Notes from Jeff York

Small business marketing thoughts from a marketing small business owner

Posts Tagged ‘school

Breaking the rules

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the_thinkerIf you’re in marketing, you probably have a good sense of what you think works well for your clients. In college, I had a professor tell me that the client’s name should be mentioned a minimum of 3 times in a TV spot. David Ogilvy once professed that we should be selling in frame one and don’t stop until the message is done.

These “hard and fast” rules may not apply for every spot or every situation. How often do you see a TV spot on air that doesn’t let you know the client or product being pitched until into the spot?

Today, the fad seems to be to tell the viewer that you can relate to their predicament, spend time talking about how they’ve been around forever and will continue to be, and only at the end do we know who “they” are. One of the best examples of this type of advertising concept might be from Allstate Insurance. If you’ve seen their recent ads, then you know the actor Dennis Haysbert is their spokesman. If you can get past thinking he’s either Jonas Blane (“The Unit”) or David Palmer (“24”), then once he’s on your screen, you know you’re watching an Allstate ad. What if you don’t? As you’re watching the spot, he’s not talking about insurance products or coverage. He’s talking about you and your family. He’s talking about the economy. Only well into the spot does he start to tie the company to the conversation.

Clever and masterful. But yet, if the copywriters at the agency were in my copywriting class in college, they would have gotten an ‘F’. This isn’t so much an indictment on my school as it is illustrative of how school is the time to learn the rules. The real world is the time to learn how to break them properly.

What are your “hard and fast” rules when developing your marketing messages? When is it appropriate to break them?

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Written by Jeff York

March 8, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Are you staying up to speed?

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Remember school?  Remember thinking “when will I ever use this piece of information?”  Then it came time to go to college.  Most of the courses were more of the same.  But you played the game, got the degree or certificate, and got a job.  Much of what you needed to know, you learned on the job.

But is that enough?

Good organizations invest in their employees by sending them to training and seminars.  Many people who are very serious about their careers spend time and money on their own training as well.  It’s also an avenue for job seekers that are looking to separate themselves from their competition.  What better way to show you’re current and passionate than getting additional related training?

It’s always a good idea to look into getting yourself some additional training and development.  Even more so in today’s economic environment.

Are you doing anything to increase your standing within your organization?  Are you learning a new skill or working toward a certificate in something new in anticipation of a career change?  I’d love to hear about what your experiences and outcomes were from taking the time and investing in yourself.