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Two of the Most Important Words in Marketing

Mike Beckman

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When marketing a business it is always important to choose your words carefully. Whether it's describing your business, painting a picture of your products and services or relating your company values. How you word it can determine how well you connect with your customers and prospects.

Believe it or not, your prospects and clients do not necessarily want to hear about what your business does or your beliefs. They want to see and hear the message behind the two most important words in your marketing message.

You and We

Your clients and prospects want to know what is in it for them and how your company and its products can improve their bottom line. You and We place the emphasis on your target and the collaboration or service you provide. By beginning sentences with I or Our all of the emphasis of the message is placed on the presenter and none on the target - the people you are trying to persuade. Let us look at a couple of descriptive sentences conveying the same thought and see if you can feel the difference in the message.

1. I work for XYZ, the leader in component manufacturing for the construction market.

1a. You will enjoy all of the benefits of working with XYZ, the leader in component manufacturing for the construction market.

Replacing I with You forces you to adjust the sentence structure to become a valid point, rather than a statement. You begin to lead your target with benefits and not bragging rights. I, is an easy error to spot and fix and you will be surprised in the difference your copy will make when prepared this way. Additional variances of You can fall into place just as easily, such as Your, You are and Yours. i. e. : Your bottom line will benefit with XYZ's software.

Using Our takes a very similar approach by placing emphasis on the wrong subject. Examine the meaning behind the use; are you describing your company, your services? Then Our in this context is a turn off, as all of the emphasis is back on your company. When addressing your target you want to handle it as a collaborative effort between your company and the target you are trying to persuade. To get a better idea let's look at another sentence comparison.

2. Our integration software in the fastest in the business; nothing beats XYZ's solution to warehouse management.

2a. Together, we can solve your warehouse management issues with integration software that has proven to be the fastest in the industry.

Again, the sentence structure must be changed to adapt to demonstrate the collaborative use of the word. By utilizing the word we as an effort between your company and your target, you paint a picture of already working together rather than telling them what your company and products do.

Look over your current marketing pieces, brochures, introduction letters, etc. and see how the sentences are structured. Are they in your favor or that of your target? Write a few down that you feel are not structured to your targets advantage and re-write them. Compare the message and begin to experience the power of two little words that can mean a world of difference to your marketing message: You and We.

Mike Beckman is the Creative Director of Proforma-BPM, a marketing agency providing creative ideas and graphic communications. This article is part of a series dedicated to Anchor Marketing (TM). For additional articles and ideas visit Mike's weblog at or contact him directly at


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