Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Poor Ad and Marketing Results Comes From Lack of Truth & Integrity

Ask those who create the ad and marketing promotions that fizzle, you'll get a number of excuses as to WHY the whole thing flopped.

Of course, none of those excuses or reasons, would be zeroed in, or targeted at, the creators of the flop.

The MESS, naturally, belongs to others.


However, with careful sleuth like investigation, if we dig deep, we'll uncover a few hidden truths.

For example; if those responsible for creating the non-productive, were asked exactly on what basis did they create the promotion, there'll probably be a lack of successful models that would have been referred to. You may instead, get a messy summary of how 'their creative minds' were looking for that compelling hook and it just wasn't right because of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX - and you can fill in X with whatever you want because that's exactly what it would be filled in with...

...whatever they could come up with!  

There's a disciplined science behind creating advertising and marketing that... WORKS.

And, it's NOT by scratching one's head and saying..." LET'S TRY THIS, IT SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA". - which seems to be the avowed strategy and mantra of the dull and lazy.

Of course, if it's client money on the line and NOT the advertising or marketing people's money, then... anything goes (Which invariably means... a lot of client money gets flushed down the toilet with the client being none the wiser because there's (obviously!) no tracking or accountability as to how the advertising and marketing performs from a money and sales standpoint)

That's not true for the savvy, switched on, responsible marketer or agency team of specialists who are focused on results, on positive ROI - and NOT on winning awards, applause and accreditation for 'outstanding' work.

These people refer to models of past success. They refer and read the (classic) books on salesmanship and accountable-based marketing and advertising. (Tested Ad Methods by John Caples, Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins, The Robert Collier Letter Book by Robert Collier, Ogilvy on Advertising and Confessions of an Ad Man, both by David Ogilvy, How to Write a Good Advertisement by Vic Schwab, Secrets of Successful Direct Mail by Dick Benson...)

They tell the TRUTH about the product or service in an enjoyable and irresistible way.

The whole creative aspect is based on (and driven by) customer, product and company Integrity.

And what does INTEGRITY mean in this context? It means standing for something, honouring your word (by that, I mean telling the truth about what the company does and what the product or service actually does for the user) and delivering the message in a way that captivates, engages and... SELLS.

Most advertising and marketing doesn't match up to that because the creators of such efforts don't match up to owning much of that themselves - truth and integrity.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Big Brand Advertising Stupidity (McCains)

Another vast display of big brand stupidity, lacklustre imaginations and big money waste.

This time, McCains.

Look at this full page newspaper ad in today's paper.

The creative sparks at the ad agency advertising and promoting McCain's chips, came up with this masterpiece to get us, hopefully, to buy 'happy days'.

How incredibly UN-original.

It's no wonder small and medium sized businesses are in a marketing and advertising mess because of emulating the big Company waste and sloth in creating 'brand building advertising'.

Now McCains may be already doing great business, (and yes, their chips are great) but wouldn't they be even more profitable if they had smart, savvy, direct response marketing replacing this image type idiocy?

They're settling for advertising and marketing mediocrity. Maybe even less than that! (That's what happens when you have a bundle of money to throw at an ad agency - because in return, they'll invariably throw a lot of tripe back, with no-one really made accountable or really concerned about where the money went)  

If those responsible for creating this, and the various New Year McCain's advertising promotions for their chips, had THEIR own money on the line, they'd rethink what they'd originally thunk. They'd be doing what they can to come up with the best, most profitable advertising they could create.


So how would direct response fix this waste-of-money ad?

By having readers cut out a try'n buy coupon, by driving them to a website for special offers, by getting people to submit they most 'happy meal McCain combination' with a prize for entering AND, a big splash prize for the winner, by tracking what ad created what results.

Alas, they (McCains and their hired marketing muscle) don't GET that the business IS in creating a customer that stays, and therefore buys, for life. 

No better way to do that than by engaging them and then, communicating to them regularly - and NOT with riddle based junk and snappy slogans that we 'hope' a reader, prospect, foodie, will somehow decipher, make sense of and then, have a long lasting affinity and love affair with us.

That's the hit' n hope school of marketing wizardry.

There are plenty of subscribers and attendees in that school. We just need look around at the advertising and marketing incompetence we see all around us to find that to be, right on the money.    

Products, businesses, companies... all have to continually earn the custom of their consumers, regularly. Taking readers, prospects and customers for granted... by delivering nonsense based advertising, devoid of any kind of offer, without any deadline or timeline to respond, with sloppy or non existent advertising copy, without any means of tracking how much the ad was responsible for sales and customers... is all lazy, incompetent and therefore, a less profitable solution. 


