Learn marketing at home, learn digital marketing, learn copywriting, learn marketing online

Learn Marketing. No College Required

Digital Marketing, Traditional Marketing

Warning: College lecturers may find this content upsetting.

With so much content online, everybody has the opportunity to become a student and in their own time too.

You mightn’t get that diploma when you’re finished but you won’t get those bills either.

Now I’m not suggesting a boycott of traditional education. Going to college is an important growth experience for many people.

I myself found the structure of college life invaluable.

Assignments had to be in on time. Group work had to be undertaken with people of varying levels of skill and attitude.

And of course the lecturers.

A good lecturer will allow you to understand a subject in such depth and perspective that studying on your own cannot replicate.

That said, with so much quality content online, anybody can master a subject without college if they have the dedication to do so.

I’ve used Copyblogger and Hubspot for years.

They are two of the best marketing education resources online.

For a more structured approach, check out this article from Brad Zomick.

He has really put some thought into this but more than anything it shows you what is possible. Taylor a plan to your own needs. It will get you thinking.

I hope you’ve found this useful. If I’ve inspired you or you have any questions comment below.

Thank you for reading.

image from freeimages

Shocked by marketing, controversial advertising, advertising content

Shocker: Some Advertisers Like Controversy

Original Marketing

Big business advertising and controversy have always had a close relationship. It’s no accident.

Yes controversy is usually courted with purpose and yes there is no bad publicity (almost).

This video by The Richest shows some of the more ill advised campaigns from recent years.

Although I don’t think any executives here went hungry as a result of the public’s reaction (well maybe one did), a few certainly lost some sleep.


Thank you for reading

image from freeimages

DIY Copywriting: Sell The Benefits


When writing sales copy, imagine your reader is stressed, late for an appointment and in a bad mood.

Presume that no matter how great your product’s features are, she’s going to say “so what?” to every claim you make.

When you know she’s going to say “so what?” to everything you tell her about your wonderful product, you can answer her before she even asks the question.

You’re the copywriter, you do the work.

Don’t presume your reader will think about anything other than themselves.

Or that they have time to.

Your reader is busy and distracted.

She’s late, has the TV on in the background and is trying to prepare her home for a visit from the in-laws – while eating breakfast before her appointment at the salon. Phew.

She’s not likely to spend the time working out what a list of features can do for her. Or how they’ll improve her life as she scans your flyer before throwing it out.

All features have benefits. Many have more than one. What does she need to know to be interested?

Some benefits are harder to find than others. However once you put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes, it’s a logical process.

Usually there are core benefits that lead to secondary benefits.

When you know your customer, you’ll be able to decide on what’s most important to her.

One classic example is a home security system.

Your customer needs to know that this product will give her peace of mind and keep her family safe.

Only then will she go to the trouble of reading how your alarm has a finger print sensor, low power consumption and communicates with her mobile phone.

These features also have associated benefits.

Remember she’s still going to say “so what?”, so include these secondary benefits as you list the features.

Now that you’ve aroused her interest with the benefit most important to her, the secondary benefits will help her decide to buy your alarm.

Not just any alarm.

Often the primary benefit can be implied while focus is given to a secondary benefit.

Use the one that sets you apart from the competition. Remember, you don’t want to convince her to buy an alarm, you want her to buy your alarm.

Choosing which benefit to lead with is your job as a copywriter.

Don’t be afraid to only cover one benefit. Your customer really hasn’t got much time to understand your copy.

Here a crystal clear example from Dyson:

Great copy from Dyson, copywriting, benefit led, customer centric, benefit led copywriting, know your customer

Great copy from Dyson

Everything you need to know is instantly absorbed here.

If I was to offer one criticism, it would be that they should have integrated this marketing communication by including a call to action – a good reason for visiting their website or social media.

If you have any good examples of benefit led selling I’d love to hear about them.

Please comment below.

Thank you for reading.

images from advertolog and uprootedtogrow

Marketing comfort zone, public speaking, marketing confidence

He Left His Marketing Comfort Zone

integrated marketing communication

We all have our comfort zones. We have them in many different areas of our lives.

I personally don’t like public speaking. At all.

I hate it in fact.

I flee from it whenever I can.

Although I am a marketer, I am definitely not a PR guy.

I do recognise that this is a problem however and I am working on it. I’m always working on myself in some way.

In my current search for self improvement I’ve come across a guy that’s been where many of us have been, or are today. He’s no guru, positive psychology drum banger or special case.

Actually, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, he’s nothing special. It’s actually a bit random that I even watched his video all the way through. I just recognised a normal guy, doing his best and telling it like it is.

