Word of Mouth – August 25, 2011 – Guest Blogger Neil Brownlee

August 25, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Hamptons Creative Group - Word of Mouth Blog

Word of Mouth – August 25, 2011

Guest Blogger Neil Brownlee

This week’s guest blogger is Neil Brownlee, an advertising copywriter and creative director who had made a successful career by branding new businesses and re-branding existing products and services. He has received a Telly, Clio and other advertising awards.

“In This Economy?”

Being a Creative Director for an advertising agency, I regularly make advertising and marketing presentations to clients so they can ignite their sales, make customers happy, get rich, and retire early. Sounds like fun, huh?

So what can go wrong?

Sometimes I’m asked: what’s the key to a successful presentation? First, you have to believe in what you are presenting. Nothing falls on its face faster than a tepid, your-heart-ain’t-in-it pitch.  If you don’t get a client all pepped up then you’re dead in the water because clients get cold from 

snow jobs mighty fast.

So what does this have to do with the economy? Just think about what is going on daily. The stock market plummets, then climbs, and people can’t decide whether to take a Xanax or hide in the closet.

Unemployment sits and stagnates and no one has a clue how to get things moving again. One statistic I recently read made me stop and think – 75% of American consumers make 95% of the purchases. So you have a huge audience. But here’s the catch: That 75% either doesn’t have any spending money or they’re just afraid to spend it, preferring to hide their cash under the mattress, save it or, if they have real chutzpah and like roller coasters, invest it in the stock market.

So along comes Mr. Creative Director with his plans to storm the market and seize market share with the ferocity of Viking pillagers and plunderers. You stand there and pour your heart into the pitch. You generate so much energy that the air in the conference room tingles with electricity. Your client starts to sweat and just can’t wait to get your creative efforts on TV, the internet, the radio, in the newspapers or in magazines. The client even starts preparing his bragging speech for his golf course buddies.

You stand there knowing that you’ve just knocked ‘em dead and the deal is done. Then the client asks the dreaded question, “Great work. Terrific. So how much will all this genius cost me?”  

You take a deep breath and give the client the dollar amount. The client takes a deep breath, looks at you and says, “You expect me to spend that in this economy?”

Today, more than ever, advertising and marketing people have to be conscious of budgets and more creative than ever in how that money is spent. With less dollars being spent that means the selling message has to be more provocative and persuasive than ever.

What advice do I give to clients and marketing people? They have to think of each and every marketing message as a one-time proposition. You have one shot at making a sale and it had better be good. So do your homework, find the need that the target market craves to have satisfied and show them how your product or service satisfies it.

Getting someone to open their wallet and spend money is the #1 challenge facing businesses today. In order to be up to it you have to know the market, the product, and the media where the message is appearing and make sure that message is more than just some catchy, cutesy phrase.  

Do that and the electricity will flow from the presentation right to the customer.

Neil Brownlee is the Creative Director at Avalanche Creative Services as well as an Adjunct Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He oversees the development of strategy and creation, in addition to the writing and production of advertising materials in all media formats — TV, radio, print, and online. Neil works with clients on a daily basis to ensure the highest quality and most effective creative product. His mantra is: I believe in results for clients. Anything else is simply conversation.


There are only a few days remaining in the month. After that, our Comprehensive Guide to LinkedIn will no longer be available without cost. In “this economy” why not get yours now?



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