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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Where to invest your marketing money, free audio series, IBM suggests where NOT to buy software, and meaningless promises

A few people take the trouble to write to me and comment or suggest things, which I do appreciate.

Today my main challenge is to make a chili to poison the guests at my son Phil and his wife Megan's annual Christmas bash, but Robert Currey wrote to me about a (very good) blog by photographer Trey Ratcliff and asked what I thought.

Trey decided to measure the performance of his advertising in magazines - a blindingly obvious idea ignored by the fools in big firms who think marketing means just spraying money around at random with no regard to the results.

He concluded that print is now a waste of time. and we should throw everything on-line. Robert asked me if I agree. Here are some thoughts for you.

1. In the days back when I compared the ROI on advertising in trade mags with direct mail a couple of times. Direct mail did four times better. One reason, I think, is that most trade mags are tripe.

2. However, most advertising in mags is as bad as the editorial, so good ads work, as they shine out like good deeds in a naughty world.

3. Most people who use the internet haven't a clue and can't be bothered to study. It is NOT easy to understand. The water is muddied by thieving rogues who tell you all you need is either a) traffic b) good traffic c) be at the top of the Google rankings d) "my secret super launch formula" - that's made me a fortune out of mugs like you.

4. You must attract the right people - thousands of them; you must get them to give their details; you must follow them up with an endless series of messages - on auto-responder and otherwise - that are interesting, relevant and helpful enough to make them buy eventually. You must use all available channels (this one for example). A whole lot easier said than done when so few people can think clearly, write well, or even take the trouble to bloody count.

5. Direct mail is not dead. As more and more are lured on-line, it is still doing O.K. despite insanely high postal rates. So is door to door distribution.

6. Your prospects do not confine themselves to one medium. Nor should you. I am currently working on a worryingly wide range of stuff in many countries. Two clients sell new thinking to big business, another sells a home service, a fourth sells to collectors and investors, a fifth sells to people who want to improve themselves, a sixth sells to international travellers and a seventh sells to hobbyists, mostly ladies.

7. In no case are we using one medium, We are using SEO, auto-responder conversion techniques, video, direct mail and advertising, email, landing pages, advertising in trade and national press, co-operative deals and even van sides. All to multiple decision makers inside and outside the clients' firms.

I feel tired, which reminds me: a week or two back I offered a free cure for insomnia: a 10 part audio series on how to do decent marketing. I have been waiting for a decent mike to do it - time to start seeming vaguely professional.

The utterly useless twats in England who had one were taking over a month to deliver, so screw them. Be warned: they are (ha ha, very droll) a business partner of IBM called www.zoom4u.co.uk. IBM should be ashamed of themselves.

Don't go near them. Their idea of service includes the brilliant wheeze of having no phone number. I'm buying a mike here in New York and will do the recordings next week.


Politicians all over the world are crooks - but local ones are often worse than most. Here in New York one crook who has clearly had his hands in the till, big time, has managed to get off.

Back in the old U.K. with a quiet chortle, I read that Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London "pledges" to bring down London public transport fares by 7% if he is re-elected.

The chortle was the second of the day as far as he's concerned. He's written an autobiography that's promoted in posters as the man who tells it to you straight. What a comedian.

I don't know who is worse - him with all the crooked cronies he had around him - or Boris Johnson who in his first two years pissed away £9 million on "consultants". But I do know that every time I read the words "vow" or "pledge" a lie is not far behind.


Here's the blog I mentioned at the start http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpTYWNbXKzA

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