23
Aug
15

“Killer Copy”: Drowning in a Cardboard Sea

Stick with copywriting long enough and eventually someone will ask you to “refresh” an existing block of copy—whether it’s a one-page promo or an entire Web site.

At first, and I have to say I get fooled every time, it sounds like your client really wants to revitalize the tried and true. They’re looking, you delude yourself, for a more clearly defined brand voice. Or maybe just something less boring.

If you’re dealing with a consumer product, it’s even easier to get snookered, as your imagination goes into overdrive to create a distinctive persona for the…whatever. And sadly, that’s where all the frowning starts.

In the first place, you rarely get the full story from your Account team, for the simple reason that an MBA doesn’t include any meaningful training in critical thinking. All that talk about “fresher?” It all boils down to “shorter.” Turns out some market researcher discovered a roomful of lie-abouts only wanted to look at pictures.

So you’re enjoined to write something “catchy, fast” or my personal favorite, “smart.” Smart copy for people the average marketer believes are too dumb to read more than 50 words at a time? I don’t think so.

Who are you talking to?
If your goal is more effective communication, you need to start with a clear picture of your core audience. Not, mind you, some marketing-conference abstraction like “Fixers and Forgetters” or, say, “Dipsomaniacal Nincompoops,” but real people who actually have a snowball’s chance of buying your product.

And that has to be your most important demographic profile. Yet most marketing is done without the slightest acknowledgement of how many options consumers have, including the option to live without the product. Leaving aside the 50 gazillion people who rush out to buy the latest i-gadget, you’ll need a whole lot more than a bunch of Reasons to Believe to make your brand top of mind for any consumer.

Your marketing approach has to grow directly out of the personality of that select group of customers who think you’re swell. And depending on what you’re offering, snappy headlines, catchy lead-ins—like the ones on Yahoo that someone is perpetually telling me to emulate—may not be the ticket to higher market share.

You might, instead, have to tell the truth.

Because that’s what effective copy is about. Getting the truth out in a way that’s memorable, precisely because it lets the product speak for itself. To do that, you have to unlearn everything you’ve either picked up by osmosis from today’s degenerate advertising culture, or from those ridiculously terse maxims that revolve around letters of the alphabet. As if real communication were ever a formula!

Speak up, in a clear voice.
That’s it, forget about the 4Ps, the 8Ms, the 6 tips “every copywriter should know“—and just speak, person to person. Sure, you might need to create a persona for yourself to write through, but that’s a standard part of the creative tool kit. If all you’ve got up your sleeve is a list of best practices, do us a favor and write a textbook on marketing communications instead. We all need a good thick book to prop up that wobbly bookcase in the den.

Anyway, once you’ve found your voice, get to the core message right away. Remember, you’re asking someone to turn off Game of Thrones to read about your client’s…whatchmacallit. As I see it, your best shot is to engage your targets as real human beings, not prey on their fears about missing the deal of a lifetime. If, and I mean if, the product has something to offer, its benefits don’t need all that hype. For instance, any phone company leading with the phrase:

“Pricing Plans You Might Actually Understand”

…would immediately get my attention.

But that’s where we come full circle. Because the desperate cry for someone to punch up the copy always comes from clients who know their product is weaker than weakness itself.

Freshen the copy? That’s putting the tablet before the ISP—unless you’ve actually put in the time and imagination to develop a meaningful product and now have the courage to sell it.

And to everyone who’s worried about alienating an audience by being too definitive, let me point out that nothing on this Earth is more alienating than the sugar-coated oatmeal that generally passes for “killer copy.” You’d do better going door-to-door, than drowning your pitch in a cardboard sea of punchy phrases.

06
Jul
15

Hotel Web Sites: Too Checked Out for Branded Messaging.

As travellers know, hotel Web sites are among the most functional e-commerce sites around. Yes, most of them feature the ubiquitous marquee, but that’s as close to any kind of high-level messaging you’re liable to see. And that messaging is itself ultimately offer-driven.

Can anyone tell the difference between Sheraton and Ramada? Not online. Between the input boxes and those tidy little retouched jpegs of the rooms, the only thing you have to go on is the logo. Yes, they use different color schemes and, yes, different fonts. But this ladies and gentlemen, is not branding.

A brand, after all, is a promise. Yet the only contract any of the hospitality giants makes with consumers is:

“We’re a hotel. With rooms. Which you can stay in. For a fee. Pick a date and enter your credit card number. Don’t keep us waiting.”

