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Wanted - Sheep for the Marketing Flock?
Hoo boy, I am sticking my neck out here! Ready for the chopping block I am - but it needs to be said and here it is: "Marketers - wake up! Get back to basics and get original"
So what is this all about?
The other day I got an e-mail from a marketer: Intriguing subject line, but also a little disconcerting. "Leon, Don't ever trust me again". Wow, this is really thin ice stuff. I must say it really intrigued me. A powerful statement and unique. Methinks that this marketer had a lot of faith and kudos' to him for a very original opening headline.
So what did I do? Of course I opened the mail and had a look!
Why did I open it? It was a mail from one of my trusted marketing acquaintances in the marketing world. It was from someone that has built credibility and trust with me over a period of time. And yes, the headline or subject hooked me - why should I now suddenly not trust this marketer?
Yes it worked
Now comes the crunch - why, o why must everyone copy - like sheep, I tell you.
In the next 24 hours I received another bunch of mails with the same heading/subject from other marketers! O dear me - how un-original can you get - A flock of sheep following a leader! My unsubscribe button worked overtime. It now was becoming an irritation - not an attention grabber.
Come on marketers - it worked for the original creator of this headline. It is a unique headline - like a signature, but for the originator only. Not for copycat purposes.
What has happened to creative marketing? What has happened to re-packaging? What has happened to original thinking? What has happened to you, dear fellow marketers? I am using a specific example of an e-mail in this article, but unfortunately it happens all the time. I see this happening continuously - the same marketing messages/headlines/subject coming through from different marketers. It is so obvious.
The originator of this created a great attention grabbing headline/subject for the marketing e-mail. It also worked for him because he had already built a trust relationship with his customers. Because it was so unique, it stood out - like a brand.
Other marketers that copied this - word for word I must add - fell flat on their faces - it worked against them as it was obvious that there was not even a hint of originality in their thinking. By all means copy the method, even the manner, but copying the exact words as well ?
So please marketers - be wary of what you copy. And when you copy someone's message please check the spelling.
Please marketers - be original, be yourself, take a little time to be creative - repackage the message to fit your style and your list.
Please marketers - be aware that you have customers on the other side and not just a list of names that needs to be fed regurgitated copy.
Please marketers - stop copying and start marketing to your customers!
Leon Williams has been involved in corporate internet marketing for many years. He is passionate about the psychology behind web marketing and has now decided to live and work his dream by training entrepreneurs on the applied techniques of web marketing psychology.
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When my sister and discussed our shopping plans this year we found to our surprise that our attitudes were much different. She was the hip New Yorker, living in a trendy section of Brooklyn and commuting in to her publishing job in Manhattan. I'm a down home Midwestern type of girl who prefers to drive everywhere and I love my suburb. We were chatting together on my mother's couch after we had stuffed ourselves with cake from our parent's anniversary party, and when we got onto the topic of shopping (my favorite pastime), my sister gave me quite a shock. While I was dreading the upcoming birthdays and Christmas, but my sister had a very positive outlook. She was looking forward to the experience, and I was flabbergasted.As it turned out, she was a devote of shopping online, and so she was looking forward to surfing around, researching options and deals, and getting all her shopping done early. I argued with her, saying that the personalization of actually finding a gift by oneself in person was something that couldn't be duplicated by a machine. Also, many of the really great items I would like to get were not the kind of items that were technologically oriented, and what little vendors would have their stores online?The debate got pretty heated, and soon we decided to bet on it. We bet each other a new iPod player (pretty technologically oriented there, but I figured that I could sort it out once I won) that the other person would have much better shopping runs if each of us used the other's techniques. I was positive that if she could discover how nice it was to go into the brick and mortar shops, she'd forget all about online shopping ? and I definitely knew that I would like shopping online. Since we were basically buying gifts for the same people, we'd have a fair contest. We'd be fair in our evaluations, as well, and insist on telling each other how we'd done. Each of us would rate the shopping system on ease, quality, price, and getting gifts that was appropriate and appreciated by the recipients. Here's our results:For our brother's present, I hopped onto the internet and typed in bird watching into the search engine. After searching through a couple options, to my surprise I quickly found a birding book that was specific to our state, plus a CD of bird calls. The site not only offered free shipping, but would wrap the package and mail it to the my brother. "Well", I thought. "That was easy ? but I knew books and CDs were easy to get via the internet. How about something tough?"I thought I'd cheat a little bit by trying to find something that could only be bought locally. That failure would take my sister's idea out the utility of online shopping and blow it completely out of the water. For this specialized task I picked one of my favorite foods ? the organic, wild blueberry pancake syrup sold in our local farmer's market. While it's always a pain to wake up early on Saturday mornings to drive all the way down to the market, it's worth it to get this locally-made, yet exotic product. Unfortunately for me, it was easy to find. I entered the phrase Blueberry Syrup into Froogle and it was the first product sold there. I had no idea they sold this stuff on the internet! The new franchising and marketing opportunities have enabled the local growers to market and ship their product all over the states.One last shot ? I'd look for something for my sister, to get something so personal and unique that you'd definitely have to go there to get it. It was an item that we had seen on a friend's wall, and for years now my sister had wanted one of her own. As it turns out, Thai elephant painting (the elephants grab paintbrushes with their trunks and then paint a canvas) is now online, and yes, they will take custom orders. I hadn't really been willing to fly to Thailand to get a painting, anyway, but I certainly hadn't thought that would have been online.I called up my sister in defeat. After two hours online, I had bought all my major presents. Sis answered her cell phone and said that she was still stuck in rush-hour traffic on the way to the store.
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