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Business Management

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The Last “Detail Man”

by 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.

Geico’s “False Bonding”

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

Magazines 2.0

by 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.

Business Entrepreneurs

by 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?

Pure B.S. or Great Copy?

by 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.
We're looking to create an incentive plan for all rank-and-file employees who bring in leads that help us land new business. (That's already part of our sales force's job, so they would be excluded.) What kind of incentives work best? I'm assuming cash is popular—so how much? How should we track our incentive program?—Bill M., Las Vegas
“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.
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.

Does Sex Sell?

by 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.

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.
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.

Where Starbucks Fails

by 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?
JJ, a marketing consultant who is an advocate of social media, confided in me that to get significant results takes 10 to 15 hours of participation a week — EVERY week. For most of us, that’s time we don’t have to spare. So I’m wondering: do you think a company or solopreneur can PAY someone to handle all of their social networking for them?
Last night I saw a Burger King TV commercial in which two guys dressed in hamburger costumes go to Wendy’s to order hamburgers, only to conclude that Wendy’s doesn’t offer burgers as good as BK.
Normally, by the time you read about a new idea in marketing, it’s too late for you to stand out as an early adopter, because the early adopters are all already using it. But online video is a growing trend, and it’s NOT too late for you to boost your online conversions, sales, and traffic with it!
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