Keeping in mind that many business travelers stay at hotels prescribed by their companies, some differentiated attributes ought to be selling these hotels to whomever’s in charge of hotel bookings at XYZ Corp. And, of course, you might reasonably expect that leisure travellers would like to feel they’ve chosen a hotel chain for a reason.

Especially, that is, if they’re planning a stay in a major US city where the options are all over the map in terms of price, features, location, etc., etc. But by remaining so blank, these Web sites are not only tarnishing their brand’s image, they’re damaging the image of the entire industry.

“Who cares where I stay?” is the question anyone would be tempted to ask after visiting these sites. “All hotels are the same. Same disappointing “Continental Breakfast,” same stodgy furniture, same prohibitive minibar. Same iffy cable service.

Offline, on it. Online, off it.
Ironically, one of the few travel-related brands to have an advertising concept is hotels.com. Yet, as memorable as the Captain Obvious campaign is, it has nothing to do with the service the Web site provides. Even if I stretch my imagination and conclude that the message is, “Hotels.com is the obvious choice for travel reservations,” the concept spoils itself by simultaneously making the obvious look ridiculous.

Booking.com, at least in TV spots, is much more convincing, even if their Amy Schumerish play on their name’s phonetic similarity to an indelicate word is a bit limiting. More successful is their other play on their name, “Booking.Yeah,” which effectively uses something approaching millennial diction to hippify a boring topic.

Offline, these two brands have done something to transmit a message, a promise, a statement of purpose. But there’s no trace of that messaging on the Booking.com Web site, which might as well be a site for Orbitz or Travelocity for all anyone would notice—logos aside.

Where, I can’t stop wondering, did anyone get the idea that “Buy Now” is a brand identity? On the other hand, you may wonder why I find this so irritating.

Schlock and loaded with clichés.
Despite having survived for over a century in one form or another, through many ups and downs, advertising and marketing are fragile things, whose immortality you cannot take for granted. Mail boxes, airwaves and screens crammed edge-to-edge with schlock are as deadly to the psychological ecosystem of sales as CO2 is to the lungs. Every year that we crank out crap is another year we erode our audience.

Meanwhile, gloom and doom analysts continue to have a field day at the supposed demise of the traditional :30 TV spot. But the real reason people click away is that TV spots and all of traditional advertising went into an accelerating decline after the ’60s. A TV spot today is, with few exceptions, a dreary landscape of tedious clichés. No wonder people reach for the zapper.

Let no one think, however, that digital advertising is “inherently” better. Sites like these from the travel industry, which are only the tip of the iceberg in the schlockification of the Web, will inevitably have the same effect on digital space.

The issue is not the medium, but every bit the message. Remember: the bad work you post today is the baseline you’ll struggle to rise above tomorrow. Because if this trend continues, the much-vaunted “impact of digital media” will be the fond memory of a few archeologists, only a couple of dozen years from now.

07
Jun
15

The Dysconfusitorial Process of Tidy Marketing

Of all the ways a great creative concept can be watered down, debased or, often enough, eviscerated, there’s nothing more deadly than the threat of Tidy Marketing.

Tidy Marketing is the coming together of two things: an unrequited lust for mechanical consistency and the firm belief that no member of the human species is capable of rational thought. Or at most, if Tidy Marketers concede that if we do sometimes think, they believe it tends to give us a headache.

The products of Tidy Marketing are everywhere, but nowhere more evidently as when promotional headlines flatten both levels of the communication into one of which:

Your [LIFE_ACTIVITY] is complicated. Your [PRODUCT_OR_SERVICE] shouldn’t be.

…is a prime example. It’s tidy! That fact that it says absolutely nothing beyond “complicated,” is beside the point to a Tidy Marketer. After all, no one got confused.

Metaphor? Whatever for?
What image accompanies a Tidy headline? One, of course, that makes a tidy match between the action implied and the action seen. But wait, what about metaphors, with their ancient and venerable tradition of making things memorable?

You must be joking. Metaphors introduce ambiguity. That’s not tidy at all. What if someone thinks your metaphor about “your dreams taking flight” makes a consumer think a home improvement loan program also handles air travel? Yikes! Better to make things match. I know, how about this:

Get a great rate and celebrate your new gate!

