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sales pitch variations

10:31 am on Oct 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Whenever I read advice on 'marketing copy' it always seems to me that what 'works' in the US would not work as well in the UK.

Seems that UK consumers are more wary of copy that seems like 'sales pitch' and, perhaps a little more cynical.

What are your views, Guys?

Any other countries or regions that might need differences in copy - more formal, more agressive, whatever...

10:48 am on Oct 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I totally agree about the US/UK differences. UK consumers definitely respond to different things. Then again, if you check adverts on European TV, large companies will often run a single campaign over the whole of Europe, redubbing to the local language as appropriate... except for the UK, where they use a different ad. *shrug*

You can usually tell an ad on UK TV that was made for Europe, because it goes for all the wrong buttons, and gets totally the wrong response

As to specific differences, I think that one big US/UK difference is attitude to jargon.

It seems that in general (no savaging me - I'm stating the general case ;)) in the US jargon gets the response "WOW! I don't know what that means. Must be good!"

In the UK you get "WOW! I don't know what that means. Must be trying to cheat me!"

Customer testomonials are something else I wonder about also. No sane Brit believes that testimonials are written by anyone other than the company PR department, but I notice a lot of US sites seem to have them.

Does this mean they are actually valued by US consumers?

12:03 pm on Oct 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Whats the take on US viewers seeing British sites - do they all seem 'low key' and poorly marketed, or are we off-beam here?
12:26 am on Oct 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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In the US, I believe, we have been so overly saturated by 'hype' advertising it is hard to stand out from your competitor. Its seems in the last decade we have gone to disinformation, desception, and blatent lies to beat the next guy. False advertising laws have just been thrown out the door. We have become used to it and have accepted it as the norm. I think the laws governing this in the UK are more strict in what is allowed so they have not had this junk thrown at them, therfore they can spot the desception easier. They don't see it constantly so something different will catch their eye.

To me it is frustration that I need to put up in big red bold letters "We are the best" instead of just letting the product/service do the talking. We, in the US, are in such a rush rush enviroment we seldome take the time to really research and tend to take anythings word just to save time. In the UK I think they are more apt to find the truth through researching what they read, hear, or see.

Definitally something to consider when you are researching your target market. I tend to, by habit, go for the softer sell and also look for ways to add subtle subliminal messages on a page to tweek the viewers thought patters before they get to the page with the order button. Not to say I have become very good at it, but something I think about when writing a page.

4eyes - to me comercials from the UK, what few I see, tend to have dry humor many times or seem to have an attitude of 'properness' almost to the point of saying to me 'if you don't get it your stupid'. Almost arrogant in some cases. But, overall, they are refreshing to me and I tend to believe them more. Though you need to take into account I am not the average US viewer by any means, way over on the conservative edge.

9:19 am on Oct 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I'd support the comments made and add that every market is different. The most surprising difference comes between USA/UK interpretation. As nations, we might both speak English, but, it's American English and American interpretation that is so different to the "reserved" British-type of English and British interpretation.

Promotional and sales sales copy is fine, in its place, however, in general, a factual approach is certainly taken less cynically.
In addition, it is so important to ensure that a "stop me and by one" angle is included somewhere before the prospective buyer moves on. Make it easy for the buyer to choose by steering them through the site and supplying all the required signals with carefully chosen adjectives.

Words such as "Free," "New," "Best" and "Now" are strong, powerful words to liven up copy without being too intrusive.

Phrases such as "make money," "save time" work well without being OTT (over the top).

It does require skill to write good, captivating copy to communicate to an American audience and even more skill to adapt that to other English speaking markets. Add on non-English markets and you've set your self a big task.

Moving on to Europe, the richness of diversity helps me to understand exactly that point when creating content aimed at an international audience.

There have been many discussions on this and I've referenced a few here.

Further reading on other markets. [webmasterworld.com]

How to make a site international [webmasterworld.com]

Translations will get you top rankings in search engines [webmasterworld.com]


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