Archive for the 'Message Strategy, Creative Development, Copywriting, Web Design, Digital Marketing, Advertising' Category

22
Mar
17

Silo-busting Collaboration: A Prescription for Pharma Advertising

The lore of pharma advertising is littered with stories of nightmarish regulatory battles. The vise-like grip of the law is enough to turn the most placid personalities into raging beasts, in a kind of evolution only a Pokémon fanatic could love.

Really, I sympathize. In a situation where the FDA allows no superiority claims in the absence of a head-to-head trial, the temptation for manufacturers to gussy-up their products with statistical manipulation is irresistible. Trouble is, the strict regulatory and legal requirements that govern every word and image make transmitting a coherent marketing message devilishly difficult.

That’s not to say, however, that the only response is to fold your arms and crank out drivel. I get it, you want to play it safe and not incur any Guidance from your legal-regulatory team. And doing anything else requires an Account Director to occasionally say “No” to your client.

But maybe the only way out of the nightmare is to confront it head on.

Collaborate.
Instead of hedging, second guessing and, frankly, cowering before internal regulators, pharma brand managers should engage them directly. With the help of an agency creative team, they should work out a coherent messaging strategy in advance that’s both approvable and, just as important, engaging.

It’s a process that requires continued vigilance, yet it’s frequently side-stepped by establishing a rigid dichotomy between Copy (facts) and Graphics (visual metaphors). Over time, all manner of garish imagery has served as eye-candy, expressly to distract people from a dry rehash of the clinical trial data.
These executions range all over the spectrum but the middle ground is inhabited by:

• Literal
• Slightly less literal

When directed to HCPs, the copy merely stacks claims on top of graphs, charts and tables until the pamphlet runs out of space. When the audience is consumers, boilerplate small talk bleats “it’s natural to be afraid,” then strings generalities together about drug and disease until the designers run out of stock art. What you end up with, especially on the consumer side, often differs little from the information available at some combination of WebMD, Mayoclinic.org and Drugs.com

In fact, if you’ve ever been tasked to “refresh” pharma Web site copy, you know how much of the copy provided by the previous agency was picked up nearly verbatim from these, or similar sites. Worse, copywriters are perennially asked where their copy “comes from,” as if there were no such thing as writing an original text, based on the direct consultation of primary sources. Instead, one is often enjoined to copy the copy that someone in Copy copied before — as if the original writer were anything more than another harried person slamming words together to meet an impossible deadline.

And, hey, the result is an ad object, so why worry?

Yet the goal of the exercise is communication. Let me be the first to tell you that the two aren’t automatically the same thing. Pages covered with unassimilated facts are as incommunicative as blank pages. Whatever the target audience, people need to know what you mean your facts to convey. To achieve that takes a fine balance between imagination and planning. For the same reason that eating a piece of Black Forest cake is not equivalent to reading a list of its ingredients, your communication needs to be a rich and enriching experience. And that doesn’t happen by accident.

In other words, every communication must deliver value, which facts alone can’t do. But when presented in a way that enlightens, strengthens convictions, steels resolve and motivates people to action, those same facts are priceless.

Add value through partnership.
Trouble is, of course, that takes time. To accomplish the goals I’ve just laid out, you have to look up from your Approved Claims List and develop a set of over-arching messages that summarize, educate and, particularly for consumers, show a way forward. And that’s where the partnership with your regulatory team becomes crucial. Because, in case you haven’t noticed, waiting until the actual review to present your idea for a compelling brand narrative always fails miserably.

Instead, start the process by working out acceptable thematic messages with Regulatory that rise above the level of:

“In a clinical trial, Brand W improved Factor X by Y% in Month Z.”

Just as important, realize that forming this partnership does not diminish the role of either the Brand Manager or the Creative Director.

At the same time, it does diminish the head-banging, hair-pulling, weekend-crushing last-minute revisions that I suppose a small percentage of C-suite masochists must actually enjoy. Otherwise, I can’t account for the current passive acceptance of the status quo, which pitches talented people from at least three different disciplines into month after month of dreary siege warfare with common sense.

17
Sep
16

Advertising Craft and the Metrics Epidemic

From time to time, despite advances in psychiatry, an insidious strain of ideological nonsense starts weaving its way through the corridors of advertising and marketing communities. It’s a destructive threat no amount of practical experience can curtail for long.

I’m talking about the multilevel delusion that advertising exists to increase sales by measurable amounts.

At this late stage in the most recent outbreak of this pandemic, I know it will be hard for some of you to read the previous sentence. If so, I urge you to seek medical attention right away.

