The Absolute Truth About Marketing
Monday, April 10, 2006
  Do you make these mistakes in marketing? Part 13
[ ] “Fill in the boxes” marketing plans – Many marketing graduates have learned the headings for a marketing plan by rote, but fail to understand what should go under them. For instance, in a SWOT analysis, you will invariably find under the heading “Opportunities” a list of tactics the organization can adopt. But in a SWOT analysis, Strengths and Weaknesses are attributes of the organisaiton and Opportunities and Threats are characteristics of the external environment. Opportunities are unfolding events that can be exploited to utilise the organization's Strengths or mitigate its Weaknesses. Most marketing plans do not have any strategic strength. There is no big idea behind them – no leap of intuitive brilliance that pulls all the strands together into an explosive whole. Most are ‘colouring by numbers’ exercises.

[ ] Poor graphic design – It is possible to design a piece of communication so that it is impossible to consume. Tiny type faces are favourites of art directors. The baby boomers all need reading glasses and would appreciate bigger type. Type reversed out of black or colours – there is research done in Australia which proves conclusively that reverse type is harder to read. Comprehension tests reveal san serif faces are tiring on the eyes. Headlines should appear above the copy because they eye has a habit of following a certain pattern around a page. There is an entire science based on the concept of ‘reading gravity’ – I defy you to produce a single art director who has heard about it.

PS. Since posting this, a valuable addition to our knowledge has arrived from Mel Schoen of Insight Driven Brand Consulting & Communication GmbH in Hamburg. "The research on typefaces ...also shows that older people who need a larger typeface can actually read it better when it is reversed out, say white on black. Apparently, the greater contrast helps where it used to get in the way."

Thanks to Mel and other members of our enchanted circle for pointing out my sloppy proof reading. This will be rectified forthwith. (Talk about mistakes in marketing. I'm an expert.)

PPS. How many of you noticed SWOT was spelled SWAT?
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Make a big mistake and you learn the Absolute Truth. Mistakes are the only teachers. Why not rely on other people's mistakes to avoid making your own? Learn marketing secrets, tips, hints, insider information, strategies, tactics, ideas, plans decoded, and more... Search engine marketing, email marketing, Internet marketing will be added soon.

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