The Screwtape Emails VII

    The Screwtape Emails VII

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agency, telemarketing services, telemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    There are right and wrong ways to go about marketing, and the pitfalls are many. A lot can be learned by seeing how not to manage your marketing. This original blog series weaves together an entertaining story that will help you navigate 21st-Century marketing with a view from “the dark side,” as “Screwtape” teaches his apprentice “Wormwood” via email how to sabotage your marketing. Enjoy…

    PART SEVEN:
    To: Wormwood
    From: Screwtape
    Subject: Ads that SUCK

    My dear Wormwood,

    Ah, yes—we’ve now come to one of my favorite missives: How to make ads that suck! In our ongoing battle to prevent the Patient from prospering, we can prevail upon him to produce the sort of advertising that will make him invisible. Most side-slappingly hilarious of all? We can make him think his atrocious ads are something special (and when they produce the expected meager results, we will convince him that advertising doesn’t work.)

    So, my minion of mayhem, here is a primer on how to make ads that suck:

    • Make sure you stay “safe.” The steadiest road to “suckitude” is to never pass the competition by deviating from the well-worn rut. It feels safe to have your ads look and feel like everyone else’s. I mean, shouldn’t a real estate ad look like a real estate ad? The truth we must never let the Patient discover is that safe ads are the most dangerous kind to his ROI. Safe ads are invisible and do not distinguish one from the competition. At some point, a car insurance company made the move into the fast lane with ads featuring humorous characters, and the result was that Geico became a household name. The other insurance companies are still trying to catch up, but will forever be followers now that Geico has blazed a new trail. Old Spice put the pedal to the metal with a series of ridiculously hyperbolic ads that effectively tripled their sales in short order, and moved them from a musty, old-guy’s product to the most happening name in their market.
    • You’re paying for the ad space, so pack in as much as possible. Print ads that look like a mini brochure, video and radio ads that present a yard sale of features. Have the Patient pack it in like a big city bus ride to Sucksville. Nothing makes people flip the page, scroll up the thumb, hit the mute more than information overload. In reality, the brilliance is most often in brevity, and the greatest impact comes from simplicity. One core message conveyed through humor, shocking fact, tear-jerking seriousness or other emotionally-impacting techniques will get attention—and the purpose of ads is to grab attention, not to inform!
    • Try it for a little while, then pull it if it’s not performing. Don’t allow the Patient to define what “performance” means. Convince him that if people aren’t lined up at the door after running an ad for a week, then it must not be working. Get him thinking that the only thing that matters is short-term revenue resulting directly from the ad. If he should have the confidence to be patient as a brilliant ad campaign unfolds, then we risk him getting long-term results most companies only dream of. Most radically successful ad campaigns must be run and repeated long enough to catch fire and capture the imagination. They must have time to break through filters (which often takes repetition) and then generate buzz by early adopters. People cannot help but become fans of great ads, and once they start talking about their favorites, the flood gates open.
    • Talk about yourself. Too many small businesses owners want to see themselves on the camera—a fact we love! Talking about yourself and/or all the wonderful services you offer is like, as Roy H. Williams puts it, like making people watch home movies of your most recent vacation. In today’s sophisticated digital-media environment, nobody cares about you; they want to see themselves in your ads. It’s a cold, hard truth we can portray to the Patient as selfish and narcissistic on the part of his audience, and blind him to the fact that, by putting himself first, he’s playing the self-centered card perfectly. We know it’s only after you put your audience first that they will turn their attention to you…but let’s not let that get out, shall we?

    There are many other ways to make ads that suck, but this is enough for now. You’re a mere apprentice and I know your capacity for such things is limited. Besides, I’m waiting to see how you handle convincing the Patient to walk into these four traps first.

    Your affectionate uncle,

    Screwtape


    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

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    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
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    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales
    Insert Brilliant Headline Here

    Insert Brilliant Headline Here

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agency, telemarketing services, telemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” David Ogilvy, The “Father of Advertising”

    There’s magic in marketing. You can turn strangers into sales, or you can make them disappear. You will do one of these, and it’s obvious which trick you’d like to perform on a regular basis.