…accompanied, of course by a homeowner smiling at a contractor over the newly installed front door. The homeowner lives in a gated community, so it’s OK to say “gate.” Phew.

Come on, Guys, everything has to match. We need a bullet-proof rationale for everything we do because what in the name of Best Practice would we do if the client didn’t like it?

Now, according to the hype spread everywhere in modern agency life, a good idea can come from anywhere. Anywhere, that is, except the creative department. To prove my point, try talking a gaggle Tidy Marketers down from their anxiety-drenched ledge.

Needing the guarantee of a guaranteed guarantee.
“How can you guarantee the consumer will [open the envelope, click the button, call the number]? Look, the call to action doesn’t even have a call to action to read the call to action. We’ll also need a call to action to alert consumers that there’s an action they’ll be called to and a call to action to call if they don’t understand the call to action. We also need this list of mandatory bullets. Otherwise, have fun with it!”

It’s an impenetrable wall of emotion that the entire U.S. pharmaceutical industry can’t make a dent in. And I have a sinking feeling I know why:

“What if we sold so many really great anti-anxiety drugs that we actually cured anxiety forever and then who would buy our anti-anxiety drugs? You have to look at this holistically. Sorry. Here’s a link to look up holistically. You may have to scroll, so I hope that’s OK.”

The pervasiveness of this particular form of insanity is so vast, I’m surprised I haven’t already seen more extreme manifestations.

This is a computer:

computer

You will soon read a list of its benefits to you, the consumer. Below this sentence is the list. Read it now.

• Fast
• Easy
• Convenient
• Sends e-mails
• Gets e-mails
• Has a screen for reading
• Has a keyboard for typing and entering keyboard commands, which you enter with the keyboard

If you are now convinced, call 1-800-MORINFO for more information about buying it with your credit card. A credit card is that shiny plastic thing you have in your wallet with your name on it that’s not your driver’s license.

If you have questions, call 1-800-MORINFO to have them answered. Calling is that thing you do with your phone, where you tap numbers on the phone’s keypad and then a friendly voice comes out of the part next to your ear. Then you talk.

It’s that simple.

Computer Computers. Simply the best computers, period.

See? No confusing metaphors, no “concept” to make people wonder if you’re really talking about computers. And no people, so no one will think the computer is either only for men, only for women, only for children, only for more than one person at a time, or only for one person at a time.

It’s tidier this way. Otherwise, it gets confusing. Confusing is a word for something that makes you confused, like when you don’t understand something.

03
May
15

Why Put a Bullet Through Your Sales?

Somewhere toward the end of virtually every new branding project, a subtle shift occurs. The discussion that, until then, had been about lofty things like “branded messaging strategy,” “brand voice and tone” or “brand narrative,” becomes brutally blinkered.

Suddenly, everybody’s yammering about best practice and the need to be “short and sweet.” And within 36 hours, the only thing left of those heady theoretical sessions is a shiny logo, a stubby tagline and a list of “benny bullets” you’d better get in the right order (TBD) or no one will even think of opening their wallets.

The result? A category-level promotion that sells the brand as “one of those.” By launch time, the un-differentiation campaign has gone so far, your audience would be hard pressed to say whether the product is a toaster or a thermonuclear reactor.

That’s because, lacking expertise, many a brand manager quakes at taking anything but a “monkey-see” approach. Create a distinctive brand voice, look and feel, and you’re more likely to terrify your clients than satisfy them.

“No one else is using red highlights!” you’ll hear, or something equally inane.

And when it comes to copy, at this point all a copywriter can do is shrug, sigh, and import “the changes” which usually amount to a complete, top-to-bottom rewrite of every word, with no hit of an underlying rationale. Most often, this rewrite is an orgy of safe, cut-and-paste marketing speak that tries to say everything, but fails to communicate anything at all.

If I thought it would help, I’d stand on a mountain top with a bullhorn and say:

A block of bulletted copy can’t
sell matches to an arsonist.

At a minimum, you must address the psychological needs of your customers. Even if, excuse me, your product is as sexless as a locking mechanism for hospital doors, you have to appeal to more than the factoid center of the human brain.

