Blue Spur Is About Marketing with Content

blue spur - (bloo spur) n. 1.A truth that motivates. 2. A rich vein of knowledge. v. tr. To incite positive action.

A Unique Selling Proposition

No lie. I just read a press release touting that a new accounting service bundled previously separate services to offer the customer "Unique Pricing." Are they kidding?

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Disclosure Act: Talk About Writing that Sells

The creative power of congressional writers never ceases to amaze. They've labeled a bill the Disclosure Act, when in actuality it serves to obscure donations from the biggest contributors to political campaigns.

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Stop Marketing Now!

Don't you know there's a recession on - maybe a depression? You have to stop marketing now. Well, most of you at least.

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Sales Maverick

The sales maverick goes it alone. He doesn't wait for campaigns, barely listens in sales meetings, and immediately knows how to pitch any product on just hearing its name. White papers, market research, and even case studies are useless to him. After all, customers don't read that stuff.

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Yelling at the Radio

My children continue to remind me that the commentator on the radio can't hear me. Yet I persist in my rant at bad advice.

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Potato Battery Marketing

We all know what a potato battery is. You put a copper (penny) and a nickel (nickel) electrode in a potato and produce a small current of electricity. It's a classic experiment that's been bouncing around school science fairs for decades. So if everyone has heard about it, why does it keep showing up?

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Generating Business Leads that Matter

If you don't need any new business leads, stop reading. Or better yet, comment on this post and tell me what business you're in. The truth in business today is that most of us need leads.

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What's Being Said to Your Customers

So much of our time in business is spent crafting the next pitch that we fail to hear what is being said about us. Are your customers happy? Yes? Are they happy because of the benefits you are touting?

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Sell What You've Got

Many businesses spend all their time preparing the next best thing to sell that they fail to realize the value of selling what's right under their noses.

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Content: Where Does It Come From?

We keep hearing all the SEO guru's saying that content is king. They tell you to get content out on the web that somehow points back to you. But where to you get all this content?

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The Relationship Between Selling and Marketing

A recent article appeared in the Baltimore Business Journal asking "Are you selling or just marketing?"

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What Do You Believe In?

Okay, you have a brand. It's a brand that provides value to customers in the form of quality products. It's a brand you've spend umpteen thousands of dollars advertising and building. And yet consumers want to know something else about your brand. What do you believe in?

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Your Untapped Viral Marketing Power Tool

Many companies think of marketing communications as mere advertising, mass, direct, or otherwise.

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The Dangers of Competition Between Sales and Marketing

I recently ran into an interesting situation. A business owner learned that his marketing managers had extensive sales experience – always a good thing in a marketing manager. He put his brain to work on this little tidbit and figured that if his marketing people were selling along side his salespeople, he could increase sales without increasing overhead.

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Relationship and Price

"I lowered the price to get them in the door. I knew that once they saw the value of our service and we could build a relationship, they would be a good repeat customer."

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The Power of Case Studies

When seeking to build trust with new prospect, case studies can be more effective that sales copy for a couple of reasons...

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On-Going Marketing of Tech Products

I've recently stumbled across and old friend - high-tech instructional writing. I've been writing a user manual for an addition to an online software platform. As I've been putting this together, I have started to wonder why marketing isn't more involved in the creation of user manuals.

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Credible Companies Sell More

Have you ever received a call from a company you've never heard of wanting to tell you about a product you've never heard of? How do you react?

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Five Roadblocks to Writing Your Marketing Story

Every company has a story. Unfortunately not every company has a writer.

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Marketing Step 1: Get to Know People

“I like to reminisce with people I don’t know. Granted, it takes longer.” –Stephen Wright

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Writing Attention-Getting Marketing Copy

When you think of attention-getting marketing copy, do you see images of those old call-outs in the star-burst? They said things like NEW, BONUS, and FREE.

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Reader-Friendly Writing for the Web

So search engines find you and you have well-written, valuable information, but is your insightful article easy on the eyes?

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Getting on Message in Marketing and Sales

We’ve all seen the ad that lists features and boasts great value. Are we sold? Not really. On the other hand, great ads get my attention and keep me thinking about them until I’m persuaded to do something.

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Is This Real Marketing or More Lip Stick on the Pig

Ford is announcing a big "marketing" splash during an upcoming American Idol (story), and I have to wonder if this is real marketing or just putting more lipstick on the pig.

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Number One Half-Truth About Pricing

I’ve worked with companies who have great products, great messages, and great customer service, but their pricing just kills their whole marketing package. Customers love hearing about the product, they spend time reading through web materials and brochures, and they even express a desire to buy the product. Then they see the price.

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Prove Your Expertise

It's not enough to run a catchy ad that says your an expert. When dealing with savvy business to business buyers, you need to prove it. Proving you're the expert involves...

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Succeed with Marketing Allies

Often, creating an effective marketing initiative within a company can be difficult. Care must be taken to insure that stakeholders in the management group understand and foster the attitudes necessary to support the initial expense and subsequent follow-through of the marketing effort. To do this, marketers must form key alliances within the company.

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A B2B Key to Establishing Expertise

A case study is really a story. A story about a company faced with a decision. The plot of the story is the circumstances leading up to the decision.

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Cut Marketing to Grow Your Company? Huh?

Why is it that when times start to get rocky, companies that have finally started to show a little progress in their branding choose to cut marketing?

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CMO Council Survey

According to Marketing Management, CMO Council findings revealed "only 10% of respondents to a recent survey said their marketing groups are 'highly influential and strategic' within the company."

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What Goes into a Great Marketing Strategy?

Unresolved issues that are buried come back later in bigger and uglier ways. To come up with a great marketing strategy, you need to be willing to ask hard questions, give straight answers, bruise egos, lose face, break hearts, and kill all your darling ideas. At the core of the marketing strategy is honesty

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How Does Marketing Impact Closing the Sale?

First, we need to lay down some assumptions about your sales staff. We will assume they are gregarious, relationship builders who’ve already been through a number of training classes to hone their people skills and bring home the bacon. In short, you should be starting with professionals. The newbie sales people should be surrounded by enough experienced rainmakers to keep them on the right way or show them the highway.

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Are Your Close Ratios Amazing?

Consider whether this describes your business: Every prospect understands exactly what my business is about

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Why Research?

One of the first sales jobs I had was selling printing. Working in the publishing industry I had purchased a lot of printing and understood the process well. I thought, “I’ve been the target market for several years, I can sell this product in my sleep.” The truth was ...

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Say What You Mean

At the heart of good copy is clarity - saying what you mean. The anonymous mass copywriters never rise above the mean because they only parrot what they think others want to hear or they try to be clever until all meaning is lost.

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It's All About the Product, Isn't It?

So much of business is built around things. A company banks its future on a hot new product. Product management is the hub of manufacturing, distribution, and retail. Large companies drive out small companies with the promise of saving money. Advertising links happiness to cars, houses, and things to fill up our houses and empty our wallets.

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Motivate: It's What Sells

Marketing copy that motivates, be it advertising, sales collateral, packaging, or even business proposals, has to be passionate enough to create desire and rational enough to support the decision. It should, at once, spark within the customer the motivation to buy and provide the necessary rationale to explain the purchase to his wife. It's a left brain/right brain kind of thing.

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