    If you want to convert crowds into customers, then pay attention to one of the greatest techniques of magic there is. To paraphrase Earnest Hemmingway, “All you have to do is sit down at a [keyboard] and open a vein.” It doesn’t matter what medium you’re working in—print, TV, social media, AdWords, YouTube videos—the Headline is paramount. Start with a brilliant headline, and—presto!—your ad, Web copy, video or whatever is all but done.

    Let’s let the headlines do the talking and share a few of the best, shall we?

    Apple
    Absolute power corrupts.
    Enjoy.

    Chevrolet Corvette
    They don’t write songs about Volvos.

    Diesel
    Smart has the plans, stupid has the stories.

    Durex
    To all those who use our competitors’ products:
    Happy Father’s Day.

    The Health Education Council
    No.
    Still the most effective form of birth control.

    Guinness Beer
    Gu_ _ _ess who?

    Harley Davidson
    Somewhere on an airplane a man is trying to rip open a small bag of peanuts.

    Horst Salons
    Where the women you hate have their hair done.

    Jack Daniel’s
    Hand crafted actually has more to do with the heart.

    Mercedes Benz
    Men talk about women, sports and cars.
    Women talk about men inside sports cars.

    Ricola Cough Drops
    “You (cough) look good’
    Make sure good news sounds like good news.

    Porsche
    What a dog feels when the leash breaks.

    The Lung Association
    For more information on lung cancer, keep smoking

    Swiss Life
    She’s my
    everything
    went wrong.
    (For all life’s twists and turns, flexible financial plans).

    Wonderbra
    You have 918 915 friend requests.

    Great headlines like these can do some very heavy lifting. Some of the best can stand alone on a blank background or with a complementary image. Really, simple ads with a strong, engaging message are almost always more effective than informational or promotional ads.

    Next time you’re thinking of launching an ad or ad campaign, before you do anything else, spend a day or two (at least) coming up with a list of clever headlines. Then set it all aside and carry a notebook and pen around with you so that you can write down the actually brilliant ideas that will come bubbling up from the conscious mind. You’ll probably find that the first list you generated wasn’t nearly as good as you thought—certainly nothing like “that” idea that wakes you up in the middle of the night, you know..it will be the same one that keeps your audience from falling asleep!


    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales
    The Screwtape Emails VI – Value of Good Enough

    The Screwtape Emails VI – Value of Good Enough

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agency, telemarketing services, telemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    There are right and wrong ways to go about marketing, and the pitfalls are many. A lot can be learned by seeing how not to manage your marketing. This original blog series weaves together an entertaining story that will help you navigate 21st-Century marketing with a view from “the dark side,” as “Screwtape” teaches his apprentice “Wormwood” via email how to sabotage your marketing. Enjoy…

    PART SIX:
    To: Wormwood
    From: Screwtape
    Subject: Why We Love “Good Enough”

    My dear Wormwood,

    Our mission to destroy the success of the aspiring businessperson continues, as do your lessons on the most effective tactics. I call this next one the “Good Enough Deception.”

    You see, my dear Wormwood, to many, marketing is akin to going to the dentist—painful but necessary. Many a CEO winces at the marketing budget line item because they see marketing as a “soft” area of operations. Creativity, to them is “fluff”; operations and finances are the important things. So, when it comes to getting their marketing done, they are only interested in good enough to get by. They don’t get it, and that give our cause a real boost!

    The following are some ways we can use the Good Enough Deception to hasten your Patient’s downfall:

    • Cut off creativity: In today’s “attention economy,” being different and radically creative to stand apart from all the other competitive voices is crucial. But convince your patient that creative strategy is a waste of time. Have him cut short the creative process and stifle creativity with the CEO’s get-to-the point view of life. (Skip the gift wrapping, the card and flowers. How romantic.)
    • Give impossible deadlines: Have the Patient want it, and want it now. That will ensure that the creative “right brain”—from whence comes the level of creativity that catapults brands and sells out products—has no chance to develop true brilliance. The left brain sucks at creativity, and unrealistic deadlines put it in the driver’s seat to Mediocrity City.
    • Hire Low: Advertising legend David Ogilvy gave this advice: “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.” Tempt your Patient into the disastrous decision to hire based on cost, rather than quality. Why get a senior marketing professional, when you can hand the work off to an amateur, a family member, or even a student.
    • Micromanage: Ogilvy also said to, “Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.” True creatives worth their salt do best with a long leash, so convince your patient to control the process. It will feel like the safe thing to do, but of course it’s the worst way to manage.

