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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

File under "Blinding glimpses of the obvious", "Fancy that" or "I just landed from Mars and this is all new to me"

God, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.

I subscribe to all sorts of things in the hope that every now and then somebody will say something interesting. The result is I get messages of such stunning banality that I sometimes rub my eyes in disbelief.

For example, this from someone who has clearly just visited their first ever supermarket and drawn the obvious conclusion, which takes us all the way back to the dawn of business history:

As I was out on my usual rounds at the supermarket I noticed something REALLY interesting.

Let me tell you... you can really learn a lot of sneaky marketing tricks and strategies by analyzing what these big supermarkets (such as
Wallmart or Tesco) do on their shelves in order to sell their own products.

First, they analyze the marketplace to see what is selling well.Then, they enter that market with their OWN branded product and retail it ALONG SIDE the dominant competition for that food product at a much lower price.

The REALLY clever thing that they do here is...

They make THEIR branded version resemble that of the packaging of that premium dominant competitor for that food product!

After this astounding insight, the writer carries on with some pictures to make the point for half-witted readers, then concludes:

So how can you use this knowledge in internet marketing?


Step 1: find a solid product in your market.

Step 2: create your own 'similar' version of that product.
(Note the pointless quotation marks round similar). You'll try and make it BETTER than the competitors in terms of quality/substance and even by adding MORE into it.

Step 3: come in at a competitive price!

Why the exclamation mark?

This is followed by a threat:

I hope you found this stuff interesting today... we'll update you with new finds, techniques and strategies as we find them.

Not if I see you coming first.

I was irresistibly reminded of Abe Lincoln's line, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

I apologise because that was a bit unkind - just couldn't resist having a bit of fun.

As chance would have it I have a client who does the most extensive research into what goes on in supermarkets. You'll have seen their name every day during the election. And nigh on 50 years ago I worked at Leo Burnett for an organisation called The Supermarket Association - I was actually shown round Tesco by its founder, Jack Cohen.

But there is a serious point here - one that is costing a lot of people a lot of money and a lot of time needlessly.

Countless enthusiastic people have discovered marketing via the internet. It did not start last week. They would be wise to look back and discover what others have learned and written down over the last 160 years or so. It will save much heartache and misery.

If you're new in this game, please, please read Ogilvy, Caples, Hopkins and even if desperate, Bird. You'll find a list on www.draytonbird.com or - if you want a few things for nothing - www.draytonbirdcommonsense.com/free-learning.

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