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How to avoid marketing disasters

In 1923, Claude Hopkins, the father of modern direct advertising, wrote:

“Advertising, once a gamble, has thus become, under able direction, one of the safest business ventures. Certainly no other enterprise with comparable possibilities need involve so little risk.”

Here we are, almost a century later, what do we see? Most ad campaigns fail, and marketing disasters are still commonplace.

So, was Hopkins wrong?

I don’t think so. I believe that most marketing disasters are avoidable – as long as you follow some simple rules.

Here are 7 of those rules:

Rule #1: Play with house money

When I started out as a marketing consultant, I took a unique approach: (more…)

The Kamikaze Comedy Club

The American comedian, Bill Burr, tells the story of a New York comedy club that…

“For some reason, they moved the stage out away from the wall… and they had this little small club… and they moved it away from the wall, so the waitresses could walk behind the stage.

“They took out like five or six tables, and all the other comedy clubs were laughing.

“And they figured out how money they screwed themselves out of over the course of a year… you know, doing show, two three shows a night times six or seven days… like they were screwing themselves out of three quarters of a million dollars a year. So they ended up having to move the wall back…”

OK, so what’s this got to do with marketing? Two things: (more…)