This rapidly mutating ideological virus has a cascading effect on all aspects of the advertising/marketing industry. Once unleashed, it turns even the savviest minds into anxious, literal, perfectionist Golems, perpetually clinging to their “precious” metrics.

Confusion.
“How can you guarantee my customers will open this envelope?”

I heard one afflicted brand manager shriek this gibberish, during the height of the outbreak of 1997. Very sad. Yet so infectious is this delusion, it caused several of my colleagues to dismantle the entire conceptual array for a direct mail piece, just to splash “SEE INSIDE TO SAVE 10% ON YOUR NEXT PURCHASE” in big red letters across the envelope.

Recently, I realized another outbreak had taken place. I feared the worst when I learned that a client had vetoed a set of robust creative concepts simply because his sales reps didn’t understand them.

Well, of course not. An advertising concept isn’t fundamentally about sales. So where does this confusion start? Like most of its kin, this profound distortion of the truth is based in ignorance. For in this jumbled world, advertising must necessarily sit shoulder-to-shoulder with sales promotions, catalogue space ads and supermarket circulars. No wonder people with an MBA in “Will-this-be-on-the-final?” get confused.

Nor should it surprise anyone if many a car brand manager, in the grips of Delusio Metriciencis, will demand an ad campaign set in a car dealership. If you’ve seen any one Volkswagen “Sign Then Drive” TV spot you know what I mean. If you haven’t, and wish to research this topic on YouTube, I suggest you wear dark glasses to ward off contagion.

In a world without branding …
Anyway, an ad set in a store is the epitome of the confusion of advertising with sales. In reality, advertising exists only to create the emotional, cultural and societal context in which a sale can occur. It’s the very reason, when you set out to by a cellphone, you arrive with a clear conviction about whether you want to go with IOS or Android, Apple or Samsung.

Otherwise, in a world of nothing but sales messages, you’d walk into a store filled with identical cell phones and simply pick one from the price-bin you’re comfortable with. In that context, the first marketer to offer a red cell phone would create a sensation. And the first to say: “Your lovely spouse deserves a lovely red phone,” would own the market within the first week.

Not because of price points or sales messages. But because the Red Phone company had invented branding — a cultural environment in which consumers can perceive your product, value it, distinguish it and identify it.

… a mindset ruled by rulers.
In light of these simple realizations, it’s painful to watch a marketing manager’s spiraling descent into the kind of short-term thinking that de-brands a product. You can almost hear his or her fevered dreams:

“Hey, love your new $55.47.”
“Thanks! It’s so much better than my old $59.95.”

“You are so lucky. My $72.19 is so much more expensive.”

I know. Marketing is hard. You have to distinguish between one aspect of your annual spend and another. And towering over you is Metrics, an ogre with hypnotic powers, who convinces you his slithering percentage points are endowed with meaning.

Wake up! Spend a few hours in a decompression chamber. Do whatever it takes to flush out the ideological toxins that plague you. Trust me, they’re the only reason you believe Advertising can deliver measurable results.

Ironically, more than one creative director in my career has opined, “Advertising isn’t rocket science.” But my message to you today is more sweeping:

Advertising isn’t science at all.

And no amount of sketchy market research, sticky eyeballs, click-throughs, retweets or “participations” can make it into one.

Advertising is a craft. And its ablest practitioners are people who understand human nature — as expressed in a specific, well-defined target audience. Remember that, the next time someone on your extended team demands proof that a gecko with an East London accent can make cynical Americans warm up to a car insurance company.

26
Mar
16

Website Optimization: Beyond the Code. Behind the Words.

If you’re engaged in digital marketing, I invite you to try a simple experiment. In a rare quiet moment,
sit back, close your eyes and ask yourself if you actually like your branded website.

That’s “like,” as in actively enjoy using it, as in looking forward to its latest updates, as in almost feeling sorry for your competition because your website is way cooler.

If I had to guess, your answer will be, “Well, it could be worse.”

Having looked at branded sites in many different categories over the last decade, I can’t help thinking this is the likely answer at least 80% of the time. Part of the problem is expectation.

Fact is, website design, execution and maintenance has been so mediocre for so long that few people expect a website to be more than a collection of boxy stock art captioned with rigidly standardized “copy tone.”

Sure, maybe there’s a marquee on the home page. Maybe there’s a quiz, contest, video link or embedded e-marketing platform. But what’s missing is the one thing consumers care about: themselves. No wonder the garden-variety branded website gets ignored: It’s about a brand instead of a person.

The distance between consumer and brand is nowhere more apparent than on e-tail sites that engage in price-point jockeying instead of providing meaningful shopping advice. Despite oceans of market research to the contrary, most people realize that making shopping decisions based on peer reviews is tantamount to opening their souls to the jaws of Hell.

