About Me

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Len focuses on helping small and new businesses succeed through developing appropriate marketing and sales strategies. Len enjoys mentoring, relishes in getting both arms and feet wet in addressing technology, marketing and sales issues. He understands the drivers impacting business results for today and tomorrow including time-to-market, time-to-revenue, marketing, sales channels and social media.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Why you needed the Word Processor in that Office Productivity Suite

Whether you have a Windows-based, Linux or Mac PC, you probably have an office productivity suite that came along with it as part of your bundled purchase.

These tools go from basic to professional and usually feature 4 very useful software applications:

  1. Word processing
  2. Spreadsheet
  3. Presentation tool
  4. E-Mail, Calendar and Contact Manager

In this article we’re going to show you the power of the word processing application you have purchased and how you can use it to advertise and promote your business.

If you are my age you may remember when dedicated word processor workstations populated a few desks in offices right next to electric and manual typewriters. This was the mid-1970s and the seeds of the electronic PC revolution were being planted. I was a road warrior and sent in tapes and lists to my very able assistants and they pulled up letters and made changes and fired them off to clients and prospects.

The word processor has come a long way since those days. In fact products like Microsoft Word or Word in OpenOffice are far from being word processors. They are publishing tools that can be used to create letterhead, newsletter and other promotional templates. They can be integrated with applications that have mailing lists (spreadsheets and contact managers for example) to generate conventional mass mailings. They can integrate addresses on to envelopes.

If you are trying to create a distinctive look for your brand and you don’t have resident designers in-house or more sophisticated publishing tools, your word processor can be a very effective tool for creating logos and advertising messages. The easiest thing to try is pick an unusual font, for example Eurostile and apply it to your company name. Now enlarge the font to make it bigger. An 18 point font can be a good size for a logo on a letterhead. You can vary the inter-character spacing of the letters to stretch or condense the logo.

Now experiment with colour.
Most word processors let you change the colour of the font based on preselected colour chips or through the mixing of custom colours.

Add a line in a second colour. Your word processor gives you the flexibility to vary the thickness of the line so that it can be proportioned to fit with your font style. You can create terrific logos this way.

Your word processing application has the capability of generating style sheets, letterhead, proposal templates, price lists, menus, advertising collateral, newsletters and almost anything else you can think of for print. You can even create web pages using your word processor.

Here’s an example of a single page advertisement created by modifying an existing template provided in Microsoft Works Picture It. Total time to create – 5 minutes.

So you can see just how much you can do for basic advertising and promotion just using the word processing application within your PC.

In our next article we will show you the power of on-line word processing tools (accessible through your Internet connection) that can cost you absolutely nothing. The proliferation of these tools is changing how we perceive and use software.


The StreetSmart Marketer said...

One of the most common mistakes i see start ups making, is wasting money on expensive logos, business cards and letterhead, when exactly what you suggest will do for almost any start up.
Instead of wasting time and money on graphics etc, start ups should be focussing all their time and energy on generating sales

DGCK said...

While this is a reasonable alternative for a startup SOHO or hobby biz...at some point a business needs to secure the advice of professional designers. This need not be an inordinately expensive undertaking but brand expression and the attendant brand value goes way beyond a sexy font and some cool colours. You really need to think about what the tone and personality of your brand is and how that can positively and/or negatively impress your audience. Wont' argue about the economic efficiencies however

Len Rosen said...

Couldn't agree more with this last posting. Tone and personality in branding are very important. But if you are on a very tight budget, there is a lot you can do with the existing investment you have already made to get some identity going with your brand while you ramp up your sales.