I’m Al Pirozzoli, a Creative Director, Writer, Strategist, Consultant.
So you know, I am not an ad agency or marketing firm.
We can work together on a freelance, project basis with no complications or contracts.
Even if you have an agency, they can’t do it all and they don’t know it all. An outside view can always make a positive difference.
I annoyed the ad manager fourteen times in a row to get a lower-paying job
I started out my career in a storm of difficulties. I was working as a service technician for a regional commercial kitchen repair company, a job for which I was a misfit entirely. From my earliest years as a kid I gravitated to storytelling that sometimes included offering rather convincing reasons for not having completed my homework or forgetting a chore at home. Creating ideas and thinking of unique things and telling stories were a torrid love affair for me.
How I wound up in the equipment repair business is too long a story to cover here. When I realized I could no longer live for Friday and dread Monday I knew the end was near. So, I took a leap.
After 14 in-person visits to the advertising manager of large daily city newspaper, he finally gave in and placed me in a job preparing ads for the Help Wanted section (big pay cut). Hey, it served as my first step into the world of advertising where over time, I knew I would be paid well for my ideas and storytelling! (I had to keep telling myself that.)
We expected our first child in August
I took this new job three weeks before my wife was due to delivery our first child. I didn’t have the heart (actually the guts), to tell my wife that I had just taken a 50 percent cut in pay to get an entry position in the low rung of advertising. Fortunately, it did provide a step up from, “get me a cup of coffee and pick up my dry cleaning on the way in.”
Once she came home and things went well with the baby, I confessed. She already knew something would happen with my job since there wasn’t any way I could hide my discouragement with my work. Well, we survived. I went on to attend Paier College of Art and worked my way up in the advertising business from designer, art director, associate creative director, writer/producer, to vice president creative director and eventually launched my own agency.
After years of study, hard work, very long hours, dedication, and some life-shaping suffering I was knighted as a VP/Creative Director.
At first, I hated this word
Fiduciary! That’s the one. I was recruited as president of a highly specialized branding and sports marketing company years ago and given charge of everything from finance to bringing a vision to the firm to lifting the creative product.
After signing on I discovered the serious debt the company owed. I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know about this going into the position. But I knew it soon enough. That’s when my mentor helped me learn about the significance of this powerful word. In short it means:
- Holding assets in trust for a beneficiary.
- Stewardship of someone else’s possessions.
- A director who stands in a special relationship of trust, confidence or responsibility in obligation to others.
Pretty sobering definition don’t you think. So, there I was in the midst of a massive business problem. I stayed. I fought. I engrained the idea that each person in the company was now a fiduciary along with me. It improved but I had my days. “Stupid, stupid word,” I’d tell myself. Over time the debt was paid, and business increased. It was a personal burden not just a professional one. You can’t go through a serious challenge like that and not own it. You just can’t.
Fiduciary—the word works, and I respected it. But I’ve yet to see it on a T-shirt or refrigerator magnet. Now, I’ve said all that to get to this. If you have been given a gift to write, to recognize stories, to love the visual…and have the ability to uncover a company’s unique value difference and convey it, then you have a fiduciary responsibility to that gift God has imprinted in you. Secondly, you have a fiduciary responsibility to apply it to support others.
The only logical choice
My primary concern for clients is that they convey their unique value difference in compelling ways to attain profitable sales opportunities. In so doing I present them as the only logical choice for their prospects to do business with. It’s absolutely critical that your prospects get a clear, impressive and aligned message about your offerings and how they align with them.
That requires strong words and images that convey intellectual and emotional appeals. But first and foremost, you must craft a truly differentiated message, or you are viewed as another commodity product/service out there. And you know what that means: you are judged on price!
It’s that unique and powerful “magic” you offer…
you know, the reason you’re in business.
Arm yourself with a great story to make your point. Most buyers know that price is not the same as value, but we all need to be reminded constantly. That requires conveying value difference messages.
Otherwise prospects consider your business to be a commodity like all the other similar companies out there, and it’s worth repeating, that means they will be judged on price. (That gives me chills, and it should for you as well.)
If we can lift a 350,000-pound aircraft into the sky, there’s no reason we can’t lift your unique value.
A Marketing Lesson, Brought to You by the Klingons.
In Star Trek, Captain Jean-Luc Picard fought Klingons. Their cloaking technology made their ship invisible. Cloaking is the antithesis of what your business wants. But without differentiated marketing messages to engage your audience, you are ostensibly invisible.
It’s a fact: Technology alone doesn’t get you on the buyer’s radar screen, your message difference does. The onslaught of daily messages is a merciless cacophony. you need more than technology apps filled with commodity messages to get through. Your value difference conveyed in compelling ways is what gets prospects to look. Once you achieve that your odds go up that they will become interested.
Heed the reality:
Undifferentiated messages are ignored by buyers. In fact, it can make you more invisible more often. The greater the technology assault carrying undifferentiated messages, the more it becomes invisible to audiences. Technology may reach a buyer, but it doesn’t mean it will connect with him. That should keep you up at night.
To view some of the portfolio solutions I’ve created: view solutions.
Blog: I get to rant, rave, encourage, and inform. Read more on the BLOG.
and more about Al Pirozzoli.