    I could go on, and perhaps we will discuss more tactics in the future. But we can sum up the beauty of the Good Enough Deception with one simple sentence: “We got our marketing done.”

    You and I know, Wormwood, that marketing is never “done,” but let’s just keep that our little secret, shall we?

    Your affectionate uncle,

    Screwtape


    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales
    How to Write Ads That SUCK: Part 1

    How to Write Ads That SUCK: Part 1

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agencytelemarketing servicestelemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    I am going to teach you how to create ads that suck more than a five-story vacuum factory. In truth, most of the ads I see are monuments of major suckitude that virtually ensure their own avoidability. They are either so dull and unimaginative that they become invisible, or so obnoxious that they have people trampling one another to get to the mute button. These kinds of ads have no chance of pausing the scrolling thumb on the social media newsfeed, unless it is to tap the even smaller downward digital thumb of disapproval.

    Follow any of the following suggestions and you’ll be sure to be unfollowed; follow all of them and watch your business go down faster than a fat kid on a seesaw. (By the way, using terms like “fat kid on a seesaw” falls under point #3.)

    1. Look like everyone else.

    In middle school, being the same as everyone else is “safe.” But in the world of advertising, being the same is death. Most businesses think that their ads need to look and sound like ads. The truth is that feeling safe is the least safe position for an advertiser.

    For instance, almost every Realtor I’ve worked with has gone into a fetal position when I’ve suggested not using the ubiquitous headshot. I once had a professional photographer take fun, personable images of a firm’s Realtors. One agent’s photo in particular was fantastic–she and her dog, a very photogenic weimaraner, were both smiling into the camera. It was adorable. Everyone I showed the photo to had the same comment: “I’d work with that realtor!” Unfortunately, she opted instead for the boring, overused formal look because she felt like people wouldn’t think she looked “professional enough.” (Hint: Nobody likes your glamor head shots except you. The rest of us just roll our eyes.)

    So, to suck, make sure your ads look like ads, especially like everyone else’s.

    1. SHOUT!!!

    Use bold, ALL CAPS and multiple exclamation points as often as possible!!!!!! Roy H. Williams, the “Wizard of Ads,” says that “Every beginner’s solution is to put an ‘attention getter’ into the ad. Bright colors, loud noises, exclamation marks, and crazy stunts are the sad little attention getters most often used. The effect on your beautiful customer is much the same as sneaking up behind her and shouting, ‘WATCH OUT!’”

    Cheap tricks like this are just…annoying. As the Wiz says, “Is that any way to start a relationship?”

    1. Cross the line

    There’s a fine line between humor or impact and just plain offensiveness. Cross the line. Go boldly forward like a raging bull in a china shop. If you think it’s funny, go with it! Don’t give it a second thought, consider the sensitivities of your audience, or run it by diverse sources for feedback, and you’re on the superhighway to Sucksville.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is an art to provoking enough controversy and reaction to benefit your business, but it’s risky and it requires a very skilled and experienced professional to pull it off (and sometimes even professionals fall flat on their faces.)

    Damn the torpedoes…and watch your reputation sink.

    More tips on ads that suck to come in a future blog. For now, these three points, properly applied, will produce spectacular failure.

     


    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales
    The Screwtape Emails V – The “Know it All” Deception

    The Screwtape Emails V – The “Know it All” Deception

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agency, telemarketing services, telemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    There are right and wrong ways to go about marketing, and the pitfalls are many. A lot can be learned by seeing how not to manage your marketing. This original blog series weaves together an entertaining story that will help you navigate 21st-Century marketing with a view from “the dark side,” as “Screwtape” teaches his apprentice “Wormwood” via email how to sabotage your marketing. Enjoy…

    PART FIVE:
    To: Wormwood
    From: Screwtape
    Subject: The “Know it All” Deception

    My dear Wormwood,

    I’m going to lie to you.

