Examples of good (and bad) marketing are all around us. By modeling the pros, you can cut the amount of effort it takes to create your marketing materials, and you can drastically improve the results you’re getting. The key is simply to know where to look and what to look for. These five places are a great place to start.
Magazine covers. The headline writers at popular women’s magazines like O, Cosmo and Marie Claire are masters at reducing an entire topic into a short, captivating headline that grabs people’s attention. Often the full story isn’t quite what the headline makes it out to be. But a headline has done its job if it piques a person’s curiosity enough that she walks out of the supermarket with that magazine tucked neatly inside her eco-friendly reusable tote bag. The same thing goes for headlines you write for emails, online videos, blog posts, teleseminars and info products. Their only job is to hook your audience so you can tell them more.

Infomercials. Few admit to watching them. But if people weren’t tuning in to infomercials—and if they weren’t raking in the big bucks—then companies wouldn’t shell out a small fortune to buy the airtime. So what can you learn from them? Two things in particular. The first is how these sales programs build increasing desire for their product over the course of 30 or 60 minutes. You’ll want to take careful notes on the order that information is presented. For example, how does the infomercial start? At what point do they introduce the product they are selling? And when do they first give you the opportunity to buy?

The other thing you want to watch for is how they build credibility by showing results. Typically this is done by demonstrating the product in action or by incorporating testimonials of people who’ve bought the product or a combination of both. Pay careful attention to what makes the claims seem believable so you can model these practices.

Product packaging. We may have been told by our parents not to judge a book by its cover. But just take a look at the products that end up in our shopping bags or that grace the shelves of our bathrooms and you’ll see most of us do exactly that. Women’s beauty products in particular, from cosmetics to perfume to shampoos, have almost everything to do with marketing—especially since most high-end products are made in the exact same manufacturing plants as those sold in drugstores.

Take for example the Ahava Mineral Botanic pictured above that sells for around $17 a bottle. Why so much? For starters, because it’s not soap. It’s mineral botanic. (I was just saying the other day how I really need to pick up some mineral botanic at the store…)

This product is not produced just anywhere. It’s made in a “Dead Sea Laboratory,” which is of course where really smart scientists with magical ingredients work. The product doesn’t contain long chemical names you can’t pronounce, but rather ingredients like bamboo, fig, hibiscus and pansy. Much of the label is in French, which of course means it works “better.” And to top it all off, the glossy, chocolate brown bottle itself looks like a million bucks.

The point here is simply that we’re often suckered into paying top dollar for something that works no better than a cheaper alternative simply because of how the packaging and the words on that packaging make us feel. And when you learn to invoke emotion through your own marketing materials, you’ll see better results.

Junk mail. Before you toss today’s junk mail into the recycling bin, sort through it and look for the pieces that jump out at you. Watch for the really unique pieces. Pay attention to the layout, the design, the headlines and the marketing copy. Some of my favorite things to model are the long sales letters from nonprofits, book/CD/recipe of the month clubs and time-share offers. These companies invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in testing what works and what doesn’t. Take advantage of that expertise by dissecting what they’re doing and mimicking that in your own sales copy.

The 11:00 news. I have to be honest. I hate local news. But I also have to give the producers credit for the sharp-witted teasers they use during prime time programming to get viewers to stick around. Comments like, “find out what food is in your refrigerator that will lead to certain doom,” and “the big mistake you’re making that could cost you your life savings,” sure do make you sit up and take notice. Granted, I don’t agree with their negativity. But you have to admit that the way in which they lure you in certainly is resourceful.

These are just a few of the many examples that are all around us. So if you want to get better at your own marketing, simply begin to take more notice of what’s getting your attention, and then give some thought as to why. Not only will you become more effective at selling your own products or services, but you’ll also become a wiser consumer too.

Where do you like to look for creative marketing ideas? Let us know by leaving a comment below…

Author's Bio: 

Known as The Corporate Agent, Angelique Rewers, ABC, APR, teaches micro business owners and solopreneurs around the world how to grow their small business by working with Big Business. Get her FREE CD and articles at www.TheCorporateAgent.com.