Creative copywriting is valuable currency, because savvy consumers judge you by what you say—and how you say it.

As a copywriter and creative marketer across all media, I write, design, produce, and deliver marketing for business owners and managers who are serious about marketing. My approach is simple: I ask you what you want to achieve. I look for insights into how your customers relate to your brand. I develop a clear strategy. And I execute on that strategy until we achieve your goals.

While I hail from a traditional agency background (I owned a full-service advertising agency for nearly a decade), I have spent the past several years educating clients that the future of marketing is online. Since 2003, my team and I have translated the beauty and power of our award-winning branding, print, and broadcast work into web marketing strategies, social and email campaigns, and website designs that work for clients and their businesses. I'd be delighted to do the same for you.

To discuss your website copywriting, content development, design or creative marketing needs today, please contact David Branby, 8 am to 5 pm Pacific.

Marketing Analysis
As my good friend Alice Heiman says, marketing is everything you do to create leads for your salespeople. If your marketing efforts aren't generating enough leads, then it's time for some serious analysis to turn that around.

Strategic Communications Start With Sharp Analysis
• I assess your strengths and weaknesses with a S.W.O.T. analysis.
• I review and make recommendations about your current marketing.
• I develop strategies based on research, analysis, and insights.
• I create marketing and communications plans • and execute them flawlessly.

Marketing Plans
I'll be the first to admit it: A truly successful marketing campaign is always a team effort between the creative person and the client. I have found that if a business owner just wants to "offload" the marketing responsibility, it's probably not a good fit. I find my success in working shoulder-to-shoulder with business owners and marketers, listening to their insights and capturing them in words and images that motivate customers to buy.

Hard Questions Make For Hard-Hitting Campaigns.
• What are your short- and long-term goals for your marketing efforts?
• Does your web site tell your company's story quickly, convincingly, and effectively?
• Do your sales and marketing people have the tools they need to succeed?
• Do you keep in touch with your customers on a regular basis?
• Do you capture information about your customers • especially your "heavy users"?

Preparing a marketing communications plan is a collaborative process where I work with the client to conduct research, analyze the research, note key insights, and use that information to guide the decision-making process. In short, the question is, "How do I spend my marketing budget wisely?" A solid marketing communications plan details the marketing mix and presents, in a simple and understandable way, what you're spending, where you're spending it, and why it makes sense. Costs for preparing a marketing communications plan include meetings, writing account service, research, and all associated costs of production, collation, and presentation.

Copywriting Services
David Ogilvy, one of the true "greats" in 20th century advertising, said that the copywriter was the most important person in the advertising agency. Why? Because a talented copywriter can "distill the thought" about your product or service into a few golden words that can make your cash register ring.

In the words of copywriting legend Jim Jordan, "the heart and the power of advertising is 'a few words so skillfully targeted, so clear in their positioning, so vivid in their articulation, and so memorable in their identification with a given brand•that they become people's principal reason for buying the brand." You've seen it in great campaigns all your life.

If your marketing lacks that special punch, it could be your copywriting and message development is uninspired. Fortunately, this shop was created by a copywriter, so fresh, creative writing is at the heart of everything I do at David Branby Advertising, Inc.

Naming
Using a process of constructional linguistics, word play, and poetry, David Branby Advertising, Inc. creates evocative, proprietary names for businesses, products, and services. Each name development project begins with a meeting to agree on the meanings and messages you would like to be expressed in your name. By combining selected morphemes•or word bites•we develop lists of words or short phrases to express your theme by denotation, connotation, simile, idiom, or metaphor. These are candidate names. We then work through the process with you and your team to narrow in on the successful name for your needs.

Branding
What is a brand? In today's world, a brand is defined as an individual's "gut feeling" about your product, your services, and your reputation. A brand is communicated in A) a visual symbol called a logo; B) in trade dress that conveys, in a unique visual language, that you are an organized, high-quality operation; and C) in a differentiating look across all your materials that says you are attuned to the ways in which your clients, stakeholders, and governmental entities need to receive information. At David Branby Advertising, Inc., branding is what we do. We package businesses to help them achieve their organizational goals.

Logo Design
Once we are assigned a branding project, we gather category and competitor information and write a creative brief, which guides the logo design process for your business or brand. Our talented, professional designers generate a number of strong logo candidates for you and your team to choose from, and we go through two or sometimes three rounds of intense design activity to develop a logo that meets the objectives of the creative brief. Our development process includes research, concept, layout, design, photography or illustration, digital in-house proofs, art direction, and account service. Deliverables include completed digital files prepped for pre-press, and electronic files suitable for e-mail signatures and web site use. The scope of a typical logo design project allows for two rounds of client alterations.