Who talks like that?
Imagine if you will, a man asking a woman out on a date with the spoken equivalent of this drab, empty kind of communication:

“Tired of eating alone? Jimmy Jones Dinner Companions® has everything you need for the perfect restaurant experience:

• Fashionable attire
• Tasteful wristwear
• A full array of conversational options:

–Light banter
–Celebrity gossip
–Generic political ideology (New! Independent Option)

• Seductive cologne
• Your choice of Nikes, cowboy kicks or ‘Richy Rich’ wingtips”

Am I alone in thinking that, unless Jimmy is an utterly different kind of marketer, such an approach would leave its target audience speechless?

I think not. And yet, year in and out, marketers persist in thinking that real, live human beings make their purchasing decisions based on lists. Sadly, this mistaken approach is itself based on the one tiny kernel of insight from market research that most brand managers ever seem to retain:

“People are busy!”

Yeah, I get that. You don’t want to tie up your harried consumer’s time with too much content.

Stop marketing to abstractions.
But what if the issue were that people don’t want to tie up their time unnecessarily. In that scenario, all the best practice theory in the world is of no avail. Faced with an emotionless list, only slightly different from your competitor’s emotionless list—no matter how many times you say “Exclusive!”— the harried consumer will decide based on price.

In the absence of emotional and psychological appeal, even impulse buyers will turn away, at the sound of a foot-tapping spouse with an eye on the checkbook. Because if you think your only job is convincing your carefully mapped out target, think again. The more expensive your product and the less clear its actual usefulness, the more you also have to appeal to the non-target person your target has to face at the breakfast table.

All of this is evidence that the creative team’s original impulse—to sell a product or service from one person to another, instead of from Us to Them—was correct. Why is this impulse so often suppressed? Because the number one goal of all marketing theory is to protect marketing professionals from believing that they, too, are human beings with needs. “The Consumer” wants this, we hear, “The Consumer” doesn’t like that—with never a thought to the one person everyone knows best: themselves.

As I see it, it all comes down to a simple question: Would you buy a used car from yourself? If the answer is “no,” your theory of advertising is totally out of whack.

01
Apr
15

The Marquee of Indecision

As petty nobility goes, the Marquee of Indecision is about as petty as it gets. Here’s a routine Web site feature that’s now at least 12 years old—and it still insists on claiming pride of place on sites from Juneau to Honolulu.

What, you might ask, is the source of this arrogance? It’s the slavish devotion of the Marquee’s subjects, a realm of lazy marketers who’d rather endure His Lordship’s insufferable posturing, than decide on a unified, branded focal point for their Web presence.

The Marquee to the rescue. Why slug it out around a conference table when a revolving slide show can, apparently, offer something for everyone?

It’s so easy! None of that headache-inducing thought. OK, check that, you do have to pick the slides. Fortunately, it’s more often a matter of pick-up from existing materials, which the Marquee of Indecision is happy to re-skin for you out of aristocratic largesse. He’ll even let you select a devilishly poppy headline for each slide from his personal poppy fields.

No wonder everyone looks the other way when the Marquee fails to win more than a smattering of new business for your brand every quarter. The “Learn More” buttons he provides are simply to die for.

Of course, there’s always that dissenting rabble. Not everyone is happy with the current regime.

Clueless about messaging.
Aside from the clunky incompetence of most marquee design—which typically gives no thought to how or whether the slides interrelate—my concern is with the absence of focus. What, for example, is the unifying message behind the goings on at Dairy Queen.com?

The premise, I assume, is that the tiny tagline jammed under the logo is enough to unify this wasteland of disconnected thoughts. “Fan Food, Not Fast Food” reads the tag. But in what way does the marquee reinforce that message, let alone define it? Does the brand mean to say that junk food’s not junky if enough people like it?

Meanwhile, the product shots tell us what most Americans already know: Dairy Queen sells soft ice cream and related products. Unless you’re under the age of 12 and have never had dessert, these slow moving slides deliver absolutely no value.

In fact, there’s nothing here to tell me how “DQ” is any different from Carvel, except perhaps that the latter site has slightly better photography and features “Fudgie,” an androgynous transition object who may or may not be a whale.

The issue is whether something as prominent as a 840 x 1500 pixel marquee should be used solely to push product-level promotions. Seriously, this is the best way I know to squander the resources of digital space available to promote, clarify and evolve your brand message.

In this case, the extent to which the unexamined use of a home page marquee makes Dairy Queen and Carvel indistinguishable is a simple example of how harmful this ubiquitous device can be.

