In 1999, Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay saw a huge gap in the home entertainment market. People were growing frustrated trying to record their favorite TV shows and rewatch them. They either had to be home to man the VCR, which sort of defeats the purpose, or if they were really brave they could try to set the timer on the device and hope it didn’t cut off the first couple of minutes of their show. We all know the joke about how setting the clock on your VCR is about as intuitive as assembling a hydrogen bomb, so the results of this method were, unsurprisingly, mixed. Barton and Ramsay understood the problem, recognized the opportunity, and would go on to develop TiVo and forever change the home entertainment landscape.
That’s not the end of the TiVo story, but it might as well be. After enjoying a brief run of massive success, so much so that people still refer to recording shows as “TiVo-ing”, TiVo quickly found itself an afterthought in a crowded marketplace. The company that revolutionized television in the early 2000s today is nothing more than a tertiary player in the space. For reference, TiVo stock peaked at about $50 a share and today is worth about $13. Quite a fall for what was, not that long ago, one of the biggest brand names in the world.
So where did TiVo go wrong? It failed where so many companies before it have failed, and so many more since.
It didn’t have purpose.
“Don’t bury the lede.” That’s what everyone always says to writers. Get to the point. Just give us the information we need.
It’s great advice for journalists. Horrible advice for marketers.
“Don’t bury the lede” is a phrase for reporters who write crime blurbs and short local interest pieces. It’s for articles that start with “Mayor So & So announced yesterday that he was going to do X, Y, Z” and then go on to tell you in forensic detail what happened, who was involved, where, why, how, etc. The news world is based on unbiased facts and conveying information efficiently. “Don’t bury the lede” is for journalists and their editors, not storytellers.
Success is a difficult thing to quantify. It’s a lot like the present – it’s hard for us to really understand the moment that we’re in when the lines between what’s past and what’s future are so blurred.
So when people ask “How do you become successful? What are the steps I need to take to achieve success?” they’re asking the wrong questions. Their mindset is flawed. They’re trying to follow a roadmap to a singular destination, when success, like the present, is not a concrete moment in time but an ever-evolving process.
Writing copy for marketing campaigns is modern day poetry when it’s done right. Great copy engages emotionally. It persuades, entices, entertains, and informs. And nowhere is there more copy, or more important copy, to be written than on a brand new website.
Yet copy is the most overlooked aspect of many design projects. Copywriters all too often don’t get the respect or credit they deserve. The truth is that, when done right, a website is a digital novel. It invokes great storytelling to communicate a specific brand message to an audience.
Most clients realize they need help crafting that message during the branding stage. They realize they need help with design, development, and marketing campaigns. However, too many tend to think that they can write their own website copy. Whether they’re a Fortune 100 or an emerging start up, they all assume they can and should own this.
PPC - three powerful letters that have changed marketing forever. PPC is power personified. PPC is agile. PPC has turned the advertising world on its head over the past 10+ years.
Yet, PPC is largely viewed as a direct response medium -- an auction-based channel that lives solely on Google SERPs. This point of view may have been partially accurate years ago, but today it’s outdated and extremely limiting. Even the term PPC isn’t entirely accurate. It ignores so many aspects of how marketers can use paid strategies to engage with their audience.
We don’t live in a single interaction world – we never have. We live in a multi-device, multi-medium, offline and online convergent world where the Buyer Journey is infinitely complicated. This is where, not just PPC, but digital Paid Media shines. It’s not utilized this way very often, but when it is, it’s incredibly effective.
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