Business System
When the logo has been decided on, the real fun begins. From there, it's vital to the organization to "spool out" the new company look and feel across all communications and all points of contact with customers or clients. Typically, this starts with a uniform "business system" or what is commonly called a stationery package, which includes business cards, letterhead, envelopes, mailing labels, note cards and accompanying envelopes for the use of everyone in the organization. The effect of this piece cannot be overstated: it often becomes the most-used, noticed, and effective marketing tool in the organization.

Trade Dress
This is a transformational stage for any business, and particularly exciting because of the way it energizes the organization from the staff in the mailroom to the CEO and everyone in between. Whether it's company brochures and collateral or trade show booths, building signage, logoed oxfords or polo shirts, even TV spots, rolling out a company's "trade dress" signals a new era and a new energy, which translates directly to increased productivity and a better bottom line.

Graphic Design
You know the old saying, "It's not what you say, it's how you say it?" Graphic design can make even an ordinary message simply extraordinary andgive meaning to your marketing communications.

Graphic design is the business discipline that encompasses artistic talent, technical rigor, and sound strategic thinking to create effective visual communications and to build brands that succeed in the marketplace. As Daniel Pink famously said, design is the ability to create something that has significance as well as usefulness. Graphic designers use typography, photography, illustration, film, video, mixed media, and layout techniques to produce visual communications that consumers respond to. In some cases, graphic design communicates an idea so effectively, words aren't even necessary.

As a design-centered marketing communications firm, we rely on design to create a "visual language" that speaks for your brand at every point of contact with your audience. This visual language, created over time, typically includes a wordmark or logo, a suite of typefaces that represent your brand, and unique coloration, style, and "trade dress" that make your brand distinct from your competitors.

The most successful brands in the world today make value graphic design and make investments in it as an integral part of their marketing communications. One thing we've observed about the millions of brands that languish in obscurity or never get off the ground is, they don't value graphic design in the same way, and it shows. So, add meaning, clarity, and power to your firm's marketing efforts with professional graphic design across every point of customer contact, and reap the benefits now and well into the future.

Public Relations
Credit the witty Brendan Behan for saying, "The only bad publicity is an obituary notice." In the real world, much of what is written and reported on comes to the media in the form of press releases and story pitches by people who have relationships with editors, reporters, and these days, bloggers and other generators of online content.

Apart from just "getting the word out," public relations today is often referred to as reputation management, and for good reason. Public relations, when done well, is all about generating information about a product, service, or organization that is responsible and responsive. That means it honestly expresses your business's policies, and it is responsive to, and in the best interest of, the people who care about your business: shareholders, customers, vendors, the communities you serve, and the interested public.

From where we sit, though, public relations is about storytelling: every business has an interesting story behind it, and many times, it's one of great interest to certain segments of the general public. And that's good for your business. On a higher level, public relations is a simple "win-win" transaction; by generating publicity pieces, we are providing content to media, who use it to add information, color, and variety to their publications, posts, and broadcasts. In return, our clients benefit from the exposure. And, in the event of a disaster or other unfortunate occurrence, it's not a bad thing for the media to have a series of "good" stories on file about your company; it could lessen the blow to your reputation from an arbitrary, anomalous event.

Website Design
It's been said that consumers evaluate a web site in 1/20th of a second. That means your site has to grab them right from the start. But first, they have to get there, most likely through great search-engine optimization. At David Branby Advertising, Inc., we marry these two ideas to create beautiful web sites that work.

Our philosophy is based on what works for business owners, and what works for search engines. What we, as web designers, believe is important is this:

  • The site must telegraph at a glance what the business is about, and who it's for.

  • The site must capture the spirit of the enterprise, as envisioned by the owner.

  • The site must be professionally written. We have zero tolerance for typos.

  • The site must be well thought-out in terms of information architecture•what goes where, and why it matters to the consumer.

  • The site must be beautifully designed down to the details. Design gives meaning, marketability, and style to a site.

  • The site must include search engine optimization strategies, not as an afterthought, but a part of the structure from the beginning to the end.

Search Engine Optimization
You've invested in a smart, beautiful, beautifully-architected web site. That's great. But can anyone find it? The answer may surprise you. Put yourself in your customer's shoes for a second and simply type in your favorite search engine what you think a typical customer would type in to find your business. Better yet, go to Google's Keyword Tool and find out exactly what people type in to find businesses like yours. (You might be surprised!) That's the simplest way to discover the gap between where you are and where you want to be in search. Fortunately, we can fill the gap with a few key strategies, so you can get the hits and get back to running your business.