Looking past the code…
Now, ranting aside, it’s obvious that even utterly functional e-tail sites manage to sell stuff. So why bother building a website you can be proud of? The answer lies in how completely you want to discourage brand loyalty.

After all, if your business is based on being the low-cost leader, you can always be undercut, especially by a company who offers a feeling of belonging. How many people, for example, can’t do a “hat trick,” yet crave a pair of Jordan Super.Fly4s? Or, by the same token, will never own a Winchester XPR, but are hooked on the classic style of LL Bean?

Consumers can get sneakers or flannel shirts for the same price or less all over town. But people who get hooked on a feeling will bookmark, tag and share your site over and over again. Why? Because human beings are inherently, intrinsically, insistently emotional. Our motivation to act depends on an established emotional connection. Do you really need to attend another Webinar to know that?

All you need is to walk away from the rigid conventions that have grown up around digital marketing and talk to people in a real voice about themselves.

…to a distinctive thought process
Now, you’ll notice that neither LL Bean, nor Nike piles up its web pages with conventional marketing trash like “Our Promise to You, the Consumer.” You won’t find any talk about “fine quality” in the upfront. It’s just that the products themselves, lovingly photographed, have grown out of a thought process, an ongoing communication with an audience segment each brand understands. The advertising works because the brand works.

So if you’re answer to my initial question is an unwavering “Meh,” you may need to look way deeper than whether or not a flat design makeover is in your future. You may need to start at the root of your problem —the lackluster emotional appeal of your product. Want to fix your website? Start by fixing your brand.

If your primary marketing message:

…revolves around price, you can be undersold
…includes buzzwords like “quality,” you’re generating background noise
…is a celebrity endorsement, what happens when the celebrity melts down?

But if your message speaks directly and honestly to the identity your audience wants to claim for itself, an identity with a sharp emotional hook, you can generate loyalty on a scale a flood of coupon offers can’t match.

And in case the point is lost on you, a website built around that hook will come as close as any can to driving sales and fulfilling the promise of digital marketing. Not because your programmers have mastered HTML5, but because you, amigo, have mastered branding.

15
Dec
15

Can’t Say No? Say What You Know.

Look into the mission statement of many an ad agency, and you’ll find some kind of happy talk about “serving our clients.” In many instances, this boils down to demoting your business model from Consultant to Vendor. Now, maybe you see this as a non-issue. I’ve heard more than one agency head conclude that if a client wants to spend three times as much for work a design studio can do, that’s their problem.

To which I say, “hogwash.”

For one thing, doing so amounts to fraud. By demoting yourself to Vendor while charging Consultant fees, you’re participating in the fiction that your clients get full value for their money. But at the end of the year, when the shop-worn nonsense you agreed to fails to move the needle, someone on the client side is bound to notice. Are you planning to say, “Don’t blame us, we’re just the Vendor”?

This phenomenon explains why many high-value accounts bounce from agency to agency like a basketball on steroids. Ironically, it often happens that the creatives from the latest agency bounce with the account to the next. That’s because in today’s literal-minded environment, who’s better qualified to work on an account than the person who last participated in its demise?

And that, mind you, is despite the insistent drum-beat of agencies seeking new hires with “fresh thinking.”

Business model 1: Self-abasement
Now, I’ve heard the counter argument many times. It’s about needing a particular client in the portfolio to attract similar clients. Or it may be about having a complete roster of product categories covered because, again, in today’s literal-minded environment, a cookie brand will never hire an agency with only cracker experience.

But I’ve also heard near-death exhaustion in the voices of entire agency teams, when they’re driven to the edge of insanity by abusive clients who are:

• Obsessive-compulsive
• Money-grubbing
• Lacking in visual imagination
• Willfully ignorant of the limits of language

…and possessed, shall we say, of colossal egos.

Yet, even clients with a more humane attitude can drag your work down out of gross incompetence. As long as I live, I’ll never understand why the study of marketing effectively includes no meaningful introduction to the principles of visual and verbal communication.

After 22 years, I can count on the joints of one pinkie the number of “experienced brand managers” who didn’t need to be reminded, at each presentation, that water is wet, the stove is hot, and a Web site is not an a-dimensional repository of novel-length marketing blurbage.

Of course, by now, I hear someone in the back of the room shouting, “That’s fine, but we have to deal with what is, if we want to stay in business!”

Business model 2: Collaboration.
Right. And there’s always room for compromise in any collaboration. But the first step to preventing Abusive Client Syndrome is establishing that collaborative relationship from the start and insisting on it all the way down the line.

Even when your client is a classic Type-A personality, there are things every agency must do if we have any hope of reversing the industry-wide trend toward ground-eating serfdom.