What should be elementary to “Watson.”
And yet, even for companies savvy enough to know better, the Marquee of Indecision’s scintillating banter continues to prove irresistible. At IBM.com, a company that would like to be known for its path- breaking innovation in, among other things, digital know-how, we’re treated to a slightly more upscale slide-show that is, nonetheless, just as empty of a unifying theme. In its place are three rather watery attempts to frame the company as a thought-leader, which rise no higher than the level of a community bulletin board.

Don’t get me wrong: Community bulletin boards serve a useful purpose. But the average organization behind one isn’t trying to be seen as a globe-spanning “solution provider” for business and industry.

Surprisingly, even a company as brand-conscious as Apple serves up the same kind of comfort-food casserole, showing an even more disparate range of images than Dairy Queen. Self-referential, with no outreach to consumers, this marquee contributes to a home page completely dependent on the company’s promotions in other media.

What I object to in all of these cases is the treatment of digital space as if it were simply an electronic convenience. You know, a print ad without the printing costs, nudge, nudge. Or a TV spot without the fuss—especially if it’s a recycled TV spot you can load into a content management system, press PUBLISH and then treat yourself to a nice lunch.

As a closing thought, have a look at Hertz.com and ask yourself, “Who the…rental car…is Hertz?” I mean, aren’t they the ones who try harder—or is that the other guy?

12
Mar
15

What is a Creative Concept?

Considering how many years the advertising / marketing industry has been cranking out…whatever…you’d think this was a question that would receive a single unwavering answer from all quarters. And if the advertising / marketing industry were more like the sciences you might hope your expectations would
be fulfilled.

But, for good and ill, what we do is a lot closer to what happens on a cooking show. Ask a question like that and you might as well be asking “What is salad?”

It’s not so much that the question is too broad, but that the very idea of “defining salad” sounds absurd. The only way to know what a particular salad is, is to eat it.

That is, except in the current state of affairs, when it’s impossible to feel certain that if I say “creative concept,” your mind won’t immediately flood with images of a comped-up layout. And that’s the problem. A layout, whether sketchy or immaculate can only be the realization of a concept. One single realization, to
be exact.

Because a true concept is an all-pervasive thought process. That’s why every brainstorming session that begins with the phrase “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” is headed for disaster. It makes as much sense as mocking up a sleek body design for a car and then casting about for someone to invent the internal combustion engine.

Not that brainstorming sessions ever produce anything of value. At least, that is, until you’ve done the slow, silent work of crafting a concept based on an understanding of your audience’s needs and desires. Then a brainstorming session about how to realize a concept might make sense—even if it is, inevitably, more about the pizza and pasta salad than about creative strategy.

Observation.
In any case, know that discovering a creative concept goes beyond deciding whether to sell the steak or the sizzle (obviously, you have to sell both). It starts with feeling and thinking your way into the mind of the people who want and need your brand the most.

And that means getting your head out of your spreadsheet and empathizing with your audience. You might even have to talk to people outside of the glassed-in booth, waist-deep in that gauzy, undefined area we’re still pleased to call the Real World.

Depending on the brand, it’s as simple as observing the people you know: What do they love about their cars? or How do they fuss over their pets?…and other aspects of human nature on display in 3D every day.

Distillation.
Then distill that observation into a few declarative sentences. You now have a backstory of psychological data out of which to weave a single distinctive thought process.

“Vroom and zoom conquers gloom and doom,” for example.

or

“More healthy nutrition for more wag time.”

Not that these are headlines, mind you. Instead, they’re background thoughts, an emotional environment out of which words and images can emerge.

Trouble is, many a creative team has neither the time nor the experience to nurture their concepts.
As often as not, absurd deadline pressures force creatives to present the mere seeds of a concept.
Unless, that is, they’re willing to grab for one of the industry’s immortal formulas:

Take 1 pop-cultural reference
Replace character/singer name with product name
Photoshop a Fender Telecaster into a standard product shot
Layer on a pun-laden headline including the phrase “Like a Rock Star”
Bake covered at 375 for 1 hr or until mildly offensive

Or to save time they may go with a kind of design-centric minimalism. For some people, a “cool image” and a three-word headline, carefully juxtaposed, is enough to create the illusion that an underlying thought is embedded somewhere within. It’s just too “honest” to come out and wave hello.

