“Simon recently reworked our website copy ... it resulted in an impressive improvement in both enquiries and sales for our business” says Robin James, MD of Planet Numbers Ltd.
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What on earth were Ford thinking of?

What makes a great car ad?
There's a new TV commercial for Ford cars here in the UK. It's flogging their American range, the Mustang and the GT etc. So far, so good. But, quite remarkably, it does this by slagging off the British range. Referencing 'no more Mondeo Man. No more OAP'. Why on earth would you use the launch of a new range as an...

Hi, I’m a really, really nice person…

Are you getting your branding wrong?
Testimonials are a great way to communicate the fact that your company is manned by nice people. Why? Because they're (apparently) coming from someone who isn't you! Imagine going up to a complete stranger and saying 'Hello, I'm really friendly'. Or 'Hello, I'm a really caring sort of person'. You'd never do it. It would be weird and creepy. And...

What’s the story with ‘storytelling’?

Is storytelling important in web content?
There's nothing digital marketers like more than a new buzzword. And the latest one is 'storytelling'. Apparently your website or digital marketing is missing a gigantically effective trick if you're not using storytelling. Er, OK. So what actually is storytelling, pray tell? When you scratch the surface of this latest fad you discover that it's nothing more than a loose description...

The Muppets rescue Christmas!

What makes a great christmas tv ad?
It's November and in advertisingland Christmas is already in full swing. Every tv ad-break is filled with cute, smiling kids handing presents shyly and cutely to rosy-cheeked granddads and grandmas. Every home is covered is snow and jolly snowmen & amusing reindeer jostle for position in every high street. Depressing isn't it? Personally I'm not a huge fan of Christmas, full...

Is your website for you or for your customers?

Why your website should be about your customers not you
Take a good hard look at your company's website content. Who is it designed and written to please? You, your board... ...or your customers and prospects? Go on, look again. Be honest now. Is the content totally focused on your customers' needs and issues? Or is it a lot of it just stuff about how brilliant you think you are? So many...

Huzzah! A new ‘nobody scrolls’ has emerged from the digital universe.

Web content why designers are wrong
Digital, ahem, gurus who used to bleat at us constantly that 'nobody scrolls' on websites or emails – despite massive evidence (and personal experience) to the contrary. Now of course it's recognised that we all scroll. So they've invented a new 'rule' to spout at every opportunity. It's "You must never say Click Here". Why? Because 'it's like writing Open Here on...

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable”

marketing strategy
  I am constantly amazed by how many companies spend a fortune on marketing without analysing whether the money they spend actually helps their business. As a long-term direct marketeer, it's absolutely second-nature for me to say 'how much business does this activity bring in?' or, the DM person's favourite question 'does this activity pay for itself?'. In other words, is...

Good copywriter, bad copywriter – what’s the difference?

How do you know if a copywriter is any good?
How to choose a copywriter? If you want to get a pro writer in to do your website or your advertising, how do you tell who's good, who's average and who's terrible? To me, there's no mystery to it. You can tell who's a good copywriter and who's a bad one within a few seconds of reading their work. By a...

Why Apple’s 2015 website feels like a classic 50s direct response letter

typewriter sales letter man
There's more to getting your website design right than using the latest trendy scrolling techniques... I was chatting to Paul Lindsell, Creative Director of the excellent Space01 agency, yesterday and he was telling me how he's banned his website team from using Lorem Ipsum when they're putting a new site together. (Lorem Ipsum is the pretend latin type that we...

Whatever happened to the digital advertising revolution?

banner ads, adsense image
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. (As Pete Townshend of The Who once wrote.) Do you remember how, a few short years ago, all the self-styled digital advertising gurus were telling everyone how advertising had changed beyond all recognition? How advertising was no longer about intrusive spots on TV and big attention-grabbing press ads? How our customers...