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Thursday, 14 January 2010

To those loveable souls who helped me last month - a confession and one or two promises

When I was performing to utter indifference punctuated by occasional snorts of derision in my first school play I recall being told that dress rehearsals are usually a disaster.

So it was with my trial of Commonsense Marketing last month. The idea, if you recall, was to offer you something a bit better than the sort of thing typified by an email I just got - "Is it this easy? Simple data entry earns up to $924.73 a day" - because it bloody well isn't.

I thought - and still do - that out there there must be a few hundred people who recognise bullshit when they see it, and would like to learn from the ghastly mistakes I made and the odd triumph I enjoyed over the last 50 years in what I now reckon is 50 countries.

I also hoped that there might be a few people who realise that there is life outside the internet; there are still people watching TV commercials, reading ads, opening and replying to direct mail, filling in questionnaires - and so on.

And so it proved. There is intelligent life out there. Thee is room for serious stuff. Quite a few of you are bright enough to recognise and dismiss lies when you read them, and hanker for the genuine article. E mails I sent out got up to 27% opening rate at the beginning of December and I recruited enough of you to teach me how to do better.

So I'd like to thank everyone who gallantly volunteered to give it a try and do one thing I learned is essential: tell you what the results were - especially as I shall spend most of tomorrow filming stuff for you.

1. Everything did indeed go wrong. Despite our prior tests, people didn't receive emails about what was happening about money and when I was running seminars. My friends who attended the EADIM course in London were neglected. The first webinar was a disaster. My pricing was up the spout. My explanations of the deal were confusing. Timing was wrong for people in Australia and New Zealand. And just to distract me, at the same time one or two clients screwed me around for serious money

2. But despite it all, most of you who bravely persevered loved it. Thank you! And thank you, too those who didn't for telling me what you really want. You are all individuals, so your views differed, but I shall try to accommodate as many as possible.

3. Some people wanted a structured A to Z course. I shall be filming the start of that in the morning (though it is morning now, I realise) analysing what marketing is really all about with revealing examples and how to set about it.

4. Others asked for analysis of creative work. I shall give you it. Not just in one medium, but many. TV commercials, direct mail, websites, ads - the lot. Not just selling to consumers but to businesses. Not just British or US, but from all over the world, aimed at all sorts of customers and selling all sorts of products and services at all sorts of prices. Tomorrow I shall be analysing a piece I wrote which doubled the membership of a supporters group at a world-famous Soccer club.

5. Some asked what relevance the interviews I planned would have. I can only say that if you can't learn anything from spending time with some of the world's most imaginative and successful marketers - some of whom have never revealed their secrets - poor you. For example in the past month I have set up interviews with a friend in Santa Monica making big money in the ONLY type of advertising that's currently flourishing, with another in Hawaii who is, quite simply, a REAL marketing legend, and with a man here in London who will explain why one medium which most people are not using at all is going to transform marketing.

Some of you asked if there would be an affiliate programmne. The answer is yes. And one man asked what I could give you that two other experts he named couldn't. The answer was simple: neither of them had worked for a major brand in their lives. They just sell "I'll make you rich" stuff they mostly picked up in seminars. Oh, and I am entertaining, so they tell me. Why should getting better not be fun?

That's enough from me now. It's 4 30 am in London, and time to go to sleep. Keep an eye open if you're interested. More to come.

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