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Archive for August, 2005

Sex in Advertising

August 25th, 2005 by Bob Bly

Does sex sell?

Or does sex in advertising have the opposite effect, distracting the consumer from the product?

As reported in NewScientist (8/20/05, p. 6), a new study from Vanderbilt University suggests the latter.

The study found that erotic images stop us from registering and remembering things we see immediately afterward ? for up to 800 milliseconds.

That means when a viewer sees a bikini model in a TV commercial splashing in the surf, he is too distracted to remember the brand of the beer she pulls out of the cooler and holds up to the camera a second later.

What?s your experience? Does sex in advertising really SELL? Or does it just get attention, without making the cash register ring and generating a positive ROI?


Category: Advertising | 68 Comments »

Answer to “Test Your Direct Response I.Q.”

August 24th, 2005 by Bob Bly

The correct answer is “B,” as reported in “Successful Direct Marketing Methods” by Bob Stone, Sixth Edition, NTC Business Books, 1997, page 203.

“Buy one, get one free” outpulled the other offers by 40%.

There are two lessons contained in this test result.

FIRST, you can never say with absolute certainty what is going to work in direct marketing. The only way to determine the winner is through a test.

SECOND, you can ignore those who tell you “free” is overused, hokey, downscale, or whatever.

Smart marketers continue to use “free” because it WORKS — and for no other reason.


Category: Direct Marketing | 84 Comments »

Test Your Direct Response I.Q.

August 17th, 2005 by Bob Bly

Here are three different offers:

(A) Half price.
(B) Buy one, get one free.
(C) 50% off.

One of these pulled 40% more replies than the other two.

Which do you think was the winner? And why?


Category: Direct Marketing | 236 Comments »

Google Recants ? But Not Nearly Enough

August 13th, 2005 by Bob Bly

In an earlier post on this blog, I criticized Google for its plan to scan copyrighted books without permission, calling them ?copyright pirates.?

Now an article in the Record (8/13/05) reports: ?Stung by a publishing industry backlash, Google has halted its effort to scan copyrighted books so the material can be indexed in its search engine.?

However, they are STILL copyright pirates.

The suspension remains effect only until November, giving publishers time to notify Google which copyrighted books they DON?T want scanned.

The Record notes that this scheme ?effectively requires the industry to opt out of the program instead of opting in.?

But wait a minute. That?s CONTRARY to the accepted Internet practice of ?permission marketing,? where the Internet marketer can?t act until I opt in.

So why can Google now copy, scan, and distribute the books I?ve written unless my publisher or I deliberately tell them they can’t?

Also, Google plans to contact the publishers of the copyrighted books only ? not the authors.

But for out of print books, the rights typically revert to the AUTHOR ? so it should be up to ME whether I give Google permission to scan my out of print books.



Category: Writing and the Internet | 67 Comments »

Blogs vs. White Papers

August 2nd, 2005 by Bob Bly

Here?s the situation:

You are the marketing manager of a company selling enterprise software for computer security to IT professionals.

Your marketing plan already includes a Web site, e-mail marketing campaign, and trade show exhibits.

In this hypothetical situation, there are two additional marketing tools you can use to promote your product, but you can only choose ONE.

The choice is either publish a series of white papers — or start a blog.

Which would you opt for? Why?


Category: Blogging, Direct Marketing, General, Online Marketing | 539 Comments »