I recently conducted a pair of Messaging Platform interviews with clients. I was struck by how good they are at their core competencies.

And how most market like it’s still 1991.

It’s not a knock so much as a reality. Marketing has changed more the last five years than it did the prior 50.

Anyone would have trouble keeping up – especially in the context of a small business, where the marketing manager is also managing sales staff, fighting PR battles, and scraping gum off the conference table.

The result, of course, is an unhappy kind of stasis. Companies keep throwing dollars at one-way channels like trade advertising – even as ROI shrinks.

They might be too busy to notice. Their copywriter shouldn’t be.

The Opportunity

I’m a huge believer in the value-added copywriter – the marketing genius who brings more to the table than the ability to sling words.

Are you savvy enough to walk into a company, define the message, see the holes in the marketing plan, and maximize the return on their tight marketing budget?

Can you confidently explain the value of engaging customers via blogs? Can you leverage the latest technology on behalf of your client?

Can you do all this in business terms your client will find attractive?

It’s Not About the Words

A recent small business client built a great product, but lacked a consistent, differentiated message. His Web site actually inhibited sales. And he didn’t understand the power of engaged communities.

We sat down. He listened. We fixed the problems. And sold two years of production in 1.5 months.

It wouldn’t have happened if all I sold were vowels, consonants and assorted punctuation. Instead, I sold success. Will that client ever go anywhere else?

The Copywriter of the Future

As the evolution of marketing quickens, copywriters increasingly occupy a unique space.

Content is King. Engagement is Queen.

And knowing how to get results is fast becoming as important as writing the words which get them.

New marketing channels are created on an almost hourly basis. The people best prepared to exploit them are those who fill them with content.

That’s you. The copywriter.

It’s Different Today. Are You Ready?

I don’t want to hype Web 2.0 beyond reason. But my 20+ years of experience offers me a unique perspective.

Years ago, a single copywriter couldn’t begin to compete with an ad agency’s horde of media specialists, art directors, traffic coordinators, account execs, and assorted stuffed suits.

Today, one smart copywriter can out-market the whole bunch. And do it on behalf of a company 1/10 the size of the ad agency’s mega-client.

It’s not easy. But the leverage is there – if you’re perceptive enough to seize it.

Viral. Engagement. Video. RSS. Buzz. Blogs. Skype-enabled VOIP.

They’re buzzwords. But they’re also levers. Long levers. And Archimedes once said that if he had a long enough lever and a place to stand, he could move the earth.

Today’s value-added copywriter has the leverage to move the marketing universe. Are you ready?

[tags]copywriter, web 2.0, marketing, [/tags]