Catching attention in English

An interview with senior English copywriting expert Mike Druttman explains why such skills are important for a Japanese exporting business. Find this ability and use it. Never mind where the writer is physically located.

Why is marketing writing so important today?

We live in a world full of choices. The products or services offered to us often seem very similar to each other. So what are the differences and how important are they? That’s why we communicate.

Take refrigerators for example. Two models will have the same dimensions and inside arrangements. Why prefer one of them? Perhaps all the plastic parts are made from a tougher formulation. Shelves won’t break off after 4-5 years. The product offers a longer warranty period. This may justify the model’s marginally higher price. Who wants to change their fridge simply because the shelves don’t last?

If your marketing communications are effective, your customers are more likely to choose your products or services than those of your competitors.

What marketing challenges do Japanese exporters face today?

You need to be as convincing as the local English-speaking players. Imagine that you’re a speaker at a European conference. You want to communicate with the same fluency and ease as other speakers. Your presentation can be better and clearer than theirs. There’s no reason why English should be a barrier. With professional help, it can become a springboard for you instead.

Surely native English speakers in Japan can help. Why look outside for marketing writing?

The question here is how well English is being used as an effective business tool. How much effort does the writer make so that the heading and opening sentences read well? How short and appealing is the text? An English copywriting expert will have these skills and develop them over many years. Japanese exporters can benefit from this. Because such people are not easily found, the focus should be on the abilities and not the supplier’s location.

Is it enough to know and write perfect English?

No. A writer must keep improving the creative approach and editing techniques. That’s the way to get your messages noticed in a short time. Another requirement is to remove repetitions and unnecessary words. Here’s an example of how to cut down a text without losing its meaning: 

“SAGANO comprises a group of companies that are active in the field of computers and are working in businesslike cooperation” – 20 words.

“SAGANO comprises a group of companies working closely together in the computer field” – 13 words. All the meaning is still there.

Why is it important to integrate messages?

You should use your good English texts everywhere. If they works well on the website, use them as well to prepare your corporate brochure. Then re-use the texts in a video or presentation. Your Facebook and LinkedIn pages also need good English marketing texts. An English copywriting specialist who knows how to ‘integrates messages’ is looking for new communication opportunities for you.

A company has many assets. It just needs a good storyteller to make other people appreciate them. 

Mike Druttman is a member of the Israel-Japan Chamber of Commerce. An English language business writer and copywriter, he is helping Japanese companies to communicate better with international audiences. His site is www.keyzuna.com