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Archive for October, 2005

Are Newspapers Obsolete?

October 25th, 2005 by Bob Bly

According to an article published by the Illinois Information Technology Association (IITA), 550 million Internet searches are done daily worldwide ? and only 23% of adults under 30 today read newspapers regularly.

Do you read newspapers? Why or why not?

Will newspapers close their doors within one generation? Or will the Sunday morning ritual of reading the New York Times be around forever?


Category: Writing | 84 Comments »

Why Copy is Still King

October 14th, 2005 by Bob Bly

Semantics ? the language you use to describe your product and offer ? can make a huge difference in bottom-line results.

If that were not true, no car dealer would advertise ?pre-owned automobiles.? They would just sell used cars.

Another example: Collin Street Bakery, headquartered in Texas, was struggling to generate sales for its fruitcake.

The cakes are delicious. But ?fruitcake? has a negative image.

One of the reasons Collin Street fruitcakes taste so good is they are made with pecans grown on the Texas river banks.

So Collin Street Bakery repositioned their fruitcake, calling it a ?Native Texas Pecan Cake.?

The results: response rates to direct mail selling the cakes increased 60% ? and the promotion was so successful, the bakery mailed 12 million pieces of mail.


Category: General | 89 Comments »

Jumping on Bandwagons

October 10th, 2005 by Bob Bly

It always surprises me how many marketing people jump on trends and become ?instant evangelists? for the new thing ? whether it?s blogging, podcasting, or SEO copywriting ? mainly, it seems, because it IS new.

They so badly want to believe that their beloved gimmick is the ?holy grail? or marketing ? the silver bullet ? despite the fact that such has never been found ? and, I am convinced, never will be.

I?m of a different school ? the ?show me? school. And in marketing, that means showing me that a new tool or trendy technique has a proven track record of generating a positive ROI.

Until that happens for a new marketing technique ? whether it?s blogging or whatever ? I can?t see getting excited about it. Why would you?

It does seem to me that the people who are quick to embrace the ?next big thing? ? even though it?s far from certain to be so ? are mainly the consultants who want to peddle advice on that marketing method to unwary clients.

So the consultants make money whether it works or not. But the clients lose big time when it produces zilch in results.



Category: General | 61 Comments »

The Power of PR, Oprah Style

October 3rd, 2005 by Bob Bly

On September 22, 2005, Oprah Winfrey announced that her TV book club?s next pick would be ?A Million Little Pieces? by James Frey.

According to an article in BusinessWeek (10/10/05, p. 46), the book sold 85,000 copies within 4 days of Oprah?s announcement ? making it an instant best-seller. Bookstores ordered an additional 650,000 copies with the ?Oprah?s Book Club? seal on the cover.


Category: General | 68 Comments »