Bob Bly — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 2
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Bob Bly

One of my greatest pleasures is to read trade journals, newsletters,
and business magazines at home or during lunch (like many of you, I
don’t have time to read them during working hours). But
according to an article in BtoB (3/10/08, p. 28), I may soon be denied
that privilege, as magazines discontinue their print editions and make
their content available on the Web only.

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In an interview with The Record (3/13/08, p. 20), rabbi and author
Shmuley Boteach warned readers that there’s much more to life than the
pursuit of professional success — something that many entrepreneurs are
obsessed with.

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Decades ago, there was a terrific restaurant in NYC with no waiters: the Horn & Hardart Automat. All
the food was displayed behind glass windows. To order, you inserted
your bills and coins in a slot, pushed a button, removed your sandwich
or pie, and put it on your tray — no waiting, no being ignored by busy
wait staff, no tipping.

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The Last “Detail Man”

by Bob Bly on December 8, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

In the old days, sales reps for drug companies were invariably middle-aged men, known in the trade as “detail men.” The average detail man wore a downtrodden appearance and demeanor, no doubt from years of shabby treatment by the M.D.s who were his prospects — and treated him as a second-class citizen.

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Geico’s “False Bonding”

by Bob Bly on December 3, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

“False bonding” refers to advertising that seeks to create a bond with
the prospect, but does so in an illogical or insincere — and therefore
ineffective — way. A good example is the recent radio spot for Geico offering homeowner’s insurance to people who rent.

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In an article in DM News, Tom Rapses, a creative director, divides marketing into two separate categories.

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An article in Circulation Management (5/08, p. 12) states: “Your subscribers should be complaining about their subscription price. If they’re not, then you’re not charging enough.”

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The June 2008 issue of Fast Company features a cover story on ad agency
Crispin Porter and the much-talked-about Apple campaign “PC vs. Mac.” On the cover is a photo of the agency’s creative honcho, Alex Bogusky,
doing his best to look smug, self-assured, and ultra-cool.

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Social media evangelists are in love with Twitter, Facebook, and their
ilk because these networks enable continuous “naked” conversations. Robert Scoble, I believe, has stated that his goal is to have at least one naked conversation a day.

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Now, if you are a new copywriter … or new to financial subscription promotion … you might think this is a good headline. But to anyone with experience, it’s fairly lame.

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Magazines 2.0

by Bob Bly on November 12, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

One possible future for magazines is to make them more like the Web — in particular, like social media and other Web 2.0 sites.

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Business Entrepreneurs

by Bob Bly on November 10, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

A radio spot for Web site developer American Eagle tells how the company created a successful Web site for a “business entrepreneur.” Business entrepeneur? As opposed to all those entrepreneurs who have nothing to do with business?

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Pure B.S. or Great Copy?

by Bob Bly on November 5, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

Critics often accuse direct marketing copywriters of hype and puffery, but I think the real B.S. artists in marketing today are wine and beer writers.

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“Ugly works” in direct mail design, writes my colleague Denny Hatch in his latest column in Target Marketing (7/08, p. 50). His premise: direct mail should be intentionally designed to look ugly and junky, because it will increase response.

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When I began my corporate career in the late 70s, corporations spent huge amounts of time and money perfecting their “mission statements,” which they proudly posted on placards in the lobby. Multi-channel marketing guru Don Libey thinks most mission statements are for the most part banal and of limited value.

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Does Sex Sell?

by Bob Bly on October 27, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

New media gurus these days rave about getting tens of thousands — or millions — of page views on MySpace and YouTube. But any idiot can put up a video that gets a ton of traffic. The easiest way: just use sex.

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My colleague Denny Hatch is one of the most respected of the “old school” direct marketing copywriters and publishers operating today. He says the reason so many Internet marketers get it wrong is that they fail to apply DM selling techniques online.

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It has been observed many times that blogging, Web 2.0, and social media are effective because today’s consumers are more intersted in the opinions and recommendations of their peers than those of professional reviewers, critics, and experts. Certainly the success of the reader reviews on Amazon.com is a great example of this. But the dominance of Citizen Journalism over professional journalists is not universal.

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Where Starbucks Fails

by Bob Bly on October 15, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

Starbucks mission statement, according to their Web site, is to “develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.” If that’s so, can anyone answer me why none of the Starbucks in my area can give me a slice of lemon with my iced tea?

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Not me, because I don’t carry a BlackBerry, BlueTooth, wireless laptop, or even a cell phone — no PDA, no beeper, no mobile technology of any kind. But that’s because I’m not mobile; I’m here at this PC 12 hours a day, and at home the rest of the time. I don’t travel. But I’m in the minority …

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