Above all else, refuse to be silenced. You can’t win every point, but never refrain from laying out the truth. Over time, I’ve seen the phrase “pick your battles” morph from a savvy management strategy into a cowardly avoidance strategy. Try attracting top talent with an attitude like that.

A commitment to standards.
Of course, client management begins with actually retaining clients. But even if you feel you can’t say No to your more difficult clients, you can say What You Know and make it concrete with tangible examples. You may not achieve all your goals, but you’ll establish a basis of respect for your expertise.

And that can be tough—partly because the more persuasive you are, the more irritation you’re liable to cause. But it’s the only thing that will keep your agency from losing its creative edge. Because the mandate to say “yes” at all costs is the very death of creative thinking.

If that seems too difficult to pull off, you may have fallen victim to the language of acquiescence. “We don’t want to spin our wheels,” I hear, or “we don’t want to dilute our efforts,” or a thousand other platitudes that exist solely to make the spine-extraction process less painful. But as it stands, your only prayer of working with the clients you deserve is to say What You Know at every turn.

25
Sep
15

Humanizing Pharma Advertising

Many factors contribute to the design, structure and content of a Web site. That is, to the extent that it’s profitable to talk about any of these topics in isolation. In the best sites, the three are inextricably linked.

That link is never more crucial than in pharmaceutical sites for consumers where, regulations or no, the exercise is wasted if the message doesn’t reach out over the footlights to address each visitor. “Address,” of course, is too mild a word. An effective site is one that shakes your audience out of its chair and sets it on a path to action.

Keeping in mind that the FDA imposes varying levels of restriction on the story each drug can tell, even within the same drug category, it’s still interesting to compare the approaches taken by different brands. If we look, for example, at sites created for three prescription cholesterol brands, the differences are striking.

Affectless.
Taken at face value and, again, with no knowledge of the regulatory path that was followed, the Crestor site is as neutral and affectless as it could possibly be. I mean, yes, there’s a recurring stock shot of a doctor in a lab coat, as well as a faker-than-fake dramatization shot of a patient reaching her numbers. But that’s about it. Every other aspect of the site is merely “informative.” Nor is the site’s lack of emotion alleviated by the literal adoption of the Crestor logo’s color scheme as the only other design element to speak of.

The site is, in other words, a classic example of Tidy Marketing, in which the only thing that matters is deniability. “Hey, consumers!” the site says, “Everything on these pages is lined up straight. You’re welcome.”

Personable.
The site for Zetia, another cholesterol medication, humanizes a similarly information-dense Web site with a relatively simple device. The headers of each section contain a flash video of an “average person” writing the visitor a note, delineating the topic of that section.

While the video itself is a big step forward toward making the site more welcoming, it’s the understated quality of the actors’ performances that has the greatest impact. Here are people, not icons, sharing the experience with you, with a minimum of artifice or fake backstory.

Responsive.
Livalorx.com, however, takes a more integrated approach to drawing users in. For starters, the home page calls attention to the free cholesterol screenings the brand offers through a mobile diagnostic unit. Sure, that’s not an intrinsic part of the site but, more to the point, it is an intrinsic component of the brand’s overall marketing campaign. As in many other cases, an online presence linked to an offline marketing initiative gives the digital component greater relevance and, as it were, a “spine.”

Within the body of the site, detailed programming allows users to find the most efficient user-path for their particular relationship both to the topic and to the medication. By answering a series of yes or no questions, users get where they need to go fast, without having to conduct an archeological dig.

Contributing to the effectiveness of this approach is the reasonably idiomatic way the questions and responses are written. You quickly lose the feeling you’re talking to a robot, as on one of those annoying voice-activated telephone screeners that never seem to understand you when you say “speak to a representative.”

Additionally, the understated use of animation on interior pages makes them feel responsive. Only the decision to include the horrible cliché of the 50+ hetero couple out on their bikes undercuts the site’s relatively fresh feeling.

Finally, a nearly YouTube-worthy video about drug interactions takes the bold step of using an analogy to explain this topic, apparently unconcerned that someone will think Livalo will also help you park your car. You

While neither the sites for Zetia or Livalo break new ground in terms of marketing ideology, what they demonstrate is how little it takes to communicate to people as opposed to “audience members” or “users.” It’s possible, marketers everywhere, even on a heavily regulated pharma site.

Now if we could steer away from those “What is…?” subject headings, we might begin to see consumer-facing pharmaceutical ads that read less like a child’s first reader from the early 1960s. These desperate measures to ensure clarity are completely unnecessary. What’s needed is the common sense to realize your audience also has common sense.

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.




Mark Laporta

Writer, Creative Consultant
New York, NY

m.laporta@verizon.net
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