    “The businessperson is the best person to sell their service or product…”

    This falsehood is so burrowed into the minds of businesspeople that it’s often considered a point of common sense. The thinking is that it takes expert, intricate knowledge to effectively reach the consumer. Keep this delusion strong in the Patient and we can sabotage his sales.

    The disgusting truth is that the opposite is often the case—the business owner or specialist not the best person to connect the product with the people. Why? Because the expert is almost always too close to his or her subject matter to effectively sell it. For one thing, they have an inherent bias toward their own business that can come across as less than sincere. Secondly, an owner or expert will almost always use jargon the average person doesn’t fully understand or—closely related—not understand which specific knowledge their audience lacks. Conventional wisdom is to write at the 6th-grade level to keep it simple and understandable. (You must convince the Patient the opposite: that people will be impressed by fancy words and displays of deep product knowledge.)

    So, who is best to sell a product or service? In a word, an outsider. Specifically, someone with sales skills, but not an expert in the field.

    When casting the lead antagonist for the 6th Rocky movie, Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone chose a real boxer over an actor. He explained that he’d rather train a boxer to act than trying to teach an actor to box. In like fashion, it’s easier to inform a salesperson on the essentials of a business than trying to teach a businessperson to sell.

    The main advantage to the outsider is that he or she will see the product or service from the point of view of the consumer, by default. The salesperson will have to “dumb it down” to learn it and in the process, will develop the perfect approach to sell it to consumers. (Of course, the salesperson will have to rely to at least some extent on the knowledge of the client to verify accuracy in the message.)

    The upshot of all this, my dear Wormwood, is that you must at all costs lead the Patient into the “know it all deception”: to believe that he who knows the best sells the best. In this way, the marketing and sales professionals who actually have the training and experience to best connect the business with the consumer, will be disqualified.

    Teach the actor to box, and neither the acting nor the boxing will be good—pretend boxing isn’t boxing. But teach a boxer to act, and they won’t really have to act at all, because they are doing what comes naturally.

    Keep this analogy to yourself, for obvious reasons.

    Your affectionate uncle,

    Screwtape


    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales
    A Healthy Workplace = ROI

    A Healthy Workplace = ROI

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agencytelemarketing servicestelemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    According to a study by the CDC, about 1 in 5 (21%) of adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.

    The US Dept. of Health and Human services has found that less than 5% of adults are physically active for at least 30 minutes a day. And only 1 in 3 achieves the recommended amount of physical activity each week.

    So what does this mean for you and your business?

    You could potentially be losing money through the efforts of unhealthy employees.

    There are plenty of studies that show, that when implemented, a workplace fitness program can pay for itself when implemented, so let’s look at a few of the benefits:

    IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY
    Studies show fit people have more vitality and tend to think more clearly. Having good physical health means having enough energy to complete the daily to-do list.

    LOWER HEALTH CARE COSTS
    According to a Forbes Magazine survey, over half of all small businesses find Health Care costs to be a “crititcal issue”. With the rise in health care costs, saving money on healthy employees makes sense!

    LESS STRESS
    Exercise increases your health and your sense of well-being. Studies show that exercise is very effective at reducing fatigue. It improves alertness and concentration, and it enhances overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate (at work!).

    ABSENTEE REDUCTION
    The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that healthier employees are less likely to call in sick. This of course reduces the expense of sick days and lost productivity for a business. Which in turn creates the potential for higher morale, because no one has to cover for anyone else. (Happy Employees, which is our next point).

    HAPPIER EMPLOYEES
    When you’re healthy, you feel better. If you feel better, less stressed and energetic, you can be happy! Imagine the whole sales floor or office getting the job done and getting along with one another. With smiles on their faces, and some pep in their step. It’s a profitable proposition.

    Recently Gallup’s Business Journal points out that consistency and active engagement are crucial for success. If your business is willing to put in the time and energy to research and implement a wellness program, your investment will be well worth it.

     


    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales