Why most adverts fail

I remember a great piece of video from back in the days when I used to watch TV. Well, actually it was an advert and it reminded me of one of my favourite cartoons when I was a kid.  Do you remember the Transformers (I mean the original cartoons, not the dreadful Hollyw ood action [...]

Is this the worst advert ever?

I subscribe to the brilliant Drayton Bird’s daily emails, and some time ago now he sent me his nomination for the world’s worst advert. Now, in a world filled with terrible adverts, that’s quite an achievement. Here it is in all its, ahem, glory: Honestly, this ad does so many things wrong I barely know where [...]

Once upon a time, there was a talented, yet frustrated business owner… Nah, I’m just kidding. You don’t need to start your stories like that. You could start them like I did in the subject line though: I bet you couldn't resist clicking, huh? Because you know there's a story in there and we're all [...]

A picture is worth a thousand words. Everyone says so. But is that really true in all cases everywhere? I’d say not in all cases. Not in advertising, anyway. Here’s why. Ads are expensive. Pictures in ads are very expensive because they take up a lot of space, space that could be used for selling [...]

I want to tell you a secret. But first, I want to share two shocking numbers with you. Here’s the first number: according to advertising legend Dave Trott, 89% of advertising is never even noticed. The second number is $500+ billion. That’s how much the world spent on advertising in 2013. That means that businesses [...]

Question: What’s the most difficult way to sell stuff? Answer: Directly off the page. Cold. As a stranger, with no lead in or romance. Why? Well, the answer is twofold. Firstly, they don’t know you from Adam, so why should they trust you? Why should they choose you over the many other options they probably [...]

Get out of your way and into their inbox

Do you ever get in your own way? I do, sometimes. I’m constantly tweaking the stuff I write. Editing. Improving. Perfecting it. I know that sounds like one of those lame answers people give when they’re asked what their weaknesses are, but when it comes to marketing and copywriting it IS a weakness. Perfection is [...]

Here’s a question: what’s the point of marketing? What’s your answer? I’ll give you a clue: there’s only one correct answer. I’ll tell you in a moment. First, I’m going to have a little rant. Just to warn you. But I have a valuable point to make, so stick with me… Most marketing is a [...]

What’s your product? What do you sell? Are you sure? You see, I think you might be mistaken. Let me explain. A Harvard marketing professor once said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want to buy a quarter-inch hole!” Of course, this is a bit over-simplistic, like many analogies. But for [...]

It’s all about your customer. Without him, you’re sunk. You wouldn’t have a business.   Of course, you know that – and I know that – which is why I’m always so surprised that business owners put so little effort into getting to know their customers. Most businesses create their product and push it out [...]