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February 2009

Miss-fired benefits - do we really need this?

Copy-writing and marketing should be focused more on benefits of a product or service than on features. We've all been taught this by many experts and gurus: your lead/prospect/client is tuned in to WII.FM: What's In It For Me.

So we talk about saving time and effort of cleaning a wooden floor compared to carpets; about increasing the value of your home when you install wooden flooring instead of carpets etc.

And then sometimes you watch a TV-commercial - I love watching commercials - that miss-fires on benefits.
Yes, I know we had some inches of snow lately - almost crippling UK's logistics - but how often a year does that happen? Is 'snow-motion' traction control really the most important benefit you are looking for in a new car?

Citroen thinks it is:

Does your benefit marketing ever miss-fire?

Can I redirect you?

Being owner of several dynamic and interactive websites (aka blogs), all with its own specific goal and specific readers you sometimes wonder if an article you wrote on one contains also information readers of one of your other blogs could find interesting and useful too?

Now, I'm not in the habit of doing this (often), but can I redirect you to this post here?

"Are you re-inventing your own wheel?"

on the "1 Plus 1 Makes 3 - where combined expertise gives you triple value" blog-site?

Banks, bonuses and marketing

When I watched the news yesterday evening one question came to mind:

Who will have the nerve to swap bonuses for marketing?

Banks are known to pay big bonuses, banks are known to market themselves as trustworthy institutions where it is safe to leave your money.
Banks now also are known to receive/ask taxpayers rescue packages.

Would you leave your money in the hands of a bank, who - cap in hand - asked for Government funds/guarantees (taxpayer's money - our money) to survive but still pay those big bonuses?

Or would you trust a bank who sends out a clear marketing message:

We need your money in more ways than one, you can trust us to to manage your money (businesses, personal and tax payers) properly so we've binned the bonuses.

I wonder who will be the first to use the binning of bonuses for long term branding result.

Credible marketing messages

Most of us know and use scarcity to attract prospect/clients. A time limited offer is one option.

Dreams is holding Britain's largest ever bed sale which ends today - Monday! (09.02.09)


Last weekend (31.01.09 and 01.02.09) TV commercials told us that Dreams was holding Britain's largest bed sale every which must end that Monday (02.02.09)

The weekend before TV commercials told us that Dreams is holding Britain's largest bed sale every which must end that Monday (26.01.09)

Before that in the weekend of 17 and 18 January 2009 TV commercials announced Britain's largest bed sale ever by Dreams which must end that Monday (19.01.09)

If memory serves I saw a TV commercial the first weekend of 2009 - I guess you know what it was all about. Scarcity.

Would you hurry?

What did the telephone solve?

Seth Godin states the following:

Here's why people liked the telegraph: It was universal, inexpensive, asynchronous and it left a paper trail.

The telephone offered not one of these four attributes. It was far from universal, and if someone didn't have a phone, you couldn't call them. It was expensive, even before someone called you. It was synchronous--if you weren't home, no call got made. And of course, there was no paper trail.

If the telephone guys had set out to make something that did what the telegraph does, but better, they probably would have failed."

Hmm, am of a different opinion.

When a telegram came into the telegraph office someone had to deliver the message physically. Then someone thought of the idea: why not create a system to notify someone a telegram for them has arrived in the telegraph office so they can come and collect it themselves. Then we have also a better chance - opportunity - to telegraph their answer straight away (instead of the receiver perhaps writing a letter in reply if the messages wasn't too urgent, who wants to walk all the way back to the telegraph office to have the reply send out when it is not an urgent matter?).

That's, according to myth, why and how the telephone was invented: to make life easier for the telegraph office (and create more 'selling' opportunities).

However, someone else saw a different 'use' for this new invention: why send a telegram through the telegraph office when you can relay the message yourself, and get an answer straight away?

It's the new (better) use of the telephone that destroyed the telegraph, not the invention itself.

What other 'invention' do you know of was officially created for something but turned into a completely different 'innovation'?