Probably the most popular variety of this creative ploy features images commonly referred to as “grainy, B&W photography,” as if the same alternative model would look any less alternative in glossy color. That fact that, regardless, the model still reads as a model never sinks in. This is the advertising world’s icon for Reality.

In real reality, all this subterfuge is much more work than talking to real people in real time. Besides, why should all that effort be lavished on everything else except what to say to consumers? For if there’s any reason at all to devise a creative concept, it’s because you believe said concept delivers a compelling message that makes people in your target universe click “Add to Cart.”

23
Feb
15

False Efficiency: The Legacy Copy Pick-up Shtick

One of the most time-consuming aspects of copywriting, especially on the digital end of the spectrum, is dealing with legacy copy.

That’s because digital marketing has been around just long enough to have a graveyard of abominably bad text “practice.” Unfortunately, many of the residents of that graveyard have a nasty habit of popping up when your agency acquires a new client.

No, not a client you’d actually want to boast about in an interview. I’m talking about the kind whose Web presence would do better in the acute care ward of the Hospital for Special Surgery than an ad agency. At its root, the problem with such copy is that it results from a process of random accretion—and the older the site, the deeper and thicker the layers of accretion go. You’ll find copy from:

• Print ads crammed border to border with mind-numbing detail
• Sales kits picked up almost verbatim
• Failed thought-leader essays “from the desk of…” a sainted company founder

…and that’s just the beginning. If your client offers a range of technology products, you’re sure to encounter a Who’s Who of clichéd marketing speak: All the greatest hits from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, including such memorable moments as

• Best in Class
• Best of Breed
• Top of the Line
• At Your Fingertips
• Innovative
• …in minutes
• …in seconds
• At the Flip of a Switch
• Scalable Solutions
• Customized
• Tailored
• Custom Tailored

And rest assured, this is the technology product you need to meet your technology product needs.

The value of words.
Tied inevitably to the creative misery this kind of copy imposes is the general lack of understanding of what’s required to overhaul it. All those who speak blithely of “picking it up with a few tweaks” are either completely misinformed or cynically indifferent to inherent realities.

Because the simple truth is that the vast majority of those huge catalog sites contain copy that is utterly unusable online. Writing, for example:

This innovative, best of breed solution is easily scalable to keep pace with your growing business

…tells me absolutely nothing and gives me no reason to add your product to MyCart.

Innovation? You can count the number of true innovations on your fingers and toes. The wheel comes to mind, as does the light bulb or the telephone. Even the combustion engine was merely an evolution out of existing tech.

But OK, let’s include that too—on the condition that when we reach the level of, say, the tumblers in a combination lock, or the plastic on the outside of a tablet computer, we recognize that they hardly count as innovation in a global sense.

More to the point, misusing a word lessens its value. Why does that matter? Because advertising with words means having respect for the value of words. It’s respect that involves refusing to casually exaggerate your brand’s attributes. Does your wireless translation tower do a pretty good job of keeping the signal constant? That’s great—but once you assert it towers above the competition, you’ve degraded your credibility.

After all, are you seriously claiming your competition doesn’t buy its circuit boards, chips, dials and readouts from the same technology vendors you do? If not, you might have the beginnings of a valid brand narrative.

The wages of acquiescence.
Regardless, creating good copy starts with realizing that it has nothing to do with selecting the right words. It is, rather, the reflection of a coherent train of thought. It’s not how many times you say “innovative” but how cogently you demonstrate that this innovation benefits your audience.

Now, I have no doubt I’m not the first person to deliver some version of this advice to brand managers. But the persistence of pointlessly verbose sales copy tells me it hasn’t been said often enough. More inexcusable is the willingness of ad agency denizens to “find efficiencies” by using legacy copy—without asking the Creative team to evaluate it for viability.

Because the laws of the advertising universe are singularly perverse in this regard. From the moment you agree to pick up the client’s copy, it becomes yours—subject to criticism and ripe for multiple rounds of scope-creep revisions.

“I don’t think the copy’s customer focused enough,” you’ll hear, from the very person who insisted you use it. Far better to reject that legacy copy and start from scratch. Because by the time your client is finished demanding changes, your “found efficiencies” won’t have saved one dime. Far more likely, the retrofitting process will result in cost overruns, and guess who’ll be expected to pay for them? Worse still, that eaten cost will only serve to undermine the brand.




Mark Laporta

Writer, Creative Consultant
New York, NY

m.laporta@verizon.net
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