Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Numbers Game

In the business world, as we’ve been told a million times, it’s a numbers game. That usually means one thing to most of us, but I’d like to suggest that it perhaps take on an added meaning for you as you move forward with your marketing.

Welcome to another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

The Charlotte Observer ran a fascinating article on (consumer) magazines that use numbers in their headlines to help sell that particular issue.

Harper’s Bazaar talks up “783 New Ideas to Flatter You,” Glamour magazine has “500 Spring Looks For All Shapes & Sizes,” Field & Stream magazine offers “19 Ways to Get Out Alive (Survival Skills).”

As one industry insider says, “It’s all voodoo.”

But as Cole Porter lyricized long before, “Do do that voodoo that you do so well.”

In other words, numbers – in all their mathematical mystery – have a hold on us because it somehow speaks to our sense of logic and specificity and preciseness and definitiveness.

“Bigger is better,” quotes the Observer. And “odd numbers seem more believable than even numbers…The odd number speaks to authenticity. If it’s odd, it can’t be made up or shouldn’t have been made up.”

“You’re alerting readers that you have the expertise, you’ve honed down the massive amount of information out there, especially with the Internet, and you won’t waste their time,” another expert observes.

So if it works for magazines, how about your own promoting efforts – say, through your brochures, your press releases, your website, your direct mail, your 30-second “elevator” speech? I don’t know about you, but I’ve represented 42 different industries through 23 various capabilities as I have spent 11 years as principal of JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Try incorporating significant statistics, facts, figures, records into your story…perhaps as they relate to case studies where you can show the measure – literally – of your capabilities in helping a client. They lend credence to your message, and cachet to your business.

Numbers…it all adds up.

Joel Kweskin

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