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At the time of writing, Theresa May is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Rarely has the Peter Principle been so visible, so clear to everyone around.

What Is The Peter Principle?

This is the gloomy but often accurate prediction that people are promoted to promoted to their own personal level of incompetence.

Then they are stuck…doing a job badly.

How Does It Work?

A person is recruited into a lowly position. He (or she but I’m going to keep saying he to stop this becoming irritating) works hard and is considered to do a good job. he understands the role and it suits his skills.

An opening arises in the position above. The organisation looks around and wants to reward people for doing a good job and, will often be unaware of the Peter Principle, and promote the person who is doing the best job at the level below.

The new job has new responsibilities and needs new skills. These may be skills the person has already or they may be skills he can learn quickly. Alternatively they may be skills that will present a struggle to master. [continue reading…]

What Happened To Seth Czerepak?

Back in 2016, I read two copywriting books by Seth Czerepak. The first in particular, The 24 Hour Marketing Miracle is excellent and was given 5 stars in my review. The second The Sexy Sales Letter Formula isn’t quite so good and is rated at 4 stars.

At this stage, I thought he was a rising star of the copywriting and direct marketing world. He was even given an excellent endorsement by Dan Kennedy. However, when I clicked over to his website to find out more, I found missing pages. In fact, everything on his website, except the home page had disappeared or become disconnected from what I could see.

I’d check every few months but found nothing new. I increased the time gaps, because, every time, I had to look up his name. [continue reading…]

I’m not sure how I found it but I’ve been listening to the

Copywriters Podcast with David Garfinkel

a great deal recently.

I recommend it very highly and if you’re interested in copywriting, I think it’s well worth your time.

Of course there are a lot of copywriting podcasts produced at the moment and many of them are packed with information. It’s hard to know where to go. [continue reading…]

In my review of the book

Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero’s Quick Start Guide to Writing Red Hot Copy

posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a rating of Four Stars. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

A very user friendly guide to writing copy with one big drawback

This is a very easy book to read and understand in contrast to some of the heavyweight tones on copywriting.

The author explains an interesting process of writing copy which, after her extensive experience, doesn’t involve starting with the headline and lead. [continue reading…]

For years I’ve been disgusted by the horrific problems created by “dirty water” around the world but particularly prevalent in Africa.

I’ve meant to made a donation to a clean water charity. As I explain below, I love Africa.

As Americans say “Shoulda, coulda, woulda”.

I’m ashamed to say I did nothing.

That changed last night when I received an email from Brian Kurtz (of Bottom Line / Boardroom fame). I watched a video from Charity:Water that was incredibly inspiring and a made a commitment. A commitment I’ve honoured this morning by setting up a monthly donation. [continue reading…]

The full title of this book by Dan Kennedy is

Magnetic Marketing: How To Attract A Flood Of New Customers That Pay, Stay, and Refer

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a Five Stars rating. This means it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my book review.

Another tasty morsel from a master of direct marketing

Magnetic Marketing is the name of the author’s most famous premium priced course and it’s the one that has helped make his excellent reputation.

Kennedy didn’t invent direct response marketing – its origins go back at least as far as the late 19th century – but he’s done a great job of bringing it to the attention of business owners and entrepreneurs along with others including Jay Abraham. I’ve always felt Kennedy was stronger on the initial aspect of attracting new customers while Abraham was better at expanding the backend, that is the ongoing business with the customers. Books by both deserve a place on the bookshelf of a well read business owner. [continue reading…]

The full title of this book by Craig Simpson with Brian Kurtz is

The Advertising Solution: Influence Prospects, Multiply Sales, and Promote Your Brand

In my review of the book posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a rating of Five Stars. This means it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my book review.

I wish I hadn’t ignored this excellent book for so long after buying

I’m ashamed to say I bought this book in November 2016 and hadn’t even opened my Kindle copy until January 2019. Why? Well I tend to go on buying binges and there’s the constant risk I start my next buying binge before I’ve worked my way through my last purchases.

The problem was I don’t like the main title – The Advertising Solution – or the subtitle if I’m getting picky because it mentions brands. After I’d bought it, I’d forgotten it was based on the work of six direct response marketing legends. Nor did my unfamiliarity with the main author – Craig Simpson – help me. It became a book to read some time, not next [continue reading…]

Introducing Ask Drayton from Drayton Bird

Drayton Bird is a legend in copywriting circles as he sold his own agency to David Ogilvy and worked with Ogilvy for many years. At Ogilvy and Mather, he was vice chairman and worldwide creative director of the agency which is now called OgilvyOne, according to his entry at Wikipedia.

Ogilvy is on record saying “Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone in the world.”

Another important point is he’s British.

Why?

Because the British are generally quite reserved and can find the American direct response copywriters as brash. That’s not to say the techniques don’t work in the UK, just that there is more resistance but once hooked… [continue reading…]

The Customer Value Attribute Map is an essential tool to help you focus on establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage based on differentiation (i.e being different in ways which matter to the targeted customers.)

It goes by different names:

  • W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne call it the Strategy Canvas in Blue Ocean Strategy, (This is probably the most famous of the names due to the popularity of the book.)
  • Cliff Bowman calls it the Customer Matrix in Competitive and Corporate Strategy,
  • I call a Customer Value Attribute Map (because I feel that’s the most descriptive) and
  • others call it a Customer Value Matrix.

It doesn’t really matter what you call it as long as you use the basic concept to get crystal clear about what particular customer segments or niches want and what you and your closest competitors offer. This way you can see areas where you are better than them, where they are better than you and where one of you offers a unique attribute.

Just don’t confuse it with the Customer Value Map which shows the fair value line of value for money between low price, low value brands and high price, high value brands and where your business lies in relation to that fair value line. [continue reading…]

The full title of this book by David Garfinkel is

Breakthrough Copywriting: How To Generate Quick Cash With The Written Word

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Five Stars. This means it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my book review.

Important new structures for copywriting

I started listening to the author’s excellent weekly copywriting podcast because I thought I’d enjoyed his book. Then he started referring to ideas I was unfamiliar with and I discovered I’d bought the book several years ago but not actually read it.

I’ve quickly put this mistake right and I wish I hadn’t allowed myself to get distracted. [continue reading…]