He’s a web-marketer with what seems to be his own small agency and in this video he’s speaking from the heart.

It’s rare to hear somebody so genuine these days and I just found this so very refreshing I had to share it:

Thank you for reading.

image from freeimages

copywriting, great headlines, good copy costs, content marketing

Why Good Copywriters Don’t Charge Per Word

Copywriting, Traditional Marketing

As a copywriter I’m always asked how much do I charge per word.

I won’t go into the answer here but I generally have to explain that it depends on if you want good copy or not (and look elsewhere if you don’t).

Realistically, paying per word will buy you poor copy.

Small is beautiful and people want your information in as few words as possible. Nothing non-essential should take up a potential customer’s time or cognition. It’s like asking a surgeon to add a few bits while he’s in there.

Whether it’s a a print headline, blog post or product brochure – less is more.

I’m reminded of an anecdote about a guy who needed a tooth removed. Let’s call him Rodney.

Rodney: “€200!, it only took you ten minutes”

Dentist who has perfected his trade, been to college for nine years: “next time I can do it more slowly if you like?”

Maybe 10% of my job is writing words. 20 – 30% is research and the rest is editing. That’s right, shortening the word count as much as possible while increasing its comprehension. Sometimes a concept doesn’t even need words, just like Band Aid and Bosch below.

People are busy, get to the point

With that in mind, let’s imagine the copywriters who came up with these master pieces were paid by the word:

Perhaps my all time favorite example of great copy. Simple and powerful. Perfect.

traditional marketing content, headline copywriting, clever copy, traditional marketing, great copy,

Great indeed. Brilliant advertisement content

Very cheeky, right on the edge. Attitude is everything for Porsche. 

Brave marketing, content marketing, brave headline content, Porsche advert

Brave marketing

Hulk Ouchey

Simple, dramatic – brilliant. both parents and kids love this one

content marketing, hulk advert, hulk doesn't need copy

hulk ouch

The power of Bosch

Great ad, shows the company USP very well. Hulk actually hurt his finger trying to do this (see image above).

Bosch advert, content marketing example, great advert

Bosch so powerful

I can’t get enough of this dumb ad

integrated marketing, headline content, creative copywriting

If anybody can add to this list I’d love to hear about it below.

Thank you for reading.

image from free images

Google panda, Google search, seo, digital marketing

How Google Works 2016

Digital Marketing

Ok, so the title may be slightly misleading. Nobody knows exactly how Google works. It’s constantly evolving. Especially the Panda algorithm. 

Content is still king though (always will be), duplication is still frowned upon and mobile optimisation is still a must.

Focus your efforts on creating original, useful content with your user in mind. You don’t need to worry about search engine optimisation until you have something to optimise.

That said, the infographic below will help you figure out how best to get your content seen by your target market in 2016.

how google works 2016, SEO 2016, search engine marketing, 2016 search marketing, digital marketing

how search works 2016 seobook

Thank you for reading.

The Integrated Marketing Communications Recipe

integrated marketing communication


‘Integrated Marketing communications? What do I care, I just do burgers’

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is a complex sounding term.

It sounds far removed from running a business day-to-day yet there’s no better way to get your name out there.

Not convinced?

What SME actually has the time to Pinterest their twitter and Googlify their Facebook anyway? you ask.

Well, actually, it’s usually the businesses that are doing well…

The standard definition of integrated marketing communications:

 recognises the value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion and combines them to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.

Boring stuff, but put simply: If you know where your customers are. And you’ve got something interesting to say. You can create some serious consumer recognition and word of mouth promotion by engaging them at different points throughout their lives. Regardless of the size of your company.


Market your business in many places, keeping your message the same and easily understood.

Consistency across the right channels is key, in fact it’s everything.

You, your message and what you do, must be instantly communicated every time a potential customer encounters your brand. They should know you at a glance – a colour, your logo or the first note of your jingle, whatever.

Being memorable is creativity, times repetition, plus quality.

Imagine a hungry customer wants to order-in dinner.

She’s seen your post on Facebook. She recognises you from across her social media, local newspaper, flyers, etc. She hears good things, reads good things and likes what she sees. She’s interested. And hungry.

You’re familiar. Recommended. The safe, logical choice.  Indeed, the only untried choice she’s considering right now.

You’re low-risk you see. Almost sure to be tasty.

At worst, you’ll be her first call when she wants a burger just like yours. What’s more likely is that she’ll order from you next time she doesn’t want to cook.

Be an authority, an expert – Say loudly who you are, why you’re special and what you offer.  Be the name that’s known.

Watch the following video for a visual explanation of what I’ve just said (that’s right, we’re all lazy and like different channels).

Thank you for reading.

image from phase3