The witching hour is fast approaching on this Halloween…
…and it would remiss of this humble scribe to not take the opportunity to write a post riffing on the theme of contemporary horror in the fields of marketing and copywriting.
Here, in no particular order, are 7 things that have scared me recently!
1. Ignorance Of Marketing Fundamentals
At the recent “Masters Of Marketing” event I attended, the great Drayton Bird asked for a show of hands of who had read “Scientific Advertising” by Claude Hopkins. There were 3 people out of an audience of over a hundred, an audience primarily of marketing professionals. One can only wonder what the late David Ogilvy would have thought. After all, he was of the opinion that…
“Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book (Scientific Advertising) seven times. It changed the course of my life.”
I used to wonder a little when master copywriter John Carlton told how when he started out he first devoured the marketing classics like “Scientific Advertising” and the works of John Caples. He assumed that the people who worked in advertising agencies and in marketing would all have read them too. Turns out hardly anyone had…and Carlton very quickly found he was turning in results that astounded the so-called professionals. Seems not much has changed over the last 20 years or so.
2. Copywriting Amateurs On the Loose
Another thing that astonished me at the “Masters Of Marketing” event was how many marketers were responsible for writing copy (especially email copy it seemed) without any formal training.
To be fair to the individuals involved, it seems this is largely the result of corporate policy and the assumption that modern technology means that everyone can handle their own communications. Rather misses the point, I think. It would be a little like sending out a salesperson who could hardly string a coherent sentence together and simply mumbled at people.
3. Businesses With No List Of Customers Or Prospects
Largely a problem for offline “bricks and mortar” businesses. It astonishes me how many such businesses have no list of their existing customers, let alone prospects! Restaurants in particular would seem to be ideally placed to build a list and yet so few do.
Part of the problem is that many small businesses are not well run and don’t make very much money. Which often means there is…
4. No Money For Marketing
Ace marketer and copywriter Ryan Healy discussed this issue in a recent post…
There are low-cost and no-cost ways to market but there’s no magic solution. If you don’t have money for marketing, you need to substitute time and effort.
5. Frighteningly Lame Offers
Like saving 2% on your electricity bill. Now I know “Every little helps” but a 2% saving doesn’t really strike me as likely to excite people.
For the details see this post…
…which contains some more terrifying marketing and copywriting horrors!
6. The Social Media Fad
Look, social media has its uses and in the right hands can be very effective. But for FAR too many businesses it’s merely the latest and greatest “shiny object”. The reality is likely to be grisly failure for the majority.
7. Lame, Boring, “Me Too” Marketing And Copy
Not a particularly new horror, but in the tough “New Economy” you have to stand out from the crowd in the mind of your prospects (and indeed, current customers). It’s very much a case of “Differentiate Or Die”.
One simple way to stand out is, of course, with innovative copy and graphics like…”CopyDoodles”. Which gives me the perfect excuse to end this list of marketing horrors with another Halloween doodle…Happy Halloween!