Steal These Ideas! | Steve Cone

Summary of: Steal These Ideas!: Marketing Secrets That Will Make You a Star (Bloomberg)
By: Steve Cone


Dive into the world of marketing secrets with Steve Cone’s book, ‘Steal These Ideas!: Marketing Secrets That will Make You a Star.’ Discover the art of creating a successful marketing campaign, understanding the importance of clarity, drama, and visual distinction, and exploring the qualities of powerful brands. Learn the art of developing a ‘unique selling proposition’ (USP), building a visual identity for your brand, and creating a successful marketing spokesperson. Master the use of multimedia integration and public relations for a unified, focused marketing effort, and grasp the best strategies to keep your marketing game sharp.

Elements of a Successful Marketing Campaign

Creating a successful marketing campaign requires three crucial elements: excitement, newsworthiness, and an urge to act. This is important because the current market competition is fierce and marketing costs are massive. Marketers spend billions annually in an attempt to attract consumers. A successful brand message is built around the concept of simple ideas that are brilliantly executed.

The power of marketing lies in creating an ad that people remember and identify with your brand. Take, for instance, the example of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. In 1913, he placed an ad in newspapers seeking 50 applicants for the polar expedition. The ad contained only 26 words but had all the necessary elements: it was distinctive, clear, and dramatic. The ad attracted around 5,000 applicants, highlighting the significance of having a compelling and well-crafted message.

To create a successful brand, one must follow the same principles that Shackleton’s ad employed. Elements such as clarity, drama, and visual distinction are essential for catching the attention of the target audience. In summary, a successful marketing campaign is not about investing in extravagant ideas but effectively executing straightforward concepts that reinforce the brand message.

Crafting a Memorable Brand

Building a brand that reflects its quality, reliability, and inspiration is crucial for any business. The concept of branding dates back to ancient Rome where marble sellers marked their authentic slabs with the words “sine cere.” A brand should be unique, inspiring, and irreplaceable. Developing a unique selling point (USP) and visual identity can help distinguish it from competitors. New product development is another essential aspect of brand building. All these elements should be incorporated into a straightforward, impactful, and memorable campaign. A crafted brand can stand the test of time and become a legacy.

The Art of Spokespersonship

The success of a product can greatly depend on a compelling spokesperson, someone who shows genuine interest and reputation in the brand. American Express created a 75% market share for Travelers Cheques using actor Karl Malden as their spokesperson. Malden was effective due to his easy-going public temperament and his genuine interest in the product. A good spokesperson appeals to both genders and can be utilized in both print and electronic advertising. While known celebrities can serve as effective spokespeople, corporations can also use unknown actors or animated characters as corporate mascots, such as the Marlboro Man and Tony the Tiger. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company uses Charles M. Schultz’s Peanuts characters, such as Snoopy the dog to good effect for over 20 years. The most crucial element of successful spokespersonship is the ability to communicate the brand’s value and attach it to an attachment at the personal level.

Making Print Advertising Readable

Print advertising faces a significant problem due to illegibility. As people age, the small print becomes harder to read, leading to many ads being ignored. To avoid wasting money on unread ads, designers must keep the targeted audience in mind. Sans serif type and white type against colored backgrounds make ads harder to read. Red is a suitable attention-grabbing color, but black type on yellow paper is the most readable. Brochures are the least likely to be read, so designers must make them interesting and concise. They recommend using pictures of actual people instead of models, short sentences to summarize and direct readers, using question-and-answer formats, and leaving plenty of white space. It’s crucial to make sure the contact information appears on the back cover. By following these tips, designers can make print advertising more readable and effective.

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