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Creativity or Sales?

One of the most influential advertising campaigns ever was created in the 1960's by Doyle, Dane, Bernbach in New York for Volkswagen.

It was remarkable for two reasons.

First, at a time when Americans all drove big gas guzzlers it sold a small car.

Secondly, it treated readers as intelligent, fairly sophisticated people.

These two things made the Volkswagen a hit among a relatively small number of Americans - those who were, or saw themselves as, intelligent and fairly sophisticated.

The rest just kept buying big cars.

All About "You"

A recent review of child care websites found that the overwhelming majority of them focus on the company, not the customer.

There is a lot of the "About us" and the content of most welcome pages is inward-looking and boastful, ego. "We are the leading, etc" stuff.

Some time ago I wrote about the importance of the word "you". It is important to never forget that you need to be talking about the customers' interests, not your own.

Now, this may not apply to your website and I realize people want to be reassured that they are dealing with a good firm - but only after they have been sold on the benefits you offer them.

Choosing An Ad Agency

There are always stories in the Wall Street Journal about some agency or another being chosen by a company.

Usually this process involves a lot of "pitching" and takes a long time. When all is said and done the company announces the winning agency was chosen because they have "the right mix of planning and creative skills". This usually means "we get along best with them".

While it can in fact be quite tricky at times to work with people you do not get along with, pitching is, generally speaking, a waste of time.

The Do's and Don'ts of Email Marketing

British advertising wizard Bill Fryer has come up with a great list of Do's & Don'ts for email marketing.

If you have a website, run email campaigns or are considering doing so, the list is indispensable.

While certain small bits are not relevant for the child care industry, the majority of the advice is beneficial for any business with a website and the will to grow.

The Do's

1. Use the best data you can find - Only rent email addresses that have a verifiable opt-in status. This is when someone has ticked a box agreeing to receiving an e-mail from your company in the future. Response rates are generally 10 times greater using good opt-in data.

2. Segment your data by gender/region and previous purchase history. Then you can target your e-mails accordingly.

3. The top three factors that influence recipients opening an e-mail are: that they know and trust the sender; what the subject line is; and whether or not they have previously opened one from your company and thought it valuable.

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