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Thursday, 4 June 2009

How come all these marketing chancers thrive?

As I said, I'm writing a book - and now, it turns out, doing some Masterclasses - on marketing for the legal profession.

Thank you to everyone who offered help. I hope you all got my replies, which brings me to today's howl of outrage.

A lot of people in marketing would like to think that theirs, too, is a profession. But so many are such criminally useless twats that it's hard to see it happening.

Take a man called Henry Cazalet who keeps on e-mailing me about SMS marketing. His e-mails are actually pretty good. So much so I have replied three times, because I'm interested.

Yes, friends. I'm a real live prospect - or was.

Has he replied? Not a bloody chance. He hasn't even answered two messages asking why he doesn't reply. And it's not as if he's using one of those spew-it-out-and-hope-it-lands machines.

How does he survive? I'll tell you. Because when you've got something people are really interested in, you don't need decent marketing. Just look at the shit run by computer and mobile telephone firms.***

But others, who have nothing to offer except personal prejudice, will not do as well. A typical example is a person I've been dealing with who, untroubled by false modesty, cheerfully rewrites my copy and rearranges layouts done by the best art director in this country, based on nothing more substantial than opinion.

It reminds me of Sergio Zyman's response when his boss at Coca Cola said he didn't like his proposed ads (some of which are still running after 16 years). "Roberto, if you personally buy every bottle of Coke sold all over the world for the next year, we'll run the ads you like. Otherwise ..."

After half a century studying and trying to get it right, I think I have a vague idea of what I'm doing - I have maybe a 2% flop rate. And my art director with whom I've worked on and off for 30 years is better than me, because he can write copy but I can't draw.

But there we are: this is not a profession like the law where people follow precedent; it's a trade infested with amateurs.

*** But nothing compares with those crass Aviva TV ads. The direst moment must be the factory worker who says "I am not a target market". You can just see someone from Wigan saying that, right?

The semi-literate fuckwits who come out with that garbage don't realise is that out there is a real world full of real people who have better things to do than talk shit about proactive this, strategic that and say "concept" when they mean some tiny idea a fucking hamster could have thought up.

Mind you, they'd do well in parliament.

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