in marketing


Copywriting in a week. By Robert Ashton.
John Murray Learning, 2016. Pp. 124. £7.00. ISBN 978 1473 609419

Techniques to improve advertising copies

If you are a (digital) copywriter and you need to improve your style and technique but you don’t have enough time (and budget), you will find this book easy to read and follow. In only seven chapters, which match with an ordinary week, Robert Ashton exposures all the elements that a good (persuasive) copy should have, in particular for whom are in the (digital) marketing sector.

It’s Sunday. What does Robert bring us today? The reader will learn how to make the copy effective. In here, the rule is: know (making the audience aware of your specific message), think (what they need to think) and do (purely and merely call to action). On a comfy Sunday, readers will learn how to make the copy a pleasurable reading, how to capture audience’s attention (call to action, again). After clarifying the goals of the copy, Ashton will teach us the structure of the copy, jargons and what they mean. The day closes on how to hook the reader through some words selected.

Now, we are on Monday. In an unusual Monday, Ashton shows us how people read, because it will be important when preparing the layout of the piece of copy. The author will make us to be focused on the features of the copy (from the texture to the visual elements of it). Also, he introduces the techniques to influence the readers on by visual ways to present the piece of copy. For who wants to write copies for branding projects, the ending of this part is essential as the author conveys the techniques to make words memorable.

Finally, Tuesday. This chapter is about email and written letters. Starting from differences between them, Ashton explains when it is appropriate to write business letters; how to combine familiarity with formality and how it is possible to build business relationships by using written letters. No more, no less.

Just in the middle: Wednesday. Ashton conveys the techniques to stimulate responses by creating copies for advertising. Although you ‘know about your personas’, it is important to be careful about the copy you will advertise. Therefore, guidelines are focused on persuasive actions, because we really don’t know who they are. Also, the author tells us about types and language of advertising, and most importantly, for beginners, how to construct effective display advertising, including posters.

Almost there: Thursday. Ashton talks about how to deal with mass media. He teaches us on how to build relationship with journalists, how material is selected by them, how to become media commentator and how to become a good one. By the end of the chapter, a good reminder has been taught: blog is not the space to advertise, but to comment.

Glorious Friday. In here, Ashton tells us how to write piece of copy for promotional print (leaflets, brochures, catalogues, etc). In addition, he opens the world of the print copies to show how it works. Yet, in the customization era, Ashton teaches us how to personalize a promotional copy: simply, as if it is a cover letter and how to generate a response.

And before the night comes: Saturday. The end of the book is simply as it is how to structure a proposal, as a final step just after having done sales letters and brochures. Moreover, it is important for a copywriter how to present sales proposal and how to use PowerPoint for a copy. Nonetheless, the author closes the chapter talking about how to create signage, by using humour.

In one week, readers/pupils will have a clear picture about the art of building copies and how to be persuasive through words. However, in the digital era, where every detail is shown in a small touchable screen, is there a room for words?

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The Past, the present and future of branding.

The Past, the present and future of branding.

Nonfiction book review in marketing

Branding. A very Short Story. By Robert Jones
Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp 136. £7.00. ISBN 978 – 0 – 19 – 874991 – 2

Could we live without our brands?

Could it be possible to think our lives without the brands we consume every day? While deciding what to wear for the company’s Christmas party or what device to buy, brands impact on our choices. This is type of information readers will find on Robert Jones’ book: Branding: A very short story. The book is a bite of what brand was, is and will be in the near future.

Robert Jones is a marketing consultant, a practitioner. He has worked for big firms in different industries. His book, Branding A very short story, is a solid and reliable summary of knowledge and experience in the field. Jones uses the exemplification to convey main ideas about how brands work in a daily basis and behind the scene.

In eight chapters. Jones exposes explicit and implicit characteristics of the most famous brands in the global market. The first chapter conveys the definition of brand: it is more than a simple idea. It is images, colours, letters, packages that connect and engage with us in some many ways. More impressive is the argument about how brands determine our identities and perceptions: “They use brands to help construct their identity, their sense of who they are.” (p. 12). Yet, brand is deeper than appearance because it is a set of actionable ideas, with a remarkable style, on which companies ‘stand for’.

On history of brands. The subsequent chapter, Jones lands on the history of branding. It was born since the humans have created distinctive symbols, for instance Egyptian and Romans with their symbols to identify dynasties or status into a tribe. Yet, the nineteenth century was the period in which the boom of production serves itself through branding, by generating meanings to engage with people.

From the pas to the present. The present of brands and branding consist in how it gets into people’s mind. Slightly, Jones uses the findings from neuromarketing research to picture how brands engage with people. Also, he highlights the limitations of such findings to explain motivational engagement which does not have yet empirical evidence.

The rest of the chapters. Like a funnel, the rest of the chapters review exhaustively the present of the brandings nowadays. Jones tells us about how brands are built in structured organisations, or how artists are committed to develop brand image, or how organisations recruit the best experts in to produce meanings and remarkable signs.

Finally, Jones concludes the book by going into the future of branding: Will it be alive after all? The end appears as a matter of reassurance for marketers: “Branding, in other words, will live on”.

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