First, we design it to be highly searchable by web "spiders," which is why we create all text in your site to be easily "readable" by the search engines. (A lot of sites look great, but the search engines can't "read" them because the words have been converted to artwork. Our sites marry the two approaches•they look great, and they're "readable" by search engines.) Second, we are big on site content, using keyword tools to discover what people are really typing in search engines to find businesses like yours. Third, we create subnavigation and a site map to create more internal links, which let the search engines "browse around" your site and index it more easily. Fourth, we incorporate a blog into your site to create permalinks, which make it look like you're updating your site frequently, which search engines love. Fifth, we include keywords in both the title and the description of your site and create an XML Site Map file that we submit to Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. We also implement five other steps that help your site rise to the top in organic search—and help your sales rise, too.

How We Work With Media
If your project involves the buying of time or space through a media outlet such as a newspaper, magazine, or broadcast station, we require 100 percent of the media costs on or before the closing date for the media, with no exceptions, because we are not a bank, and the media wants their money right away. As an agent for a disclosed principal (a legal term), we also include a sequential liability clause in our insertion orders to make it clear that we are purchasing the media on your behalf and not for our own use, and that you are ultimately responsible for the media purchases you authorize. To avoid conflict of interest, we do not charge mark-ups on the purchase of media on your behalf. Instead, where no agency consideration is offered, we charge for the recorded time we spend researching, planning, placing, and/or analyzing your media purchases.

How We Work With Outside Purchases
When we hire or procure outside products or services on your behalf or for use in your marketing projects, we mark up those services to compensate for acquiring them or procuring them, relying on our expertise and proprietary vendors to secure high-quality, cost-effective, and commercially-acceptable solutions every time. Because we do this, we can warrant the product and provide you a money-back guarantee if the product is unacceptable and refused by you upon delivery and inspection. In short, we take responsibility so you don't have to.

How We Develop The Right Ideas
Contrary to popular belief, good creative work doesn't often come in a flash of inspiration; it comes from smart strategy and lots of perspiration. This is why we consider several concepts, work them through, try them out, and revise them. Because of this, and the need to schedule our workflow in a businesslike fashion, we normally ask for up to seven (7) working days, depending on the job's complexity, before we submit our rough concepts for your review. Of course, if you have a rush project or deadline pressure, we adjust our workflow and timing accordingly, and have the discretion of charging a rush charge if warranted. In our experience, it is best if we present our rough concepts to you or your designated marketing communications manager and perhaps one or two others. This ensures that we all stay focused and are not distracted by too many personal opinions. As the old adage in the ad business says, Look in all your parks, in all your cities; you'll never find statues of committees. Our rough concepts typically consist of copy and comprehensive layouts for your review. These are generally adequate to convey what we believe is the best approach to take, considering your budget, schedule, objectives, and preferences. On the other hand, they are not so well developed as to have wasted time and effort if we need a course correction. After presenting, we ask for comments. The more objective and specific you can be, the better we can respond. Revision normally takes less than a week, and we schedule a second presentation shortly thereafter. From the input at this second presentation, further minor refinements are made as necessary. We also finalize the production timetable, and the scheduling of additional services such as photography, video, print, or web production.

How We Ensure Your Satisfaction
We recommend that the finished layouts be routed to the appropriate decision makers for fact and detail checking only, reserving stylistic and subjective decisions to you or your designated marketing communications manager. For best results and to avoid cost overruns, it is important that all communication with us come from you or your designated marketing communications manager. During the course of the project we keep you or your marketing communications manager informed of our progress. Activities that affect the schedule or budget are identified in writing. Our goal is to keep your project moving ahead quickly, smoothly, and cost-effectively, to make sure that we'll produce even better results than you hired us for.

Our Charges
Like most service businesses, we sell our time and talent, and our invoices are based on the time we invest in a project. For 2017, we bill our time at standard industry hourly rates, which are unchanged from 2012 and in some cases lower than previous years because of the recovering economy. We make every attempt to be good stewards of our clients' marketing dollars, while striving to make a reasonable profit for our efforts. Or, in the words of my wife's sainted grandfather, you can shear a sheep many times, but you can only skin it once. If that sounds reasonable to you, I welcome the opportunity to have a cup of coffee and discover more about your marketing vision and needs.