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Fix The PRODUCT LIES And HYPE And You'll Fix Bad Marketing Karma

With $10m a year in sales in his current business, Anik Singal, reveals that his fortune is based on a SPECIFIC marketing tool, email.

AND he goes on to suggest that it's easy to create a successful business based on his simple email business model, something that anyone can follow. 

He proclaims that it's easy to get a 40% opt-in rate compared of course, to the 50 or 60% he gets on his opt-in pages, thanks no doubt to very expensive, and accurate analytical information to create such wizardry.

He goes on to display a financial model where he shares that it's pretty simple to get 125 subscribers a month, and then 250 subscribers the next month, etc, majority by free traffic methods.

And, he goes on to tell that when you get those subscribers it's the automation and technology that takes over by having your emails sent out in a timed and on a sequential basis, with the money being made in selling those subscribers via a link in an email to a product, ones own product, or an affiliate product.


Here's the 'drive through so you can't detect it line' in his promotion product launch for the product.

You just quickly write a few lines in your emails which then drives subscribers to buy...



What does that mean?

It means WHATEVER media you use; email, direct mail, postcards, sales-letters, printed adverts, video, Fax... whatever you use to make sales or to get a response in some way, the COPY, the words you use, what you say, how you say what you say, is CRUCIAL to the response you receive.

You CANNOT send a blank email and expect RESULTS that will build your business up to $10m a year. You've got to KNOW what you're writing INSIDE that email -- or other media.

The WRITING is the KEY ASSET and NOT so much the media. That's because you can transfer the advertising or communication message from one media to the next.

And, it certainly DOESN'T come by quickly writing a few simple lines.

Naturally of course, Singal would rather you didn't dig too much into that idea that the WRITING isn't anything too complicated, because he's selling a BUSINESS SYSTEM that works on a very simple formula that he's using to generate huge numbers so... you can too... and he'd rather you didn't see the joins!

(KEY: He has most likely paid expensive direct response copywriters a fat amount to create the various SELLING MESSAGES in the variety of media used in the launch. And, he'll most likely sell a ton of stuff to dreamers, hopers... the emotional NON DOERS who are magnet to hype and the promise of the 'easy-button-life', formula)          

I had to carefully think, strategise and plan when creating a series of promotions that were read and then acted on by thousands of customers who then generated (as of this writing) 6 million pounds in sales for clients of the service.

I did NOT simply skip by it and leave the writing of the promotions to guesswork, chance or the tooth fairy. I had to put myself and the promotions through a structured process and plan. I had to choose the most appropriate words, whilst putting the whole series of promotions into context.

It takes WORK. And, not some magic-push button formula that does everything for you.      

Never forget it; the ability to write a compelling and responsive sales message - NO MATTER WHAT THE MEDIA FORMAT - is the KEY ASSET in ANY BUSINESS.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

OPTICAL EXPRESS -- Sloppy, Confused Text Communication Marketing

You would think BIG companies would hire 'marketing people' who know how to think, how to structure a simple communication.

SADLY, it generally seems to be the case that the BIGGER the company, the DUMBER they are.

Here's a mobile marketing message received, today, 7, Jan 2014 at 12.16pm London time, from OPTICAL EXPRESS;

Are you the laser eye surgery winner?
Reply EYES to enter at standard text cost.
Draw entry free. To opt out reply STOP.

To me, the opening suggests I've ALREADY been entered, and, their opening question would then lead to let me know what to do next to find out IF I am the winner.

But no.

They're now asking me to ENTER the competition!

Mixed messages cause confusion.

In the recipient's mind. As well as thinking how confused the sender, is. (Which consciously or unconsciously, has one thinking if the service or product to be delivered, will also be a catalogue of mixed confusion as well)

It would have been a more congruent message all round if the simple line;

Could you be the laser eye surgery winner? ... was written.

And how about the line  -- Draw entry free.

That could be made better, more fluid, more pleasing to the eye by saying... FREE to enter.

And how about the HappyNewYou ending?

How about a timely Happy New Year, instead. 

Simple words, structured well, matter. A LOT.

However, it's the thinking that precedes the action so THAT'S what needs fixing.

Don't settle for incompetent, sloppy, cant-be-bothered advertising and marketing in YOUR business, no matter what size it is, no matter how profitable you currently are. It WILL cost you sales and customers.